Notes From The Field/#270 & #271

You know the old saying about hind sight being 20-20? Well that could be said concerning myself not going on the field trip to Spring Valley this last Saturday.  I don’t know how many times I told myself that I was going since it was pretty close to my house, and the price of gas, yada,yada,yada. So I had a crappy day of birding and they had a good one, especially since they spotted some new birds I don’t have.

So to make up for missing out I went to Caesar Creek State Park on Sunday morning to see if the Eared Grebe and the Red-breasted Grebe were still there.

Well like I had said in my previous post, I meet Rick Asamoto there and birded with him awhile. So on Monday I E-mail Rick and told him what I good time I had birding with him. I mentioned to him if he was heading up to Spring Valley Wildlife Area, let me know. Oh by the way, he says, I going up there this evening with John Habib and would I like to join them. You bet.

Spring Valley Wildlife Area is situated just 8 miles South of Xenia, and 4 miles North of Waynesville. This 842 acre wildlife area has a wonderful lake and marsh area. It has a 2.5 mile hiking trail and access to the Little Miami Bike Trail. One great feature that us birders like is the 655 foot board walk that goes right into the middle of the marsh. This board walk ends at a 13 foot observation tower.

Now in the past I’ve not had too much luck here, which was one of the reasons why I didn’t go on the field trip. Well not tonight. While Rick and John were over at Caesar Creek, I decided to walk the board walk to see if I could spot a Marsh Wren. One of my target birds. I brought my I-Pod with bird calls on it and started up a Marsh Wren call. After a couple of minutes I heard a response. Then a few minutes later and hearing more than one Marsh Wren in the area, one did pop up long enough to get a positive ID. Things are looking up. I birded for about an hour and left to join Rick and John over by the lake. I found them on the bike trail looking for warblers. We walked for about 20 minutes and came to an area John had said he has had success in calling in Virginia Rails. So he pulls out his phone that he had copied a call of a Virginia Rail. We called and watched for about 10 minutes till a rail called no more than 10 feet from us. These birds are small and secretive and very difficult to see, especially in the fading light. John saw him first and pointed it out to Rick and myself. The rail was only in view for 30 seconds before it darted back into the brush. New bird number 2 for the night. Boy that put me in a good mood as I left Spring Valley driving off into the night.

Notable birds for the night include:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Red-winged Black Bird
  3. MARSH WREN
  4. Song Sparrow
  5. Yellow Warbler
  6. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  7. Northern Cardinal
  8. Tree Swallow
  9. Carolina Chickadee
  10. White-breasted Nuthatch
  11. White-throated Sparrow
  12. Downey Woodpecker
  13. Mourning Dove
  14. American Robin
  15. Field Sparrow
  16. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  17. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  18. Brown Thrasher
  19. Eastern Towhee
  20. American Goldfinch
  21. Wood Duck
  22. VIRGINIA RAIL
  23. Rusty Blackbird
  24. Belted Kingfisher
  25. Coots
  26. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  27. Chimney Swift
  28. Blue-winged Teal
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