Sunday, November 29, 2009

Birding at East Fork

I spent the morning birding the south side of East Fork Lake today with the Cincinnati Bird Club. Lots of the usual people were there, and a couple of new faces, too.

trekking down to the lake

We started at the lake, looking for waterfowl and gulls. Bob, our trip leader, was hoping for a 3 gull day, but was anticipating Ring-billed, Herring, and Boneparte's Gulls. Imagine our surprise when the third species of the day turned out to be a rare Franklin's Gull instead of the more likely Boneparte's.

scanning the gull flock for rarities
Two of these things are not like the other,
two of these things don't belong.

Mary Ann, you can see better
if you look through the scope!

A planned walk along the "turkey trail," our favorite sparrow haunt, was abandoned when we discovered recent bush hogging had cleared the weedy field, but representatives of the four expected sparrow species - Song, Field, Swamp, and White-throated - were found in smaller patches across the road. This spot was lucky though, for a tree full of Eastern Bluebirds,

and a cooperative American Crow.

I saw 8 deer during the course of the morning. Here's is one of the does:
and this is the only buck. I wonder if they know that gun season starts tomorrow?
We had a decent trip list - I got 41 species, including 6 of the 7 expected woodpeckers, and at least two people on the trip had Life Birds (Black Vulture for one woman, Red-headed Woodpecker for another man.) A six-woodpecker day is reason for celebration in my book, even if the Pileated was "heard only." The only woodpecker I missed was the winter visitor, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Canada Goose
Lesser Scaup
Ring-necked Duck
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Franklin's Gull
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker (several!)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow

Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Brown Creeper
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird (lots!)
European Starling
Northern Cardinal
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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