Notes From The Field

Beaver Creek Wetland Wildlife Area North/ Koogler Wetland and Prairie Preserve/ CEMEX Preserve

It’s a good thing that I was able to sleep in yesterday, because when the alarm sounded at 5 am this morning it took some effort to get up and get going. However with the coffee done and cinnamon rolls from IKEA waiting for me, I was able to struggle to my feet. With gear gathered and a second mug of Joe, I was out the door at 5:45 for my drive to what I expect to be a very good day of birding. Today’s destination is the Beaver Creek Wetlands.

I was surprised by the fact that it didn’t take long to drive there. It probably took less than an hour to get to my first stop, Beaver Creek Wetland Wildlife Area North. I pulled into a rather inconspicuous gravel parking lot which had no sign to tell you which park your at. The night before I did a Google street view of the road and knew what to expect. This is the only sign you’ll find in the parking lot.

With the humidity and my cold camera, you can see the results.

With a subdivision on my left and a wide open, heavily vegetated, fields on my right, the birds were very active this morning. I followed some nice mowed paths and made my way towards the back and away from the car noise.

2 bush-hog width trails.

I knew from Google map that there was a small pond towards the back, and that’s where I was heading. Getting to my destination always takes me longer since I have to stop and look at countless birds along the way. There were several paths that lead you to a dead end, which I’m not sure why, but any way here’s one that leads you towards nowhere.

Butterflies were everywhere, and they didn’t want their picture taken either, except this cooperative Tiger Swallowtail.

I finally found my way back to the pond, or should I say dried up pond. It’s a relatively shallow pond and I’m sure with the heat we’ve had lately, it wouldn’t take much to dry it up.

Even though it may look dry, there were life forms. The one time I should have lugged my spotting scope with me, I missed out on a Least Sandpiper, and a Semipalmated Plover.

On the way back to the bird-mobile I was able to get only a marginal close-up view of a Willow Flycatcher.

I’m traveling West on New Germany-Trebein Road, and looking North towards the Fairborn Marsh West, which has no public access as far as I know. I’m sure this habitat can support all sorts of birds, unfortunately you can’t get close enough to see.

While driving to Koogler Wetlands I stopped and digiscoped this Red-tailed Hawk.

It was here at Koogler Wetland and Prairie Preserve I meet with some volunteers from the Beaver Creek Wetlands Association who were planning on doing some trail maintenance from what I could tell. I talked with Jim Amon, a Technical Advisor for the B.C.W.A. We talked about birds an other parks in the area, when he noticed that I was prepared for this particular park. Prepared as in boots that stand up to mud and water. Well the trail was no more than a narrow, one lawn mower width path. The path starts out winding it’s way through some woods then breaks out from the trees and then this is where it starts to get wet. On more than one occasion I almost had my boots sucked off my feet. Well when they say wetlands, they mean wetlands. The last thing you want to think about when you’re birding is your footing. So needless to say I was looking down more than looking for birds. The I made it to the boardwalk they told me about. And by the way the weeds and grasses were invading the boardwalk, you weren’t going to be able to see much of it soon.

Looking back from whence I came.

Looking forward towards my goal.

A nice mowed path with woods on one side, and wild flowers on the other. My next stop before I went home was Siebenthaler Fen, however Jim Amon recommended that I go to CEMEX Reserve. A park with a large body of water with good wetlands, and not too far of a drive.

By this time the sun was up and the heat was on. So I wanted to make this a short trip. There’s a loop trail that goes around the lake, so I headed out. If I had known what I know now, I would have probably have skipped this park. There’s a lake alright, but there’s no way to get close. And maybe that’s a good thing, but it got to the point that birding was secondary and getting back to the bird mobile was priority. I need to come back in the Spring or Fall and give it a fair evaluation. I was burning up, and tired, and thirsty. Not a good combination.

A couple of views of the expansiveness of CEMEX Reserve.

After about 5 hours in the field I decided to call it quits, and head home in the comfort of my air-conditioned bird-mobile. I feel like I only scratched the surface of this wonderful place. There are so many other places to go and explore that I’m sure I’ll be back. It was a A+ kind of trip.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Canada Geese
  2. American Robin
  3. Eastern Goldfinch
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Common Grackle
  6. American Crow
  7. Gray catbird
  8. Northern Cardinal
  9. Summer Tanager
  10. Carolina Chickadee
  11. Tufted Titmouse
  12. Blue Jay
  13. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  14. Chimney Swift
  15. Field Sparrow
  16. Song Sparrow
  17. Savannah Sparrow
  18. House Finch
  19. American Woodcock
  20. House Wren
  21. Indigo Bunting
  22. Dickcissel
  23. Eastern Kingbird
  24. Common Yellowthroat
  25. Yellow Warbler
  26. Prothonotary Warbler
  27. Eastern Wood Pewee
  28. White-eyed Vireo
  29. Red-winged Black Bird
  30. Willow Flycatcher
  31. Acadian Flycatcher
  32. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  33. Eastern Towhee
  34. Northern Flicker
  35. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  36. Downy Woodpecker
  37. Great Blue Heron
  38. Turkey Vulture
  39. Kill Deer
  40. Least sandpiper
  41. Semipalmated Plover
  42. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  43. Cooper’s Hawk
  44. Red-tailed Hawk
  45. Barn Swallow
  46. Bank Swallow
About these ads

One response to “Notes From The Field

  1. Clark’s Nutcracker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s