A Unlikely Door
Opening the door this time of year and venturing out into nature isn’t something most of us feel compelled to do. The landscape certainly doesn’t perk one’s curiosity. The wildlife that may be seen, which includes birds for the most part, have often migrated further south.
Along the Scioto River the landscape begs for a blanket of snow.
However, with it’s lack of leaf cover, the landscape offers one good reason to pass through the door and see what’s still in the neighborhood or what may have moved in from further north. With their endearing behavior and colors that are often a cheerful contrast to their surroundings, birds are a welcome part of the December woods.
A resident all year long in Griggs Reservoir Park, the Carolina Wren’s song and chatter are especially welcome this time of year, (Donna).
Typically the only heron to hang around through the winter, the Great Blue is always a welcome sight along the Scioto River, (Donna).
A winter visitor from the north, the Dark-eyed Junco usually moves in small flocks and typically stays close to the ground. A fun bird to watch, (Donna).
A year round resident that’s always up to something, this Red-bellied Woodpecker has apparently found something to it’s liking, (Donna).
Another visitor from the north, this Tree Sparrow is an easy one to miss, (Donna).
The White-breasted Nuthatch arguably adds more cheer to the winter woods than any other bird, (Donna).
The immediately recognizable White-crowned Sparrow is another visitor from the north, (Donna).
Seen more often than the White-crowned, the the White-throated Sparrow is another sparrow we look for this time of the year, (Donna).
Assuming a graceful pose, a Ring-billed Gull preens on Griggs Reservoir.
Griggs Reservoir Park squirrels beware, this Red-tailed hawk is on the hunt.
In recent years, with the increase in the Catbird population, Mocking Birds have become a rare sight in central Ohio. Seeing this one was a real treat.
Carolina Chickees in Griggs Reservoir Park are always a delight.
Sometimes solitary and sometimes in a group of titmouse and chickadees the Downy Woodpecker is hard to ignore.
American Cardinals are abundant in Griggs Reservoir Park near our home.
As if out of nowhere a Brown Creeper suddenly appears. These birds may be present in the summer months but leaf cover makes them much harder to find.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are not seen as often a some of the other central Ohio woodpeckers. This view would have been obscured by leaves in the summer.
Year-round residents in Griggs Reservoir Park, Eastern Bluebirds also bring joy to the December landscape.
With a beautiful song, Song Sparrows are a year-round resident but are pretty quiet this time of year.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is another migrant from the north. I had to content myself with a feeder picture of this one at a Greenlawn Cemetery.
Ice covered waterways further north have brought waterfowl south. In a local flooded quarry these Buffleheads were no exception.
In recent days some really special birds have graced us with their presence.
Not far from our home an American Kestrel makes it’s it’s home in a nondescript area of tall grass, brush, and trees adjacent to a quarry.
Just close enough for a decent picture
Perhaps the most noteworthy was a immature Snowy Owl that had travelled from the north country to hang out in central Ohio. They typically eat voles, lemmings, and other small rodents as well as birds so a shortage of such goodies further north is undoubtedly the reason for the visit. Seeing one this close to Columbus is rare.
Time spent in nature seldom disappoints. The observant eye will always find something that inspires and rewards. One only needs to open the door.
Graced with a light blanket of snow.
Thanks for stopping by.
I cannot believe you turn early winter into such a delight! The snowy white owl is a showstopper. Thank you.
Wow, that’s a lot of birds! The snowy owl was a treat. I’ve never seen one.
We were very fortunate to have one take up temporary residence close by.
I am definitely trying to open the door more often than my winter-avoiding personality would naturally do. This pandemic year has made me so very grateful for the “safe” natural world right outside the door and the opportunity to find beauty and simple joy without compromising health & safety. Thanks for sharing what’s outside YOUR door!
Gerry, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
What a great collection. Thank you.
What a beautiful collection of bird photos. The snowy owl in particular is beautiful.
Excellent pictures! I miss Griggs Reservoir since I moved out west a couple of counties, but there’s plenty to see here too.