Notes From The Field/3-19-2011

With Kathy off to work today, and Ethan still asleep, there was no use burning daylight just sitting around the house. I was thinking about doing some birding over in the Kilby Road, Route 50, and Lost Bridge area this morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in this neck of the woods, and with the sun coming up, a very enjoyable drive is just what the doctor prescribed. Sometimes I wish I lived closer to this part of the Tri-state. There is such good birding opportunities with the Oxbow, Miami Whitewater Forest and Fernald Preserve in such close proximity to where I was at today.

Exiting off of I-275 at Kilby Road, I make my way towards Route 50 and past acres and acres of farm land. As I was nearing Route 50 you could start to see the remnants of the flooding that just ended. Right at the intersection of Kilby Road and Route 50 this field is still holding water where waterfowl is holding up in.

Those trees that are running left to right in the background are growing parallel to Route 50. This was the area when it was flooding hundreds upon hundreds of ducks were spotted in. Now not so many.

A good example of how large these sky ponds get in these massive fields down in this flood plain.

If you look real close you can see some Northern Shovelers.

I drove onto Route 50 for a short distance, then pulled over onto this ramp that went down into the field I was just scoping out. I’m assuming the the farmers the cultivate this field use this ramp to access the field. For me it was a handy way to try and get closer to the ducks. In this first picture the debris on the ramp is corn stalks that flowed up to the high water mark from the flood. By the looks of it, the field was probably underwater.

Looking left from the ramp.

Looking right from the ramp.

After I departed from here I made my way over to Lost Bridge. I wish I knew why they call it Lost Bridge, anyway it’s a good area for birding.

Looking downstream from Lost Bridge.

The Great Miami River was still up and flowing fast so there wasn’t anything on the river. However on the opposite side there are some flooded fields that held some promise. You have to be careful when you pull off the road here, the traffic can get busy with lots of cars and large trucks. This is the area that I did catch the sight of a Bald Eagle. He was flying around scaring the hell out of some gulls that were feeding on some mud flats.

That brown spot is the Bald Eagle. He eventually landed and started to eat on something he found. Or should I say stole from the gulls.

A closer view of the Bald Eagle.

Now it was time to go over to Smith Tract County Park, going in the opposite direction on Kilby Road. This is the park where last year a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was sighted for a couple of days. And yours truly was one of the lucky ones to see it.

Walking the gravel road in.

One of several large ponds that dot the park.

Song Sparrow

First Brown Thrasher of the year.

I made my way over to this high spot where I was able to take this picture with the park spread out in front of me. When I was talking to a ranger last year about this park, he informed me that they plan on doing nothing to this park. Leave it just like it is. More of a wildlife refuge without actually calling it a refuge. In the Spring this place turns into a 50 bird area, so to here that they don’t plan on developing it is music to my ears.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Crow
  2. Red-tailed Hawk
  3. American Robin
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Canada Goose
  6. House Finch
  7. Tufted Titmouse
  8. Pigeon
  9. Common Grackle
  10. Great Blue Heron
  11. Gadwall
  12. Mallard
  13. Northern Shoveler
  14. Wood Duck
  15. Ring-necked Duck
  16. Northern Cardinal
  17. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  18. Killdeer
  19. White-breasted Nuthatch
  20. Carolina Chickadee
  21. American Goldfinch
  22. Downy Woodpecker
  23. Bald Eagle
  24. Cooper’s Hawk
  25. Ring-billed Gull
  26. Song Sparrow
  27. Bonaparte’s Gull
  28. Bufflehead
  29. Lesser Scaup
  30. Red-winged Black Bird
  31. Green-winged Teal
  32. Turkey Vulture
  33. Northern Mockingbird
  34. Northern Flicker
  35. Field Sparrow
  36. Tree Swallow
  37. Coot
  38. Brown Thrasher
  39. American Wigeon
  40. Redhead

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