Spring Activity at O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

A few days ago we decided to explore the Twin Lakes Area of O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve by canoe. Part of the fun is the journey so we decided to paddle from a launch point on the other side of the reservoir. As a result we had the opportunity to pass a number of lovely coves along the way. The total length of our paddle was between four and five miles.

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Cove, Twin Lakes Area, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir, (Donna)


We hoped to see Prothonotary Warblers which are fairly common in the Twin Lakes area this time of year. We were successful and my wife put together a nice study of one of the males.

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Prothonotary Warbler, study 1, (Donna)

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Prothonotary Warbler, study 2, (Donna)

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Prothonotary Warbler, study 3, (Donna)

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Prothonotary Warbler, study 4, (Donna)

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Prothonotary Warbler, study 5, (Donna)


While she was busy with the warblers, I was taking a few pictures of some of the other suspects.

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King Bird


Tree Swallow

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Tree Swallow, study 2 (Donna)

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Taking flight, (Donna)


Recent rains had really brought out the color in some of the lichens. The brown lichen with a white fringe was one we hadn’t noticed/seen before.

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Green Lichen, (Donna)

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Brown with white fringe lichen, (Donna)


Paddling further, my wife spotted some Pussytoes just beginning to flower along the bank.

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Pussytoes, (Donna)


A Common Water snake kept an eye on us as we glided by.

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Common Water Snake


And if the birds and everything else weren’t enough, heading back to our launch site we spotted the largest concentration of Spiny Soft Shell turtles that we’ve ever seen in central Ohio. While perhaps not as aggressive as the more solitary Snapping Turtle, they will bite if given a reason. On this particular day they seemed okay sharing their log with a Few Map Turtles.


Large concentration of Spiny Soft Shells


Map Turtles were also tolerated on the same log.


Two large Spiny Soft Shells


Spiny Soft Shell tolerating a small Map Turtle.


Pretty exciting considering it all was like something we might see while visiting the Columbus Zoo which interestingly enough is only a couple of miles away.

5 Comments on “Spring Activity at O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve

  1. I’ve never seen the soft shell turtles. I’m going to have to see if we have them here. I think your white with brown edge growth is probably wet or dry rot, both of which are caused by certain types of fungi. Possibly (Meruliporia incrassata).

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