From Donna Kuhn
The weather forecast showed rain blanketing the state of Ohio. But, we are the Avids, and the trip must go on. It was not raining in the parking lot in Worthington, where five of us met at 5:30AM. We heard an American Robin singing for our first bird of the day. It starting raining on the drive to Cleveland. I got a message that we were intrepid and crazy for birding in such weather. The forecast seemed to indicate a possible break in the rain in Cleveland so we hoped to make the most of it.
We started birding in the parking lot at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. After diligent searching, Beth found the Northern Saw-whet Owl, well concealed against a branch in an evergreen tree. Since the rain had stopped, we decided to walk the perimeter trail. Lots of passerine activity greeted us. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over. Later, a Peregrine Falcon flew low right above us. Susan found an Iceland Gull, although she’d never seen one before. There was nice variety of waterfowl, including Horned Grebes in breeding plumage, Bufflehead, Redheads, Ruddy Ducks, Scaup and Red-breasted Mergansers. Another highlight were 4 Fox Sparrows. The Saw-whet Owl was active and moving about in the pine tree near the parking lot on our return from the hike. It looked down at us, providing excellent photo opportunities. We saw 3 other birders during the hour and a half we were there.
The rain started as we returned to the cars, so we decided to skip Wendy Park (and the Great Cormorant) and head to Wayne County where the annual Shreve Migration Sensation was happening. The Barn Owl kept its appointment with us. The landowner welcomed us to his silo. It was truly an awe inspiring sight to see this heart faced owl staring down at us. We decided to make it a 3 owl day, and with help from Sue squared, found the adult Great Horned Owl and a pure white Owlet on its nest.
The only shorebirds were Killdeer and a single Greater Yellowlegs. Waterfowl were sparse. We found a few Sandhill Cranes. With the rain picking up we decided to call it a day and arrived back in Columbus at 4 PM. We managed to stay mostly dry while Central Ohio set a record with 1.9 inches of rain on our trip day. We saw 55 different species of birds. Our trip lists for 2019 are now on eBird. This list of species follows.
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl