Daily Archives: September 11, 2011

Notes From The Field/ # 291

Gilmore Metropark & Caesar Creek State Park

A friend of mine recently reminded me about “best laid plans”, which was the case this Saturday. Certain chores had to get done, so I made the best of it, an accomplished everything before noon. Which left my afternoon open. It’s very much out of character for me to go birding other than in the morning. It’s my nature to get up early and head out into the field. And with my change of plans, East Fork was out of the question. It’s just a wee bit too far for never having birded there before. So I headed over to Gilmore Metropark to see what I could see. I’m really glad I made the decision to go. It couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes after I arrived that I finally spotted my nemesis bird, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.  If you don’t see one either during the Spring or Autumn migration, you’ll probably won’t see one around here. I was extremely lucky, and fortunate today. I guess somethings were meant to happen.

I walked back to Cattail Marsh to see if any water was there, and hopefully some shore birds. The last time I was there there was at least some water, however this time it was practically dry, with only a few spots of water too small to even see without a scope. No shore birds except for some Great Egrets and some Great Blue Herons.

I left Cattail Marsh and made my way to South Pond. This is another pond that I’ve not been to, so I was anxious to see if it was dried up as well.

The gravel road/trail that heads towards South Pond.

As you can tell by the above picture the vegetation was real dense on both sides, which was good cover for Warblers. And if I spent more time there I’m sure I would have added a few more species to the list. And not only were Warblers  active, Flycatchers were also abundant as they flew across the trail. I walked down to South Pond only to find a field of green., and one lone Wood Duck box.

This was once a large pond, and the observation deck I’m standing on will attest to the fact that this park has seen better days. I’m just grateful that it’s open to the public.

As I was leaving Gilmore Metropark I was able to find this Acadian Flycatcher that would sit still long enough for me to get a quick digiscoped picture.

After leaving Gilmore Metropark, I traveled to Caesar Creek State Park. First to the beach with hopes of finding some shore birds feeding. However upon arriving I noticed a large gathering of people as if it was a family reunion. So needless to say I didn’t stay long other than to run down to the beach to see if anything was feeding. Other than a lone Killdeer there were 100+ Ring-billed Gulls. So my only hope for any shore birds were the Mounds Road mud flats. These mud flats are at the Northern most part of Caesar Creek Lake past the turn off to Spring Valley Wildlife Area. As I neared the end of the Mounds Road I noticed that the gate was open. Since this portion of the road is on park property they feel the need to keep vehicles out of this area. However at the end of the road there is a nice turn around and the start of the trail. Now the last time I was here the water level was up, and hence no mud. However today luck was on my side. As I stepped out and spooked a immature Bald Eagle, I was greeted with a nice size hunk of mud from which could be found plenty of shore birds.

Osprey with fish

Even though there wasn’t a lot of variety of shore birds, there were plenty of them. This is a small undisturbed corner and was kind of surprised when i noticed a couple on guys in a boat float slowly by. Probably fisherman.

A Great Egret from quite a distance.

This may be a crappy picture, however one will see a Lesser Yellowleg, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, and Killdeer

It was a great day with a new life bird and no rain despite the forecast. I finished the day at 5:30 and the notable birds for the day include:

  1. Willow Flycatcher
  2. Acadian Flycatcher
  3. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
  4. Northern Cardinal
  5. Indigo Bunting
  6. Great Blue Heron
  7. Great Egret
  8. Double-crested Cormorant
  9. Mallard
  10. American Redstart
  11. Nashville Warbler
  12. Wilson’s Warbler
  13. Carolina Chickadee
  14. Gray Catbird
  15. Killdeer
  16. Ring-billed Gull
  17. American Crow
  18. Osprey
  19. Bald Eagle
  20. American Robin
  21. Northern Flicker
  22. Downy Woodpecker
  23. Field Sparrow
  24. Turkey Vulture
  25. Red-eyed Vireo
  26. White-brested Nuthatch
  27. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  28. Cedar Waxwing
  29. Belted Kingfisher
  30. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  31. Red-shouldered Hawk
  32. Blue Jay
  33. Common Nighthawk
  34. Greater Yellowleg
  35. Lesser Yellowleg
  36. Mourning Dove
  37. Least Sandpiper
  38. Pectoral Sandpiper
  39. Spotted Sandpiper
  40. Semipalmated Plover
  41. Canada Goose
  42. Solitary Sandpiper
  43. Green Heron

A Birder’s Haiku

Dedicated to the birder, as we start our week.

Sycamores white skin

warbler dances from branch

thru the morning sun