Notes From The Field/Caesar Creek

I really wasn’t expecting to go birding this weekend, what with the crappy weather on Saturday, and Kathy wanting to see how long it takes to drive to U.C. Clermont. So when I asked her when she wanted to go, she said, how about next weekend. Well throw on  some clothes and grab your gear because I’m out the door.

I had a good feeling that Caesar Creek was going to be ice free, since the last time I was there. And I wasn’t disappointed. Well it may have been ice free, however the lake was really full. All this rain has raised the level to places I’ve not seen before.

This is a picture of the end of Harveysburg Road. Normally there is a 5 foot drop off from the end of the road. And about 10 feet of beach till you reach the water. Enough for a duck blind fit. Well today the water was right to the end of the road. This is where I spotted the bird for the day. 2 Eared Grebes. They were swimming with 6 Horned Grebes and a Red Head, so the side by side comparison was so helpful. After this great find I could have gone home and called it a successful trip. But not so fast.

2 Canadian Geese swimming back towards Merganser Bay, from the end of Harveysburg Road.

From there I drove over to North Pool and Furnas Shore boat ramps. Since they’re almost directly across from each other on Rt. 73 it doesn’t take me long to scope out both locations. After I left here it was onto the Visitors Center to see if the feeders were busy.

On the drive over to the Visitor’s Center, a Turkey Vulture took a moment from dining on some fresh road kill to pose for this photo.

This is the new expansion on the Visitor’s Center. I meet Rebecca who was on duty at the desk and informed her of the Eared Grebes. We started to talk about the expansion and she asked if i wanted to take a tour. With several offices and a conference room, the highlight was the large room at the far right side. The perfect spot to hold a Merit badge workshop. I asked her about the prospect of doing a Bird Study workshop there, and she told me it would be a problem. Score! Even though we’re doing this years merit badge at Fernald Preserve, we want to leave our options open. Maybe next year, and then rotate it around.

My next stop on the day was someplace I’ve not been to before. The Nature Center. It’s over by the Pioneer Village tucked away among some tall pines.

The area held a few ponds, which produced a couple of Wood Ducks, along with a very nice trail system which runs back into the woods and gives some nice views of the lake.

The trails aren’t very long, and they’re well marked.

A view of the lake from the trail.

Even with a dusting of snow this morning, and the bite of Winter still upon us, the signs of Spring are certainly a bright spot. As evident by these Daffodils.

A clump of Spring Snow Drops just about ready to bloom. Who would of thought that we could have flowers this early in March.

Despite the dreary sky and the cold wind blowing off the lake, this was a wonderful day all in all. I had a decent number of birds for the day and seeing the Lilies of the Valley within days of blooming was enough for me. And while I was leaving I was able to catch an American Kestrel that let me get somewhat close to him.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Dark-eyed Junco
  2. Common Crow
  3. Northern Mockingbird
  4. Downy Woodpecker
  5. Northern cardinal
  6. Grackle
  7. Turkey Vulture
  8. Carolina Wren
  9. American Robin
  10. Blue Jay
  11. Canada Goose
  12. Bonaparte’s Gull
  13. Horned Grebe
  14. Red Head
  15. Eared Grebe
  16. Red-shouldered Hawk
  17. White-crowned Sparrow
  18. Hooded Merganser
  19. Ring-billed Gull
  20. Ring-ed Neck Duck
  21. Red-tailed Hawk
  22. Killdeer
  23. Gold Finch
  24. White-breasted Nuthatch
  25. Carolina Chickadee
  26. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  27. Tufted Titmouse
  28. Mourning Dove
  29. Pigeon
  30. Eastern Bluebird
  31. American Kestrel
  32. Cooper’s Hawk
  33. Wood Duck
  34. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  35. Belted Kingfisher
  36. Hairy Woodpecker
  37. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  38. White-throated Sparrow
  39. Brown Creeper
  40. House Finch
  41. Purple Finch

P.S. Thanks to my sharp eyed reader Tonya for the correction on the Lilies of the Valley to Spring Snow Drops. Where I lack in identifying wild flowers I try to make up in bird identifying. Anyway you look at it, seeing flowers ready to bloom after a long Winter is like they say, a breath of Spring.

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3 responses to “Notes From The Field/Caesar Creek

  1. American Golden-Plover

  2. I enjoyed your article. The white flowers you took a picture of are not lily of the valley, they are spring snow flake.

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