It’s over…finally! The series of events that took place today was nothing short of divine intervention from the birding gods as I had several hours to kill before an 11 o’clock appointment. And I was off to Grand Valley once again to try and pick up the Horned Grebe that escaped me yesterday. And like yesterday I’m handicapped since i don’t have a pass into Grand Valley which leaves me on the outside looking in. Trying to pick out one Horned Grebe amongst the thousands of different waterfowl from this distance will prove difficult, but today my luck was about to change. A couple of people pull up asking if I had seen anything good. Now one of the guys was driving a pick-up with an Indian Hill logo on the side. And we start to talk. His name is John and would you believe he works part time at Grand Valley on weekends. And then he asks me if I’d like to go into Grand Valley as his guest. Well, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. He let me through the gate and told me he would be back in a couple of minutes to join me after he ran a couple of errands.
Now it was during this time I started to scan the massive flock of Canadian Geese when I saw a medium, all white goose with it’s head tucked sleeping. A pair of Ross’ Geese were seen here the day before, and considering the luck I’ve had lately there was no way this could be one of them. Well after John returned we studied it further, and actually drove to a better location (he’s allowed to drive where normal folks aren’t) to get a closer view. At this point the bird was raised up and showing all the perfect field markings of a Ross’s Goose. And the cherry on the top was the Horned Grebe was still there swimming amongst a group of Pied-billed Grebes.
I now had an hour before my appointment so it was off to Kelly Nature Preserve right down the road to try and pick up a Hermit Thrush, which this place is noted for. Hermit Thrush, no problem. And to make it even better on the way out to the bird-mobile I picked up 2 Winter Wrens to make it an even 100 species and the end of the challenge. Whew!
This was a great challenge and one I’ll probably try again next year. Living in a part of Ohio that doesn’t offer up a whole lot of different species during the colder months this challenge was pretty stressful on me. You keep asking yourself what I’m doing wrong and where else can I go to find that one bird. I was always second guessing myself as the days wore on the pressure to finish successfully was always in the back of my mind.
So now let’s see what the rest of the month brings. Happy birding.
- #97-Ross’s Goose
- #98-Horned Grebe
- #99-Hermit Thrush
- #100-Winter Wren