Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winter just won't let go!

I think the groundhog, woodcocks, and spring peepers have all lied.  As I write this post, it certainly doesn't feel like Spring (25° F).  (Tonight is supposed to threaten a 120 year old record for this area with lows in the mid teens!)  One day the weather will be nice and season like, the next we have snow.  On one of those colder, snowy days earlier this month, I encountered something that I have never encountered before.  I originally spotted a Hermit Thrush on the side of the road while birding East Fork north shore recently.

I saw one fly over my head and then I spotted another, and another.  Rufous on the rump/tail confirms Hermit.

Hermit Thrush

I stopped and got out and walked around the nearby woods only to discover a flock of at least four Hermit Thrushes.  This is the most I have seen at one time.

Hermit Thrush

East Fork has been kinda quite for me recently, so I have been venturing to other close locales to see what I can find.  On one of the warmer days, I headed down to the Ohio River and checked out Medahl Dam.  There were some far away ducks that I could not ID on the Kentucky side of the river.  I spotted an American Kestrel in the nearby field.  I looked up only to see a high up raptor.  It was very high up.

High up Peregrine

Peregrine Falcon, a bird I don't see often, but is almost regular at this location.  I have a feeling they are nesting here.  The bird flew right over my head, but very high.  It disappeared as fast as it appeared.

Peregrine Falcon

After here, I stopped by Crooked Run Nature Preserve in Chilo, Ohio.  Saw a few Wood Ducks, but not much else.  I did hear a Rusty Blackbird.

I looked all around to see if I could find the rusty.  I finally saw it fly up and land in the top of a tree very close by.  I love the sound of Rusty Blackbirds.  Here is a link to a short video I shot of the rusty singing.  It is hard to hear with the stubborn south winds blowing.

The bird then dropped down to eye level and just sat perched in front of me.  The males are such nice looking birds.

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

I like this next shot.  In the picture below, you can see the nictating membrane.  It makes the bird look cool.

Rusty Blackbird

Spring is definitely on the minds of the birds.  One of my favorite things to watch is the handsome male ducks trying to win over the females.  One of my favorite ducks is the Northern Shoveler.  I can never get close enough to them to get a good shot of one.  Here is some flying in from high above Indian Creek Wildlife Area yesterday.

Far away Northern Shovelers

But I was able to get rather close to a lonesome but handsome male Lesser Scaup.  

Male Lesser Scaup

And, on a backroads pond, I came across a male Ring-necked Duck trying to impress the ladies.  They were vocalizing to him.  

Ring-necked Ducks

Even though the birds are still acting like it is Spring, I am ready for the warm temps and the migrants to return!

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure! How great to see the Peregrine! The Rusty and the scaup are nice finds too!