Notes From The Field

Miami Cemetery & Caesar Creek S.P.

As the Thanksgiving Holiday comes to a close I hope that all my readers had a special day with their friends and family. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be stressful for everyone, and as we all know one of my favorite de-stresser pastimes is do a little birding. But first we have to get through the holiday with the out of town visitors, hosting the feast, venturing out on Black Friday not once, but twice. Finally purchasing a new bird mobile, which can be as stressful as hosting the feast. So my 4 day weekend was a blur of activity geared towards the hyperactive individual, not one in his late 50’s.

In need of a birding distraction my plans were to keep it kind of short and local, because there was a nap coming on. Some local buzz lately was that there has been some recent sightings of White-winged Crossbills at Miami Cemetery just outside of Waynesville Ohio.

Just across the Little Miami River from Waynesville sits the sleepy little hamlet of Corwin. In the heart of the town, atop a hill that overlooks the Little Miami valley is Miami Cemetery. A nice size cemetery with a good selection of Evergreens and Hemlocks. As a matter of fact I was surprised at how many and the large size of the Hemlocks. And boy were they loaded with cones. And being such, one would think that finding some Crossbills would be easy. No not today, however the potential is definitely there.

The wind was picking up and it seemed that the birds were hunkered down as I drove from one spot to another, get out of the new bird mobile, wander around and cover all the Hemlocks and Evergreens for as long as I could stand it. Timing is everything when it comes to birding I feel, and the time of day I was here just wasn’t right for birding. But there’s always next time.

Leaving the cemetery I followed the road I came in on which dead ends into Rt. 73. My plan was to stop at Harveysburg Road and check the lake for some duck activity. However at the intersection of Corwin and Rt. 73, perched on a electrical wire trying to balance in the gusty wind was an American Kestrel. With the population in rapid decline I always take notice of Kestrels as I drive country roads while I’m out. And this particular one was sitting pretty good, and with the sun towards my back I thought why not pull over an try to digiscope the bird.

One thing I’ve noticed when trying to take a picture of any kind of Hawk or Falcon is that they know what your doing at all times, and they’ll only sit still just long enough for you to get your gear set up, then they’ll fly to another perch. Laughing at you. Being at the top of the food chain in the avian world has it’s perks, and annoying photographers like myself brings pleasure to them in a sadistic kind of way, even though they don’t show it.

Leaving my Kestrel friend I made my way to Harveysburg Road and checked out the lake. And without fail it seems the last few times I’ve been here it’s been winding and the lake is real choppy. Common Loons have increased in numbers and they were scattered all over the lake. A few small rafts of Redheads, Mallards, Ruddy Ducks and a few Buffleheads were all that could be seen from my vantage point.

So now with one holiday over and another looming on the horizon, attempts to get out more, especially during the week will become a priority. My knee hasn’t improved enough to please my doctor, so the time has come to have my knee scoped to see what’s going on. This little procedure will undoubtedly have me laid  up for a few weeks, which will cut into my birding. But I’m tired of the pain so lets get it done.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Red-tailed Hawk
  2. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  3. Yellow-bellied sapsucker
  4. Carolina Chickadee
  5. Blue jay
  6. White-breasted Nuthatch
  7. American Robin
  8. American Goldfinch
  9. Yellow-rumped warbler
  10. House Finch
  11. Eastern Blue Bird
  12. Dark-eyed Junco
  13. Northern Mockingbird
  14. Chipping Sparrow
  15. Common Loon
  16. Mallard
  17. Redhead
  18. Buflehead
  19. Ruddy Duck
  20. Black Duck
  21. Black Vulture
  22. American Kestrel
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2 responses to “Notes From The Field

  1. I completely agree with you about the hawks. As soon as they realize they’re being watched, off they go.

    I did, however, get a great shot of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk this past summer by staying in the car and driving right up beside the post he was perched on. I only got three pictures before he flew off, but I was happy to fool him long enough to get those photos! Now, if only I could repeat that experience with all the other hawks I don’t have great pictures of….!

  2. Kestrels can be particularly hard to photograph, I know how that goes!

    Good luck with the knee, I sprained my ankle by stepping in a hidden hole while birding a week ago and am still not back in ‘hiking shape’ yet. Never fun to be laid up.

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