Notes From The Field

Caesar Creek State Park

I’m going through withdraws. Not your typical Hollywood style withdraws you’d see on the big screen where the junkie is sitting in the corner of a bare room shaking uncontrollably while sweat rolls off his face. No I’m talking about birding withdraws. It’s been 9 days since I last birded and it’s high time I do something about it.

Leaving work early after I learned that my 2 pm meeting had cancelled, I went home to let out the dog and gather my gear. I arrived at 3:30 at the Ward Road trail that leads to one of many great views of the lake. The walk through the woods to get to the overlook was very peaceful and almost too quiet. No Passerines at all during the walk to a fro, so I set up my scope and started to scan the lake. Most of the ducks were too far away for any digiscoped pictures, and with limited daylight I needed to spend as little amount of time in each stop before the sun set.

The rest of the afternoon was spent driving to various spots around the lake that was accessible with the bird-mobile. Next stop Harveysburg Road followed by Caesar Creek Wildlife Area near the Visitors Center. The wildlife area is the perfect area for those grass loving birds that like to hide in the tall vegetation. Walked to a couple of small ponds that dot the area and spooked up a pair of Mallards that frightened me more than them. Caught sight of a lone Pileated Woodpecker flying along the distant tree tops and a few Song Sparrows playing hide-n-seek with me.

Last stop was the Visitors Center for some feeder birds around back of the building. Well the feeders were empty and most of the birds by then were gone except for some Cardinals and the local Gray Squirrels. I tried to digiscope a few pictures of a male Cardinal but most of them were out of focus crap. With daylight waning the time had come to head home. Leaving the Visitors Center I noticed a Red-tailed Hawk sitting awfully pretty in this tree. Performing a Bat-turn I went back and to try and get a picture before the sun set too low.

This is the closest I could get, and just as I was about to shoot another picture it flew of down the road about 200 yards and perched in another tree. Not wanting to give up just yet, I followed him. This time he flew off before I could get my gear from the truck, and just like before he only flew a short distance. So back into the truck and try to give him plenty of breathing room this time.

The Sun was really low when I took this picture as you can see how the light reflects off his breast. This is a close up of the last picture. If it looks a little out of focus is because I lost my glasses between my last stop and here. These glasses aren’t my normal reading glasses but they’re a little stronger so I can see the LED screen on the back of my camera. I had no idea where the hell they were, so after the hawk flew off for the last time I made another Bat-turn and headed back to my last stop to see if they were laying on the ground. While making my illegal turn I heard the scrap of my glasses as they slid off the hood of the truck where I just remember where I put them. Pulling off to the side of the road once again for something other than birds I started to search the road side for my glasses.

It’s not that they’re expensive and can’t be replaced. It’s numb-skull things like this that drive me crazy. I was going to blame it on the full moon for my misfortune when I looked at my truck after I walked back.

They slid, but didn’t fall. Now what’s the chances of this happening again. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Red-tailed Hawk
  2. Red-shouldered Hawk
  3. Cooper’s Hawk
  4. Canada Goose
  5. Ring-necked Duck
  6. Redhead
  7. Gadwall
  8. Common Goldeneye
  9. American Coot
  10. Mallard
  11. Ring-billed Gull
  12. Rock Pigeon
  13. Mourning Dove
  14. Tufted Titmouse
  15. Northern Cardinal
  16. White-breasted Nuthatch
  17. Downy Woodpecker
  18. Pileated Woodpecker
  19. Song Sparrow
  20. Carolina Chickadee
  21. Blue Jay
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2 responses to “Notes From The Field

  1. Nice hawk pictures- and the glasses not getting lost reminds me of the time I drove around town with a pair of hiking boots on the roof of the car (they stayed there too!)

  2. Pingback: Northern Cardinal with Babies « Creative Musings

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