Daily Archives: August 6, 2012

Notes From The Field

Lever Park, Loveland

Here’s a little something to wet your appetite, a beautiful bird. More to come!

Notes From The Field

Lever Park, Symmes Township Park, & Home of the Brave Park

Today is one of those days that I wish I could be in multiple places at the same time. First we have a Hudsonian Godwit over at Brookville Lake, a lifer for me. And we have an American Avocet at Caesar Creek beach. And if that wasn’t enough a Mississippi Kite practically in my own backyard. All on the same day! WOW!

I chose to chase the Kite since it’s the closet to where I live, and the less time I spend driving gives me more time birding. The photo of the 3 Kites were taken while they roosted near Lever park. So that’s where I was heading first. No luck. I ran into another birder who was there for 30 minutes and no sighting. So I thought to myself why not drive over to Symmes park and have a look. It’s a larger park with more sky to look at. I walked into the middle of a baseball field and it was no more than a couple of minutes when I saw the adult Kite. I followed it for several minutes as it soared overhead on thermals, then drifted towards the West. So I jumped into my truck and drove across the street to the Home of the Brave Park, which was owned by Rozzi’s fireworks for a long time. I was able to re-located the Kite overhead with great views.

As it flew out of view once again, I jumped back into my truck to go back to Lever park to see if it showed up there. That’s when I meet up with Joe Kappa, who was there for the same reason. I told him that I just saw it over at the other park, he suggested we head over. After about 20 minutes we were able to spot it once again flying overhead. It landed of a moment on a cell phone tower which proved not long enough to get a picture. It only pissed off all the other smaller birds sitting on the tower.

I only wished that it would have landed so i could have taken a picture. However I felt good for Joe because this was a lifer for him. The fact that one of them is a juvenile and the other 2 are adults we can only hope that we have a return breeding pair year after year. No more traveling to Hide-A-Way Hills for your fix of Mississippi Kites, Ohio Style.

Notes From The Field

Caesar Creek State Park

With some of my new found post-processing knowledge on some of my better digital pictures, I wanted to go out into the field again and do some birding and digiscoping on Friday afternoon. It was an exceedingly light day at work, so getting off early wasn’t a problem as I headed home after lunch to gather my gear and drive to the lake. I was hoping the 2 Ospreys were still there as well as the Little Blue Heron.

I parked in the Mound Road access lot and walked the 100yards or so back towards the lake and the mudflats. I’ve learned from past experiences that you really need to sneak up when you approach this area. Keeping your movements slow while keeping trees between yourself and the birds will help as the lake unfolds before you. The first place I looked was in the area of where the Osprey nest is located in hopes of catching them there or in a nearby tree. I was able to locate on perched in a tree, however as soon as i got my scope on the birds it flew off never to return and light. But we did have a new addition from when I was here last. Another Little Blue Heron.

Getting a picture of the 2 together took some patience. They were separated for the most part till they passed each other while feeding, then I would snap off a few pictures. Ohio has had a proliferation of Little Blue Herons reported from all over the state, and in the Southwestern portion it’s no different. While it is uncommon in the Northern half of the state, let’s say from Columbus Northward, we tend to get a few more and they’re a little  more common.

2 Green Herons caught my attention out of the corner of my eye as they lighted on a large pile of branches that chokes the far end where a small stream flows into the lake. It was sitting out in the open filling up the screen on my camera when it flew off into a tree, where it hopped from branch to branch. It finally hold still long enough for me to get a few pictures.

I drove next over to the boat ramp that offers a different perspective of the mudflats from where it exits into the lake. I was also hoping that the Osprey would return if they knew I wasn’t there. When I pulled into the boat ramp area and parked I saw one calling and flying overhead with a fish in it’s talons. It never did land, an eventually flew off. The lake is very shallow despite it’s appearance, as Great Blue Herons waded further and further out.

Great Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

In this picture you can see how this juvenile is starting to change into the deep blue color that identifies this species. Look at how the tail is turning blue down by the legs.

It was a Heron kind of day with 3 species seen. All in all it was a nice afternoon, unfortunately when I returned home was when I found out of my friends passing.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Green Heron
  2. Great Blue Heron
  3. Little Blue Heron
  4. Belted Kingfisher
  5. Common Crow
  6. Solitary Sandpiper
  7. Pectoral Sandpiper
  8. Spotted Sandpiper
  9. Least Sandpiper
  10. Killdeer
  11. Caspian Tern
  12. Ring-billed Gull
  13. Osprey
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Black Vulture
  16. Double-breasted Cormorant
  17. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  18. Blue Jay
  19. House Wren