Melvin Quarry Pit & Roxanna-New Burlington Gravel Pit
I was half way through my first cup of coffee this morning when I got the “Twitch”. I was reading over my e-mails looking for a reply from Jason Cade in regards to the Roxanna-New Burlington gravel pit, when I noticed that Rick Asamoto posted to the Ohio Listserv. Rick normally doesn’t post unless it’s something good. Opening the e-mail my eyes went straight to the 2 words that’s been on my mind for some time, Tundra Swans.
My second cup of coffee was in my travel mug as I made my way towards Wilmington and points beyond. As you pass through Wilmington on Rt. 22 & 3 going East, the Melvin Quarry is 3 3/4 miles from the Rt. 73 interchange. I parked in the small Methodist Church parking lot and walked to the back of the church property towards the fence where the quarry is. Hundreds upon hundreds of waterfowl filled the gravel pit. With most of everything frozen over these deep gravel pits attract more than enough birds. I don’t know which were more prevalent, the Canada Geese or the Mallards. Rough estimates were over 300 for both species. I didn’t like my location so I switched to a pull off around the corner and set up my gear and started to scan where I couldn’t see before. That’s when I found the Snow Geese, all white.
The best view I could get were through the trees.
Then I spotted them…
The wind was howling by this time and trying to hold the scope still was difficult at best. The wide open and flat ground north of Wilmington doesn’t deflect the wind as I pulled my hat down tighter and zipped my coat up the rest of the way. Then they started to swim to the right out from behind the trees.
Then out into the open as I snapped off picture after picture.
After leaving Melvin I made my way to the Roxanna-New Burlington gravel pit. I heard that Cackling Geese as well as a couple of Sandhill Cranes were there. The highlight of this trip wasn’t the waterfowl but a Pileated Woodpecker flying across the road as I turned of Rt. 42 on Roxanna-New Burlington. Once again more Canada Geese than anything else. But all-in-all a good morning with a new life bird.
Notable birds for the day include:
- Tundra Swan
- Snow Geese
- Canada Geese
- Ring-necked Duck
- American Black Duck
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Common Coot