Snow Bunting by Lisa Phelps

We started off on an unusually warm day for February with temperatures in the 30s.  Our drive to The Plaza Chapel Hill in Summit county was uneventful, despite snow flurries. The weather improved and the precipitation stopped. Both the  Fish and American Crow were reluctant to vocalize, so it took us about an hour to locate an obvious Fish Crow by voice.

Fairport Nursery road had more birds including a Cooper’s Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk. We located at least one Snow Bunting. The black, white and brown bird was continually flushed from the edge of the road by oncoming traffic, often flying right in front of the approaching vehicle. We were able to clearly see the distinctive white flashes in flight. A Northern Shrike was perched high in a bare tree, showing its unmistakable black mask. Two Common Ravens flew in for close looks at their wedge shaped tails and large bills.

We stopped at Fairport Harbor where were observed many Great Black-backed Gulls among the abundant Ring-billed Gulls. The only ducks were Common and Red-breasted Mergansers.

Wild Turkey by Lisa Phelps
Wild Turkey by Lisa Phelps

Our next stop was Sim’s park where we saw Common Goldeneyes and a couple Black Scoters. We stopped to watch a young tom Turkey in the front lawn of a home on Grayton road next to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. It was vocalizing and displaying for us on the snow covered lawn. We saw a Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel at the airport.

Rough-legged Hawk by Lisa Phelps
Rough-legged Hawk by Lisa Phelps

On the way to Funk Wildlife area, we spotted a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk. We were able to stop to observe this perched bird’s dark chest, and then it flew, revealing the classic black with white edged underside flight markings.

We spotted Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Herons on Wilderness road, along with Tundra Swans, Gadwall and a Green-winged Teal. At dusk we watched Northern Harriers flying with Short-eared Owls.

We finished the day with 42 species.

Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Black Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Wild Turkey
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Blue Heron
Northern Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Short-eared Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Northern Shrike
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
crow sp.
Common Raven
White-breasted Nuthatch
European Starling
American Robin
House Sparrow
Snow Bunting
American Tree Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Common Grackle
Northern Cardinal