A New Year Vagrant and Winter Birding: 12 January 2019
From Donna Kuhn
Due to the shorter daylight, we started later than usual, 6 AM, meeting at the traditional Worthington Mall. Snow was predicted to start in the morning in Columbus, but not until evening in Cleveland. So, we headed north, stopping at the McDonald-s and Der Dutchman before going to the Mohican State Park, where a continuing group of Evening Grosbeaks did not disappoint. We saw one stunning male with several females. We also saw Pine Siskins, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches and other feeder birds. We hated to leave the Grosbeaks, but we had miles to drive and birds to see.
We proceeded to Lake Erie Bluffs Metro Park, walked out along the gravel path by the railroad tracks off Lane road, and were rewarded with a Common Raven flying over toward the landfill. We observed a kiting Kestrel and the ubiquitous Rock Pigeons.
A report of a Harris’s Sparrow sent us scurrying off in what turned out to be a futile chase. The bird never reappeared for us or for other birders. We were entertained by a Belted Kingfisher calling and flying very close to us.
Lake View Cemetery had been hosting a Varied Thrush, and positive reports made that our next stop. We found the bird, a lifer for a couple of Avid birders. We made a stop at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve to look for Northern Saw-whet Owls, but we were unable to find them.
We stopped at Wendy Park, where Jen Brumfield was spotted scoping the thousands of gulls. We were able to pick out a couple Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a few dozen Great Black-backed Gulls among the hordes of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. We left as the snowstorm was starting to darken the skies. Snow was falling by the time we drove though the Cleveland suburbs. The storm intensified with decreased visibility and snow covered roads made for a long drive.
Special thanks to our drivers for getting us safely home!
36 Species for the day:
Canada Goose Mallard Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove American Coot Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Great Black-backed Gull Double-crested Cormorant Cooper’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Belted Kingfisher Red-bellied Woodpecker Northern Flicker American Kestrel Blue Jay American Crow Common Raven Carolina Chickadee Black-capped Chickadee Tufted Titmouse Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch Varied Thrush American Robin European Starling Evening Grosbeak Pine Siskin American Goldfinch American Tree Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco White-throated Sparrow Brown-headed Cowbird Northern Cardinal House Sparrow