Notes From The Field

Caesar Creek State Park/ Spring Valley Wildlife Area

With this strong  weather front that just went through producing heavy rains and winds out of the Northwest, the time was prime for a fallout of birds. I didn’t want to drive too far to get to the birds, and since I’ve not been to Caesar Creek in a while I thought I’d give it a shot. My first stop was to be the beach just in case something dropped in overnight. And once again the beach lives up to be one of my biggest disappointments. I left after 20 minutes and the usual crowd of Ring-billed Gulls.

My next stop was to be Mounds Road to check on the mudflats and try once again to get a photo of a Osprey. And once again the only Osprey was the one I saw flying. And for shorebirds. What shorebirds, except for a few Spotted Sandpipers, Great Egrets, and some Killdeers, this was another let down. However things started to look up as I walked back to the truck as I spotted my first warbler of the day. A female American Redstart.

It was about this time that I heard another vehicle pull  and the door close. I hurried along back only to see it was my friend Rick Asamoto out for a day of birding as well. We talked for a few minutes and told him not to bother looking for birds here. We then decided to hook up and head over to Spring Valley and walk the bike trail to see how the warblers were over there.

Warblers were tough yesterday, however we did have some luck with Vireos. 3 of our most common species, Warbling, Red-eyed, and White-eyed. Hummingbirds were the most fun to watch as we came upon a patch of some blooming weed the Rick knew the name of, and the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds we either feeding or chasing each other around. At times they would fly within a couple a feet of us.

We ended the trip with a walk on the boardwalk to the observation tower. Cattails stretched out on both sides as we slowly made our way. The highlight was catching a good look at a Marsh Wren as it moved within the thick reeds. We homed in on it’s “chip” note to find him and to locate a second. The surprise of the day was the lack of both Canadian Geese and Red-winged Blackbirds. There were a few Red-winged Blackbirds around but not in the numbers that I’m accustomed to. However we saw no geese at all. That’s birding for you.

It had been a full day, and I was getting tired so we packed it in around 3:00 pm. Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Black Vulture
  2. Turkey Vulture
  3. Common Crow
  4. Osprey
  5. Red-shouoldered Hawk
  6. Red-tailed Hawk
  7. Norther Harrier
  8. Cooper’s Hawk
  9. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  10. Barn Swallow
  11. Mourning Dove
  12. Ring-billed Gull
  13. Killdeer
  14. Spotted Sandpiper
  15. Great Egret
  16. Great Blue Heron
  17. Belted Kingfisher
  18. Blue Jay
  19. Double-crested Cormorant
  20. American Redstart
  21. Balck-throated Green warbler
  22. Northern Parula
  23. Warbling Vireo
  24. White-eyed Vireo
  25. Red-eyed Vireo
  26. Northern Cardinal
  27. Tufted Titmouse
  28. Carolina Chickadee
  29. Carolina Wren
  30. Marsh Wren
  31. White-breasted Nuthatch
  32. Gray catbird
  33. Sora
  34. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  35. Downy Woodpecker
  36. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  37. Eastern Wood Pewee
  38. Eastern Pheobe
  39. Great-crested Flycatcher
  40. Willow Flycatcher
  41. Olive-sided Flycatcher ?
  42. Sora
  43. Song Sparrow
  44. American Goldfinch
  45. Red-winged Blackbird
  46. Chimney Swift
  47. Cedar waxwing
  48. Brown Thrasher
  49. Northern Flicker
  50. Rock Dove
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