Notes From The Field/ Fernald Preserve & Ellis Lake/West Chester Wetlands

Received an E-Mail from John Marvin today, where he asked if I wanted to go birding with him today after work since he just got back into town. Sure I told him. I had wanted to head over to Ellis Lake/ West Chester Wetlands, so I asked him to join me. A couple of E-Mails later he told me of someone posting on Cincinnatibirds that a Garganey was seen at Fernald Preserve at 3:30 this very afternoon. From what I’ve heard this might be the 2nd time this bird has made an appearance in Ohio. We’re talking very rare bird here. So you probably know what I did. Scratch the Ellis Lake trip, we’re off to Fernald.

I was probably no more than 5 minutes behind John as I noticed all the birders lined up besides the front pond at Fernald as I pulled in. That’s always a good sign. And sure enough, there it was. A beautiful Drake Garganey.

That’s the Garganey at the waters edge, in front of the Blue-winged Teal.

 With this picture you can really see the white scapular mark above the eye.

Another view that’s not very clear.

After a round of high fives for a new life bird, we thought well why not go over the Ellis Lake after all. John feed the info into his Garman, and off we went through the back roads of Butler County. We arrived at about 6:30 and started towards the flooded corn field to the left of the causeway. We noticed a lot of wading birds and needed to get closer.

This picture shows just a few of the Lesser Yellowlegs in this field.

A wider view of the flooded field. The causeway is the grassy strip of land on the other side of the water.

So John and myself walked around in this field for several minutes spotting only some Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, and the large group of Lesser Yellowlegs. So as I was setting up a shot with my spotting scope and digital camera, John shouted “Phalarope”. Well I just about wet my pants. So I spun around and trained my scope on where he was looking and sure enough, a Wilson’s Phalarope. I had a real difficult time keeping the bird in focus and centered. So the vignetting will be apparent in the following pictures. Focusing was difficult because he was constantly moving.

There he is, smaller of these 2 birds.

I left there feeling such a rush, I couldn’t stand myself. Starting off the day with the Royal Wedding, and ending with 2 new life birds numbers 275 & 276. What a way to end the day.


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