Notes From The Field

Shawnee Lookout Boat Ramp/ Lost Bridge/ The Oxbow/ Fernald Preserve

The morning started cool and calm as I left my local Kroger’s with a sack of circular pastries, on my way to the park-n-ride in Miamitown. With my official declaration to the end of the Summer doldrums, I was looking forward to a much needed organized field trip. Target species for the day. Wading/Shore birds.

First stop for the day was going to be Lost Bridge, however the we made a small detour to the boat ramp at Shawnee Lookout Park, so people could use the facility, and do a little birding at the same time. This place has a reputation for some hot warbler action in the Spring. And with warblers already showing up in good number lately, why not give it a try. There was a couple there already that spotted a few, however our group didn’t have any luck.

Prior to crossing Lost Bridge, the gravel quarry on the right had a pair of Caspian Terns wading. (Digiscoped)

Now it’s back to the bird-mobile for the couple mile drive to Lost Bridge. We had a good size group with us today. Not too big or too little, just right.

I believe all told, we had about 15 birders total. The upstream side was the hot side with good mudflats with lots of wading birds.

This area of mudflats are about the average size I’ve seen in the past. Unfortunately being this far away you’re not able to see any of the birds feeding down there.

Least Sandpiper (Digiscoped)

On the down stream of the bridge I noticed a Green Heron fly in and land on a mud flat right under the bridge practically. It was feeding right along the edge and saw it a couple of time come away with a small fish.

(Digiscoped)

Lost Bridge had the most activity, and it seemed like the people were reluctant to go. However after some prodding we gave it up and made our way back to our cars for our next leg of the journey. The Oxbow. We didn’t stay too long here. maybe an hour at the most. We basically meet up at the parking lot, where we left together and drove back a parked by one of the larger lakes, (The name escapes me). However we did pick up a couple new birds for the day count like this Black-crowned Night Heron.

You have to look pretty close, he’s just in the center of the picture at the waters edge. This is a pretty bad picture, but I was a fer-piece off. (Digiscoped)

A gathering of Double-creasted Cormorants basking in the morning Sun. (Digiscoped)

After we left The Oxbow, we made our way to Fernald Preserve, where we ended our day. We stacked out Lodge Pond for a little while, and came away with a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers. And I swore I saw a Stilt Sandpiper, as did someone else, however never rediscovering it again I crossed it off my list. The same could be said about this mystery peep at Lost Bridge. At first they thought it was a White-rumped Sandpiper. However when it was standing side by side with another sandpiper, it became obvious that it wasn’t. However I thought it might be a Western Sandpiper. The bill looked longer and slightly down-turned, however that was poo-pooed by the group leader and lumped into the Semipalmated Sandpiper group. I hate leaving doubt in my mind.

It was great to be out birding with a large group with wonderful weather to boot. With several more opportunities for group outings coming up, I’m kind of indecisive on which to attend, so stay tuned and find out.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Mourning Dove
  2. Northern Cardinal
  3. Tufted Titmouse
  4. Carolina Chickadee
  5. Blue Jay
  6. Caspian Tern
  7. Barn Swallow
  8. Bank Swallow
  9. Cliff Swallow
  10. Common Crow
  11. Great Blue Heron
  12. Great Egret
  13. Killdeer
  14. Least Sandpiper
  15. Semipalmated Sandpiper
  16. Semipalmated Plover
  17. Spotted Sandpiper
  18. Pectoral Sandpiper
  19. Solitary Sandpiper
  20. Short-billed Dowitcher
  21. Green Heron
  22. Black-crowned Night Heron
  23. Blue-winged Teal
  24. Mallard
  25. Wood Duck
  26. Canada Goose
  27. Belted Kingfisher
  28. Indigo Bunting
  29. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  30. Eastern Goldfinch
  31. Red-winged Black Bird
  32. Eastern Wood Pewee
  33. Black and White Warbler
  34. Greater Yellowlegs
  35. Lesser Yellowlegs
  36. Mute Swan
  37. Pied-billed Grebe
  38. Turkey Vulture
  39. Eastern Kingbird
  40. Double-creasted Cormorant

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