Category Archives: Rare Bird Alert

Rare Bird Alert


Brian Wulker reported a lone Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the rear pond prior to Lost Bridge. Wilderness Road in Stark has been host to loads of these birds the past several days and it seems it’s our turn for a few of these beautiful birds here in the southwest corner of the state.

Rare Bird Alert

The Chase

As Fall migration continues on with some outstanding birds reported all over the State of Ohio, as usual us birders in the Southwest corner have to rely on traveling to scope out the better birds. We have a high concentration of birders in the Tri-state area, who know how to use social media with great efficiency. If something unusual is sighted, it’s out on the World Wide Web pretty quickly. So it came as a surprise when I read that a Red-necked Phalarope has been seen on Mirror Lake in Eden Park since Wednesday. WEDNESDAY!

Here’s a photo of Mirror Lake with the Spring House Gazebo. The 186 acre tact of land was purchased from Nicolas Longworth in 1869, which he used as a vineyard. Underneath Mirror Lake is a reservoir, and the top is a concrete lined shallow pond. During the winter when it freezes over people will use it for ice skating. Paved sidewalks all over the park make especially popular with dog walkers and joggers. Which explains why the Phalarope was so approachable.

A park employee noticed the bird a day or so ago from comments made by joggers who observed it during their daily run. So the park employee called a prominent birder in the city. And with that call the whole chain reaction help boost this bird to being our own celebrity.

A pretty small wader at only 7.8″, the Red-necked Phalarope breeds throughout all of the far northern reaches of North America. From Alaska towards Hudson Bay and points Eastward. And on a very rare occasion they will show up in our neck of the woods, as the below photo will attest to.

IMG_1665On August 8th, of 2012 I drove to Lost Bridge to digiscope this Red-necked Phalarope. A life bird for me at the time, this heavily cropped photo is enough to provide a positive ID, and that’s about it.

So yesterday morning while reading Cincinnati Birders facebook page, the sighting reported by birding friend Kathi Hutton that the bird was still there at 0730 was all I needed to get that “twitch” going. So last minutes changes in my plans for the day gave me several hours to drive to the city and find the bird.

Which really wasn’t too difficult considering the crowd of birders and photographers it drew. And considering how approachable the bird was, very photogenic.

IMG_1221I left a little bit of the concrete retaining wall for Mirror Lake in the photo to show how close we were able to get to the bird.

IMG_1279The reason it was so close to the wall. It was feeding as this photo shows.



IMG_1252For me, this was the money photo. I only wish there was a little more sunshine.

One of the concerns of the group of birders present was the condition of the bird. The bird was able to fly as I was able to witness. However later in the day the thread of Facebook was a birder noticed one of it’s legs was dangling behind as it flew. Now my hope is that it will recuperate while here, then fly away for the Winter.

Snowy Owls

If you haven’t heard by now we are be invaded from the North Country. No Canada hasn’t declared was on the United States, however a huge influx of Snowy Owls are definitely making their presence known. Even our very own Ohio Listserv is a buzz with countless sightings from the shores of Lake Erie (where 8 were observed in one day) to all the way down in my neck of the woods.

I could go on and on about these marvelous birds, but what I think I’ll do is add a hyperlink to this post which will take you to a recent article from eBird concerning the Snowies. So remember if you see one, keep your distance and don’t forget to post your sighting.

“eBird article click here”

Rare Bird Alert

415px-66_Ivory-billed_WoodpeckerGranted this part of Ohio doesn’t seem to be getting an exciting variety of rarities as they seem to be getting along Lake Erie, however we’ve had not one but two confirmed sightings and subsequent banding of 2 female Rufus Hummingbirds.

Bill Stanley who was the lucky one last year to have one come to his feeder in through December, he has one of the two this year. And a totally different bird as well. What are the chances of that happening? Anyway a very cool.

Rare Bird Alert


Once again we have another rare bird make it to East Fork State Park’s south beach area, and this time it’s a Red-necked Grebe. At first we heard from a birder who claims of an Eared Grebe seen from south beach, however this was an unconfirmed sighting. Now we have coming from the same area, and from a reliable area birder of a Red-necked Grebe. And by his description he’s correct. Last January I reported on a Red-necked Grebe at Hidden Valley Lake in Indiana during my 100 Species In January Challenge. So these do birds do make it into this area.

Rare Bird Alert


3 Purple Sandpipers were seen today at 3:30 pm at South Beach at East Fork State Park. This would be a lifer for me if only they would sticks around till tomorrow evening.