Notes From The Field

The morning was cold and clear with temperatures in the teens as I pulled out onto Rt. 22 & 3 heading towards today’s destination, Caesar Creek S.P.

If it appears that I’m in a rut, you’d be correct in that assumption. My original plan was to go over to Grand Valley in Camp Dennison, however on Friday my birding friend Rick Asamoto discovered and photographed a American Golden Plover at the beach. I think this is the latest a AGPL has been recorded in Ohio so this would be a very cool sighting.

As I passed Little Miami High School while driving to Caesar Creek I noticed ducks on the gravel pit that’s across the street from the school. Finding a place to pull over, I grabbed my scope and walked down the side of the road a few hundred feet to get a better view. There are several gravel pits in this area and this is one of the larger ones, and with the added feature of ducks on the water. After scanning for about 10 minutes I came away with mostly Ring-necked Ducks and a few Pied-billed grebes. So I loaded up and headed off to the park.

25 minutes later I’m pulling into the beach parking lot when I notice several other birders congregated in the area where the AGPL was sighted. Making my way over towards them I noticed that one of the birders was Rick and the other 2 were Mike Busam and Laura Keene, both highly respected birders. Hooking up with them will make for an enjoyable day despite the fact that the plover wasn’t there. So for the rest of the morning we drove to various sites looking for anything that flew.

Stops included North Pool Boat Ramp, Furnas Boat Ramp, and Harveysburg Road. Birds were few and far between as we began to leave Harveysburd Road. At this point is when our paths separated, with myself heading towards the Ward Road area and the bluff overlooking the lake, and the rest of the group heading over to the camp ground boat ramp.

The area I was heading towards has such a great view from the bluff that it deserved a repeat visit. It was from this spot we were able to get great views of the Black Scoter last week.

From this angle your looking northwest with the island on the left.

From this angle your looking southwest towards North Pool Boat ramp which is about 1 1/2 miles away. The spit of land sticking out on the left is roughly 1/2 miles away, and on the other side lies Harveysburg Road.

It’s while here that I noticed a large concentration ducks on the leeward side of the island. With the wind really whipping around the ducks were harboring up on the down wind side of the island, along the bank. Not know how much luck Rick, Mike or Laura were having I gave Rick a call and told him about the ducks I was watching. So they made their way from the camp ground boat ramp to my location.

After giving the area a thorough going over and finding mostly Mallards we finally decided to part ways and warm up. We left around 1:00 pm in the afternoon from a delightful, but cold morning of birding with some enjoyable people.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Ring-necked Duck
  2. Pied-billed Grebe
  3. Horned Grebe
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. American Robin
  6. Northern Cardinal
  7. Carolina Chickadee
  8. Common Crow
  9. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  10. Downy Woodpecker
  11. Eastern Goldfinch
  12. House Finch
  13. Tufted Titmouse
  14. Blue Jay
  15. Red-tailed Hawk
  16. Rock Dove
  17. Canada Goose
  18. Ring-billed Gull
  19. Killdeer
  20. Dark-eyed Junco
  21. Cooper’s Hawk
  22. Common Loon
  23. Belted Kingfisher
  24. Mallard
  25. Redhead
  26. Scaup (species ?)
  27. Brown Creeper
  28. Ruddy Duck
  29. Bufflehead
  30. American Wigeon
  31. American Coot
  32. Black Duck
  33. Hooded Merganser
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