Yesterday, with our son in town for a visit, we decided to take advantage of his good eyes and go birding. He was more than happy to accommodate us. Rather than one of our usual long walks, this time we took the car. Our destinations included the Scioto river below Griggs Dam, Griggs Reservoir along Griggs Reservoir Park, the very northern end of the reservoir the Kiwanis Riverway Park Area which is part of Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve, and Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
In terms of numbers of birds, the reservoir was the most productive. However, we did see a beaver along with some birds that included Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers and Nuthatches, below Griggs Dam. Glacier Ridge was also productive with views of Red tail Hawks (light and dark morphs), Flickers, Bluebirds, Song Sparrows, Northern Tree Sparrows and Meadowlarks.
But now back to Griggs Reservoir where we managed to see, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Greater and Lesser Scaups, Buffleheads, Redhead Ducks, Horned Grebes, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Canvasbacks, Mallards, American Coots, Ringed bill Gulls, Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons and Double-crested Cormorants.
As we drove along the reservoir, stopping periodically to look around, all the waterfowl were about a quarter of a mile away along the opposite shore. Our first exciting find was a Horned Grebe. A bird not often seen in this area. It was was far enough away to be at the limit of our binocular’s reach. A spotting scope would have been the best tool to verify the bird’s ID but I decided to put my Canon SX40 at full zoom, use a low ISO, support the camera against a tree as best I could, and snap away. It was “Data acquisition” in the hopes of confirming the bird ID’s later. These were not going to be National Geographic quality photos! The below “data strips”, cropped but full frame width photos, contained the information.
We drove on to the very northern end of the reservoir and again the situation was the same and again I used the camera to collect data for later review. What was really exciting at this last stop was that we thought we could make out several Canvasbacks. Would the images in the camera provide verification? Below are the results:
Based on the above results, it appears that a super-zoom digital camera can be a useful tool to aid in bird identification.
Finally, in celebration of spring, below is a just emerging Skunk Cabbage at Kiwanis Riverway Park. A rather attractive plant but as you might guess by the name not processing the sweetest fragrance.
Thanks for stopping by.