It came as quite a surprise to be able to take the day off during the week, especially today when it finally has stopped raining. So to make up a day missed of birding from the weekend (this last weekend was the first in a long time when I didn’t go birding) I made my way to Caesar Creek S.P. to see if the funky weather we’ve been experiencing blew in anything cool.
I got up at 8 am, left the house at 9 am, and arrived at Harveysburg Road with high hopes. What I found was a rather full lake. All the rain had raised the level of the lake like it was in the spring. Scanning over to the beach revealed not much sand showing. With a strong westerly wind right in my face I started to look around the lake for anything. I found the neighborhood American Coots floating way across the lake, however I noticed to the right of them large numbers of other ducks which were also very far away. And with a chop on the water it was impossible to ID anything.
If you remember the last time I was here I was bound and determined to find a way to find a location where I could see the lake from across where Harveysburg Road ends at the lake. And I think I found it. I did some studying of Google Maps of the area and re-found the old, closed off Oglesby-Harris Road, which runs off of Furnas-Oglesby Road.
This is what remains of Oglesby-Harris Road. I followed this till it ended at the earthen causeway which runs parallel to the lake. Climbing up and over the causeway I found the remnants of the road which dove into some thick brush which I had to hack through to get a view of this.
The North Pool Boat Ramp is directly across from where I’m standing.
I’m so glad that I’ve found a way to get to this side of the lake because the birding started to really pick up. The raft of ducks came into view where you could at least ID them and for the most part they were Buffleheads, Horned Grebes, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, and …
What’s this I spy through my scope. White head. Black cheek patch. NO WAY.
How freakin’ awesome is this. This is the second year in a row that Long-tailed Ducks have been spotted at Caesar Creek. The real difficulty comes when you try to pick it out of a crowd of other ducks.
This digiscoped picture was taken at 20x and we’re able to make out the different species even at this distance.
The problem when trying to take a digiscoped picture of a Common Loon is that they don’t stay on top of the water very long. As soon as you see one and get your scope on it, they dive again. I feel lucky to get this picture even with it’s butt cut off.
The next 2 pictures are some heavily cropped, close-ups of the Long-tailed Duck. They’re not a high quality picture, however it’s the subject that matters here.
I really lost track of time when Kathy called me wanting to know where I’m at. For some reason she’s always looking for me. Anyway I had to leave because Ethan had a job opportunity come up and he needed the bird-mobile. Which was too bad since it appeared that the raft of ducks were drifting closer to where I was.
Notable birds for the day include:
- Ruddy Duck
- Long-tailed Duck
- Ring-billed Duck
- American Coot
- Northern Shoveler
- Horned Grebe
- Pied-billed Grebe
- Canada Goose
- Common Loon
- Bald Eagle
- White-crowned Sparrow
- White-throated Sparrow
- Eastern Towhee
- Northern Cardinal
- Carolina Chickadee
- Common Crow
- Red-shouldered Hawk
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Blue jay
- Ring-billed Gull