Monthly Archives: March 2018

“On The Road” (For a Lifer)

Facebook has been under the microscope lately, what with all the security, and privacy issues surrounding what is probably the most visited App. on everyone’s smart phone. Myself included. A day doesn’t go by where I’m not checking any or all the 7 birding related groups I belong to. For us in the birding community rare and unusual sightings are just a few clicks away…with photos!

And when a rarity does show up and either posted on your local Listserv or Facebook, birders will flock to the bird. (No pun intended)

Case in point, Tuesday evening posting on Ohio Chase Birds page, copied from the Bobolink Area of Ohio page, of a male Cinnamon Teal at Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. Situated south of Wooster and north of Millersburg, this is an area of Ohio I’ve never visited before, but as a birder what I have heard is this area is great for birders.

Wednesday came and the Teal was still showing well and birders were able to get some great diagnostic photographs. After seeing the pictures that gnawing feeling came over me. Do I chase, or not? I totally missed this bird on my trip out west, and not knowing when I’ll ever get back, I made up my mind after conversing with Jon about it. Reports were still coming in up through the evening that the bird was still there.

So if the bird stayed through the evening, and I get an early start, there’s a good chance of getting the bird. I made up my mind to go.

According to The Birds Of Ohio, by Bruce Peterjohn, there have only been 8 other sightings of the species in Ohio, with the last one at Spring Valley in 1996. And if you look at this range map you’ll see why this is an important bird.

I figured the drive would take about 3 hours and with a couple of pit stops along the way I was pretty much on time. It was at my last pit stop when I checked Facebook one last time to see if the Teal was seen this morning. And it was.

Since there was no address to enter into my GPS, I had to follow it as far as it would take me, then I had to rely on my GPS in my phone to get me to the viewing sight.

The road dead ended at a small parking lot and a vast marsh. And just 100 yards away, following a female Blue-winged Teal, and chasing of his competition, was this magnificent, incredibly colored Cinnamon Teal

I’m only going to show this one photograph. The others were very poor in quality. Distance, poor visibility with low fog, and rain made conditions for photography difficult.

Anyway, there he is. What a bird!

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Notes From The Field

We all know that “Life” can certainly get in the way of some of our favorite past times, and I’m no exception. My first Grand Child was born and visiting with    him up in Michigan does cut into birding time. Then I was sick with Walking Pneumonia, which took several weeks to finally get over.

Our last child moved out of the house to Georgia and I had to help with that move. My wife and myself had some minor surgical procedures that cut into any birding time available. And when I did go birding it was usually up to Caesar Creek State Park to scan for ducks.

WHEW, I’m exhausted, and in  need of Spring.

So for the past week Pine Warblers have taken up residence at Mitchell Memorial Forest and with it being such a beautiful day I had to take off to check it out.

Pine Warblers are some of the first warblers that show up in the Spring. In the past I’ve had reasonable luck with locating them, but when they’re consistently in one location I’m all over it, especially since I don’t have any pictures of one.

After arriving it didn’t take long to locate one. All I had to do was listen for a song very similar to a Chipping Sparrow, but sweeter.

 Sometimes all we’re going to get is a shot like this, from below, however diagnostic of the species.

Then one of these little beauties flew in a small tree that was just beginning to flower about 20 feet away. Holy cow, how lucky can one get!