With a day as beautiful as today is, how can I just sit around inside. Birding is definitely on the agenda. It’s been a long time since I was at Grand Valley, and with the cold weather I was anxious to see how much it was iced over.
I arrived about 12:15, and noticed that it really was iced over quite a lot.
There was only one spot that held open water, and you can tell by the next picture how crammed the ducks are in this small area.
I spent a lot of time in this spot. When you have diving ducks congested in a small area, you make sure you identify all the species. Even though there was several species here, there was one that proved to be quite a challenge. My first gut reaction was a Long-tailed Duck. And that’s what I reported on E-Bird. It was a diving duck, and all the field markings lead me back to a Long-tailed Duck. They’ve been up at Caesar Creek for some time now, so why not here? For me that’s the bird of the day.
After that I drove to the overlook to scope out the back pond.
Frozen over except for a small spot with no ducks.
View of the main lake from the overlook.
I parked in the turn around, then decided to go for a walk to see what was stirring. There were several families taking walks on this beautiful day, along with the family dogs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this place quite as busy.
It was a wonderful walk, with very little activity. I think it might have been better if I arrived a few hours earlier. My one surprise was a Hermit Thrush. That was a treat. I think the last time I saw a Hermit Thrush was when I lived in Sharonville. I was able to get some photos of a few of our Winter friends.
A view of the lake before I left for the day.
When you have nice weather like we had this weekend you take every opportunity to get outside. It proves that birding is a year round experience for people of all ages. Notable birds for the day include:
- American Coot
- Ring-billed Gull
- Hooded Merganser
- Ring-necked Duck
- Pied-billed Grebe
- Red Head
- Ruddy Duck
- Long-tailed Duck
- Blue Jay
- Northern Cardinal
- White-throated Sparrow
- American Robin
- Carolina Chickadee
- Tufted Titmouse
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hermit Thrush
- Cooper’s Hawk
- Sharp-shined Hawk
- American Goldfinch