From Donna Kuhn: We had another very successful day birding in north eastern Ohio. Temperatures were in the 30s when we arrived at the Chapel Hill Mall in
Summit County. We heard Fish Crows almost immediately. We spent some time singling out the essentially identical Fish Crow and American Crow. One juvenile Fish Crow showed the pink gape and several demonstrated their distinctive call as they foraged in the parking lot.
After coffee, breakfast and restrooms we headed for Mentor Lagoons where we were able to see Ohio’s first record Tropical Kingbird. It was difficult to watch this bird; it has lost the use of its feet, possibly due to frostbite.
Reports of Purple Sandpipers lured us to the 9th Street Pier and we were not disappointed. We were able to see the orange legs on these birds as they foraged on the distant break walls, with our scopes. It was sunny this time, but not warm. We then headed to Sims Park and quickly found
eye and hundreds of Red-breasted Mergansers. Some Amish birders saw a Black-legged Kittiwake just before our arrival, but it did not reappear. The wind was cold and brisk and after an hour or so we headed for lunch inside a warm Wendy’s, where the service was anything but fast.
We decided to head back to Columbus with a stop for the Pacific Loon seen the day before at the Cheshire Boat Ramp at Alum Creek State Park. A Red-throated Loon was photographed right before we arrived and the photographer was on the other side of Alum. We saw a light colored loon, that was smaller than the Common Loon it swam in front of and, another possibly smaller loon. Darkness was approaching and distinguishing field marks was impossible. So we returned to Worthington Mall after a 12 hour day in the field and 45 different species.
47 Species for the day:
Great Blue Heron
Red shouldered Hawk