Tag Archives: Mississippi Kite

Notes From The Field

Lever Park, Caesar Creek & Cowan Lake State Park

There are certain unwritten rules that state that men don’t attend bridal showers. Such was the case this last Saturday when our house was the location for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. And how convenient it was that the Ohio Ornithological Society was hosting “Kite Day” at Lever Park in Loveland the same day. As for me the choice was simple as to what I was doing for the day, however my 2 sons were on their own. The only males left in the house were the cat and dog, and the cat hide and the dog was smart and stayed outdoors for the duration.

I left for Lever Park earlier than the time the official event was to start in hopes of catching them roosting. Their were a number of people there already, mostly locals, and of course the Mississippi Kites. The weather was perfect, with blue sky and the sun behind our backs so the Kites were being bathed in bright, morning light.

As shutters were flying on cameras, and the crowd started to pick up in numbers the Kites shifted to offer better views.

I wish I could put all the pictures I took on this blog, however since space is limited, and i have so many more posts to write till the end of the year, I’m just going to stick with these 3.

As the morning wore on the Kites grew restless and took off, never to return to their perch. I stayed for a few minutes talking to some folks and scanning the sky for the Kites. The chatter of a Carolina Wren singing from the post of a deck drew my attention and my camera.

My next stop was Mounds Road access to Caesar Creek. This is my third attempt to photograph the Osprey that has been hanging out in this backwater area. I was being extra careful not to make any noise that would spook the Osprey if it was there. Well I spooked it again, as I watched it fly away never to return.

The mud flats were pretty quiet with not as much activity except for a man and woman wading in the lake with the water up to their chests. No wonder there was hardly any bird activity with these 2 chasing everything off.  The Little Blue Herons left, and only one Great Blue Heron, which is pretty unusual. I guess they don’t like humans intruding in on their feeding grounds.

So I left.

My next stop was a backwater section of Cowan Lake which you can get a pretty good view from the Lotus Grove Nature Trail. A nice walk through the woods will do a world of good for anyone, especially me after seeing those people wading out into Caesar Creek Lake.

It took only about 20 minutes to get to the lake and to look over a sea of Lotus plants choking the whole end of the  lake. A small channel was open for small boats, and with the trees no good views were offered. I was able to PISH out a Swamp Sparrow that looked at me with annoyance before settling back down into the cattails and reeds that extended along the bank of the lake.

Time to hike out and leave. I wanted to get home and at least visit with some of my relatives who came down from Columbus for the shower.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Mississippi Kite
  2. Osprey
  3. Great Blue Heron
  4. Green Heron
  5. Belted Kingfisher
  6. Pectoral Sandpiper
  7. Spotted Sandpiper
  8. Least Sandpiper
  9. Solitary Sandpiper
  10. Killdeer
  11. Song Sparrow
  12. Swamp Sparrow
  13. Indigo Bunting
  14. Gray catbird
  15. Eastern Towhee
  16. Downy Woodpecker
  17. Northern Cardinal
  18. Tufted Titmouse
  19. Carolina Chickadee
  20. Carolina wren
  21. Turkey Vulture
  22. Common Crow
  23. White-breasted Nuthatch
  24. Blue Jay

Notes From The field, part 2

Lever Park

After successfully spotting the Mississippi Kite soaring on the thermals over Loveland yesterday, I felt pretty content with myself, despite the fact I didn’t get a pictures. So I left and went home and had some dinner with the boys. Following dinner and clean-up I checked the Cincinnatibirds web site to see if anything else was said about the Kites. Well it seems that all 3 landed in a tree right next to Lever Park offering great views. Joe Kappa wrote “Who needs a scope”. Well that says to me that their pretty close, and I’m burning daylight if I’m to get any pictures.

Well I took over 40 pictures (I love this part of digital photography) amongst a sizable group of  prepubescent boys and girls who were rather put out by a group of birders invading there skate board area. Actually we were on the grass right next to them, not on the skate board play ground. Brain Wulker said to the group gathered that he had never birded in a skate board park before. Well, neither had I till last night. But the results were spectacular.

Notes From The Field

Lever Park, Loveland

Here’s a little something to wet your appetite, a beautiful bird. More to come!

Notes From The Field

Lever Park, Symmes Township Park, & Home of the Brave Park

Today is one of those days that I wish I could be in multiple places at the same time. First we have a Hudsonian Godwit over at Brookville Lake, a lifer for me. And we have an American Avocet at Caesar Creek beach. And if that wasn’t enough a Mississippi Kite practically in my own backyard. All on the same day! WOW!

I chose to chase the Kite since it’s the closet to where I live, and the less time I spend driving gives me more time birding. The photo of the 3 Kites were taken while they roosted near Lever park. So that’s where I was heading first. No luck. I ran into another birder who was there for 30 minutes and no sighting. So I thought to myself why not drive over to Symmes park and have a look. It’s a larger park with more sky to look at. I walked into the middle of a baseball field and it was no more than a couple of minutes when I saw the adult Kite. I followed it for several minutes as it soared overhead on thermals, then drifted towards the West. So I jumped into my truck and drove across the street to the Home of the Brave Park, which was owned by Rozzi’s fireworks for a long time. I was able to re-located the Kite overhead with great views.

As it flew out of view once again, I jumped back into my truck to go back to Lever park to see if it showed up there. That’s when I meet up with Joe Kappa, who was there for the same reason. I told him that I just saw it over at the other park, he suggested we head over. After about 20 minutes we were able to spot it once again flying overhead. It landed of a moment on a cell phone tower which proved not long enough to get a picture. It only pissed off all the other smaller birds sitting on the tower.

I only wished that it would have landed so i could have taken a picture. However I felt good for Joe because this was a lifer for him. The fact that one of them is a juvenile and the other 2 are adults we can only hope that we have a return breeding pair year after year. No more traveling to Hide-A-Way Hills for your fix of Mississippi Kites, Ohio Style.