Despite cold weather, the seven participants on the Columbus Audubon trip to Pickerington Ponds Metro Park were treated to 39 species over the course of the morning.
Below freezing temperatures made for very little open water for waterfowl numbers, but the diversity was still there. A small section of one pond — visible from the Wood Duck picnic area — provided scope views of Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, and a single Coyote walking through the field beside the observation platform.
As we walked towards the Pintail Marsh, we were treated to great views of a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, a lone American Kestrel, as well as a large group of noisy American Tree Sparrows. Pintail marsh, which was also frozen, provided more species diversity in the woods surrounding the observation platform. 6 Eastern Bluebirds and a very friendly Downy Woodpecker provided great looks as Song, Swamp, and White-throated Sparrows popped up from the grasses. Upon returning to the parking lot, one more quick check of the original viewing platform from Wood Duck picnic area allowed for great views of 6 Sandhill Cranes hunting in the field.
Here’s a list of all species seen on this trip:
|2||American Black Duck|
|2||Great Blue Heron|
|40||American Tree Sparrow (Conservative, Large flocks frequently flushed)|