Monday, September 27, 2010

9/25/10 Lake Hope

The moon still hungover overhead as we met at the docks saturday morning. The skies were clear and the air was crisp. After a few stragglers coming in a little over 7am we loaded into the vans to head to Lake Hope at Zaleski, Ohio. After a 20-30 minute drive down 56 west we arrived at our first destination: Lake Furnace. To no surprise a giant furnace overlooked an open field surrounded by tall trees such as oaks and sycamores. Just beyond some smaller tees and bushes a little stream ran. Upon our arrival at the time of 0740 there was not much visual activity but audible calls filled our ears. The 'caws' belong to American Crow while off in the distance a Red-Shouldered Hawk could be heard making its screeches. Another call could be heard; possibly a nuthatch of sorts with a call sounding like a 'hahaha' but through a kazoo.

0750 Stream by Lake Furnace
We headed towards the stream through a rough path amid tall grasses and shrubs. Among the trees jumping about was an American Goldfinch with its yellow body and black distal portions of its wing.

0755 Stream by Lake Furnace
Continued to hear the Red-Shouldered Hawk call as Blue Jays darted about in the trees. The hideous calls of the Gray Catbird were heard.

0800 Stream by Lake Furnace
Just minutes after hearing its call, a Gray Catbird was identified perching in the tree nearby. Mostly gray and a bit of black atop its head distinguished this rather drab bird.

0803 Lake Furnace field
We headed back to the field from the stream as activity in the trees picked up. A brownish Carolina Wren accompanied by a Downy Woodpecker call started off the bird watch-fest.

0805 Lake Furnace field
An orange-crowned warbler with apparent yellow rump and overall grey coloring was the first of many warblers to be spotted among the activity.

0810 Lake Furnace field
A familiar Yellow Throated Vireo call recognized from the last field trip fileld the air with the Downy Woodpecker call again.

0815 Lake Furnace Field
Warblers a plenty! Magnolia Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler spotted with the various combinations of yellow, blacks, and patterns making it a challenge to figure which is which. The White Eyed Vireo was in the middle of all the Warblers.

0830 Lake Furnace field
Magnolia Warbler showed us its white rump and chiefly yellow underbelly and chest.

0840 Lake Furnace field
Yellow throated Vireo!

0850 Lake Furnace field
Song Sparrow

0900 Lake Furnace field -> Lake
American Crows... in all black and relatively large.

0905 Close to main Lake
While walking through the trail to the Lake, a giant bird flew over the stream running from the Lake. This magnificent bird was blue with a long slender bill and head and neck. The Great Blue Heron!

0915 Lake
Even though overgrown with plants the lake seemed deserted at first. Suddenly groups of Wood Ducks began to fly around the lake. Groups of 5 or 6 and estimated to have been 20-30 Wood Ducks. Stayed at the Lake for awhile to check out the wood ducks and to see if there was any other activity around the pond.

0945 Heading back to field, trail
Stopped to look at a snag across the stream. Spotted a Cedar Waxwing!

1005 Lake Furnace field
Upon arriving back to the field we were greeted by a park ranger along with a couple from Columbus also there to birdwatch. After a quick chat the ranger pointed to the Red-Shouldered Hawks flying overhead! Also a possible Red-Tailed Hawk may have been flying overhead. The Ranger told us about the Red-Headed Woodpeckers at the nature center and campground area and so we planned for our next stop.

1020 Nature Center
By this time in the morning it has gotten noticeably warmer and still clear and beautiful in the sky. A few Morning Doves patrolled the area. Soon after a quick walk we saw the woodpeckers darting about. After fixating my binoculars on a Red-Headed Woodpecker on a branch in the tree above, the little guy started hammering away with his head. Though the speed was surprisingly slow; I expected a much faster rhythm in its pecking. The little guy had an overall red head, black back and white underbelly. Many more Red-Headed Woodpeckers flew around the area.

1045 Beaver Impoundment
Our next stop as Miles put it, the "Beaver Impoundment", yielded another Great Blue Heron in the waters. Following an old railroad we set out to find the Prothonotary Warbler, but alas nothing as our second field trip came to a close.

American Crows - 10
?Nuthatch? - 1
American Goldfinch - 5
Blue Jays - 1
Grey Catbird - 5
Red Shouldered Hawk - 2
Carolina Wren - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Orange-Crowned Green Warbler - 1
Yellow-Throated Vireo - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Townsend's Warbler - 2
Black-Throated Warbler - 1
White-Eyed Vireo - 1
Song Sparrow -1
Great Blue Heron - 2
Wood Ducks - 20
Cedar Waxwing - 1
?Red-Tailed Hawk? - 1
Red-Headed Woodpecker - 10
Morning Dove - 2

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