Avids search for Sparrow

Avids search for SparrowThe Central Ohio Avid Birders started their all-day adventure from the usual Worthington Mall parking lot before dawn and headed to Wake Robin, which is part of Mentor Marsh State Park. The boardwalk is generally regarded as the best place in Ohio to see Ammodramus sparrows, such as the Nelson’s and LeConte’s. One lucky member of our group spotted one Nelson’s Sparrow. Although we talked to a birder who saw a LeConte’s Sparrow two days before, the sparrows eluded us and the other birders looking for them Saturday. We did get to see two Sharp-shinned Hawks flying across, as well as a Cooper’s Hawk being harassed by five American Crows. The trees held Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Scarlet Tanager. Swamp Sparrows were abundant. A dead Hermit Thrush was impaled on the fence – the bird was sliced by the wire fence. Windows aren’t the only man made hazard migrating birds face.

Avids Find Swamp SparrowOur next stop was the beach at Headlands Beach State Park. We saw a Bald Eagle perched in a tree about 30 feet from the road as we drove into the park. Usually this is a cold, windy winter stop, so we enjoyed the sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s for our walk on the beach and along the breakwalls. The breakwalls were loaded with Double-crested Cormorants and Ring-billed Gulls. We saw more Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers, as well as Blackpoll, Palm, and Orange-crowned Warblers in the trees as we walked towards the lake. We listened to a Catbird while eating our lunches at a picnic table in the park.

Still hoping to find the elusive LeConte’s Sparrow, we headed for the historic Richfield Coliseum site, which is now part of Cuyahoga Valley National park. We spread out and fanned across the grasslands, but flushed only a few birds, including an Eastern Meadowlark, as well as Song Sparrows and Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers.

White Rumped SandpiperReports of large numbers of White-rumped Sandpipers attracted us to Shreve Fishing Pond, across from Killbuck Marsh. Here were observed 70 White-rumped Sandpipers, the predominant bird. None of us had ever seen this many of this species, but they are being seen in large numbers across Ohio this fall. We saw a couple Dunlin, both Yellowlegs, Pectoral and Least Sandpipers and a few Semipalmated Plovers. We then drove through the Funk area, adding Green-winged Teal and Sandhill Cranes to our list.

We had a great day birding with great people and enjoyed lovely fall weather as we observed the leaves beginning to turn. We were back in Worthington before sunset.

Check out the photo album from the trip by Lisa Phelps!

Here’s our list of 66 species for the day, a nice number for October:

Canada Goose
Green Winged Teal
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Turkey Vulture
Red Tailed Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Dunlin
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Red- eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
European Starling
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Grey Catbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Blackpoll
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Phoebe
Nelson’s Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow