Tag Archives: Spring Grove Cemetery

Rare Bird Alert

 

As you’ve  probably heard by now both Red and White-winged Crossbills have made an appearance at Spring Grove Cemetery. To be more precise sections 52 & 53. As of yesterday that was where they were seen, and with the abundance of various evergreen trees, and coupled with a bumper crop of cones, these birds will have more than enough to eat. So hopefully they’ll stick around for more birders to see.

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Notes From The Field/ # 326

Spring Grove Cemetery

The dictionary describes “Twitching” as to move jerkily or spasmodically. Twitching as a bird watcher means to go into pursuit of a previously located rare bird. And this can best describe what happened today.

The plans for the day was for Kathy and myself to go look at new cars, which as anyone can attest can be a pretty stressful task. Then at 11:01 am, I received a text from birding buddy John Marvin. “Spring Grove? Red Crossbills….” WHAT THE….! Life birds are becoming harder to find in this part of Southwestern Ohio. an to have a new lifer drop right into my lap, kinda, needless to say caused quite a distraction. Trying to focus on new cars was difficult, however the plan was to meet John at the cemetery as close to 4:00 pm as possible.

I pulled into the cemetery at 4:10 pm, which I thought was pretty good time. I gave John a call to ask where he was. A few moments later I was able to locate him. The birds where originally located in section 52, and that was where we ended up standing, looking into the Hemlocks and other Evergreens in section 53.

We were there no more than 5 minutes when John said that something just flew into the taller tree up at the top. and it looks kind of pink. (The taller tree in the above picture was the tree in question) The Sun was in our favor as it lite up the tree top. 2 birds, one disappeared behind, and the other stayed perched on top. The Sun really showing off the red color of the bird. We moved to the side because we had to get a better view to see if it had black wings or wings with a white stripe. Black wing. Red Crossbill. And it stayed there for several minutes as we got great looks to make sure we saw what we saw. Unfortunately in my hurry to get home and grab my gear for the long drive, I left all my digiscoping gear at home, so no picture. And it would have been a great shot to.

The remained of the time we wandered around section 52 and 53 in search of some White-winged Crossbills which were reported here as well. As the Sun get lower and lower we decided to call it quits and head home. SUCCESS!

Notes From The Field/ Spring Grove Cemetery

‘Tweren’t a fit mornin’ for man nor beast, as I pulled on my rain pants over my jeans. The conflict that was going on in my head at the time was rather or not to stay home or brave the elements. Earlier, while watching the weather radar, I couldn’t help notice all the different colors splashed across the Tri-state area. Pinks, blues, greens, and whites, a kaleidoscope of hazardous crap from the sky was awaiting me. The true test was going to be taking my gear out to the truck. If I fell on the steps and bust my ass, I stay home. If not, I go.

It’s only 30 miles down to Spring Grove Cemetery, but in the drive I certainly ran into a mixed bag of water in various, solidified forms. However the drive was uneventful, and I arrived in one piece.

This is only the second time I’ve been to Spring Grove, the first being the spring when the Night Herons were on the nest. This time the weather kept a lot of people away, with only 2 other persons showing up. Steve Bobonick was the trip leader with David Helm as the other birder with us.

One of the target birds for the day was a Merlin that has been a regular at the cemetery. And sure enough we found him over near section 143.

Trust me when I tell you that small bird shape in the tree is the Merlin. It’s a good thing that Steve brought his spotting scope.

After this we went to a small wooded lot located in the center of the cemetery. The weather at this point taken a down turn with sleet coming down.

David and Steve in the wood lot.

Even in the Winter, the trail through the wood lot was easy to follow. With the sleet and rain and the constant crunching of the snow under foot, it was difficult to hear even the smallest of bird calls.

Some of the fungus among us.

After leaving the wood lot, we continued to walk a little and drive a little. With over 100 miles of roads in this place, driving was a must, especially on a day like today. The problem was keeping the optics from fogging up as you got into the car. You’d have to turn the heat up on the vent, and hold your binos in front to de-fog.

Birds were rather sparse except for the Robins. Which were everywhere.

One of the many small buildings that are spread throughout Spring Grove. This is the area where we ran into several Red-breasted Nuthatches.

A view out over the cemetery from one of the higher points. The yellow line painted on the road helps so you won’t get lost. Unfortunately not every road had lines at all, which lead me to get turned around quite a bit. You definitely need a map to navigate this place.

Ice encased Evergreen

Rhododendron-cicle

It’s nice to see a little bit of green, even if it’s ice bound.

Though the birds weren’t cooperating today, it was a grand time. This place has so much potential for some great birding, I’ll have to visit here again this coming Spring. I’m always looking for some hot spots for the warbler migration. After I was dropped off by the bird-mobile after 2 solid hours of birding, I took a few more pictures of some of the detail work on the chapel.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Common Crow
  2. American Robin
  3. Blue Jay
  4. Red-tailed Hawk
  5. Carolina Chickadee
  6. Canada Goose
  7. Mute Swan
  8. Mallard
  9. Northern Cardinal
  10. Merlin
  11. Mourning Dove
  12. Northern Mockingbird
  13. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  14. Cooper’s Hawk
  15. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  16. White-breasted Nuthatch
  17. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  18. Cedar Waxwing
  19. Tufted Titmouse
  20. House Finch