Notes From The Field

Miami Whitewater Forest/ Shaker Trace Wetlands

The original plan for this morning was to make a trip to Caesar Creek S.P. for some open lake waterfowl birding. However with this being the last weekend of duck hunting season, and the projected influx of a lot of waterfowl because of the weather, we decided to change the location of where we were going to birding. Also the LeConte’s Sparrow was sighted again yesterday.

I picked him up at 8, and we arrived at 9 and proceeded to work our way out into the marsh. It was a glorious morning, with calm winds and a definite nip in the air and we crunched along the path. Birds were very sparse with only a few sightings before we made the turn off onto the mowed path that takes you out into the marsh.

The birds started to wake up as we progressed along, but as we approached there area where I had spotted the Nelson’s Sparrow on my prior 2 visits, everything seemed very quiet. No Nelson’s. And the same could be said about the LeConte’s. We worked the area for about 90 minutes with no success.

This is about the time we meet Harris Abramson, who I’ve been birding with on some field trips with the Cincinnati Bird Club, or the Audubon Society has put on. Then tall grass to the left was where the LeConte’s Sparrow has been sighted.

The highlight of the day was the Short-eared Owl that was spooked into the air, and put on quite a show for all of us. It was a thrill to see and owl and be able to really check out it’s field marks while it’s in flight. At first Phil and I thought a Barred Owl, but Harris pointed out in his field guide that it really was a Short-eared. I tried in vain to get a picture, but to no avail.

We birded the area pretty hard, then decided to pack it in at about 12:30.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Fox Sparrow
  2. Song Sparrow
  3. White-crowned Sparrow
  4. White-throated Sparrow
  5. Tree Sparrow
  6. Swamp Sparrow
  7. Short-eared Owl
  8. Sedge Wren-audible
  9. Carolina Wren
  10. Northern Cardinal
  11. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  12. American Robin
  13. Eastern Bluebird
  14. Eastern Goldfinch
  15. Cedar Waxwing
  16. Common Crow
  17. Red-winged Blackbird
  18. Rock Dove
  19. Mourning Dove
  20. Blue Jay
  21. Tufted Titmouse
  22. Carolina Chickadee
  23. Red-shouldered hawk
  24. Northern Harrier
  25. Mallard
  26. Wood Duck
  27. Canada Geese
  28. Turkey Vulture
  29. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  30. Downy Woodpecker
  31. Dark-eyed Junco
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