Alum Creek Reservoir Paddle – Howard Rd to Kilborne

We usually like to paddle Alum Creek Reservoir from the Howard Road Bridge launch north past the bridge at Kilborne at least two times each summer. The nesting platforms at the north end of the reservoir usually guarantee good views of Osprey and as we make our way along the shoreline there are always a few surprises. Today was no exception with bird sightings that included;  Prothonotary Warblers. Pileated Woodpeckers, Spotted Sandpipers, Green and Great Blue Herons, Eastern Wood Peewees, King Birds and Bald Eagles. We were also surprised to see a Wood Duck and her ducklings this late in the summer. With Mallards we’ve noticed that nesting times can vary a lot so maybe that also the case with Wood Ducks. In addition there were a variety of turtles that always amaze us by how wary they are as we approach in the canoe. I would have loved a picture of the two large dragonflies we saw crash land in the lake as they engaged in aerial combat. They both managed to get themselves out of the water.

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The east side of the reservoir has several cliff areas that are always beautiful to paddle along and once you begin to enter the river the beauty becomes more intimate. With all the recent rain, the surrounding woods were a lush shade of green.

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If you want a better look click on the image.

Alum Creek Landscape 1 - DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 1 – DMP

Wood Duck & Chicks - DMP

Wood Duck & ducklings – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 5

Bald Eagle 5

Osprey 1

Osprey 1

Osprey 2

Osprey 2

Osprey with fish

Osprey with fish

Osprey Platform

Osprey Platform

Caterpillar - DMP

Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar – DMP

Juvenile Red Tail - DMP

Juvenile Red Tail – DMP

Green Heron - DMP

Green Heron – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper - DMP

Spotted Sandpiper – DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 2

Alum Creek Landscape 2

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Guess Who’s Coming to Lunch

A few days ago we had the pleasure of doing a canoe/birding trip on Alum Creek Reservoir north of  the Howard Rd. bridge with some friends. While prime spring birding has passed we were rewarded with great views of King Birds, Prothonotary Warblers, Red Eyed Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Buntings, and Great Blue as will as Green Herons. In addition we also enjoyed observing various turtles on logs along the shoreline taking advantage of the intermittent sunshine as well as a Common Water Snake. Dragonflies and damselflies were also out in force as well as some early summer wildflowers.

The day started slow but after a couple of hours a good number of birds had been seen so we decided to take an early lunch break at a nice spot on a bluff overlooking the lake. We hadn’t been there very long when a mature Bald Eagle was spotted flying in the distance and a little later we saw what appeared to be an immature eagle.

Lunch was progressing rather nicely when my wife spotted a rather large snake patrolling the perimeter of our picnic area. It climbed up into a hollow tree and came back down and continued to check things out very near to where we were sitting. It seemed not to mind as we sat there eating our chocolate chip cookies. Turns out it was a Rat Snake and is one of the largest snakes in Ohio which can reach a length of  8 feet. It was all pretty exciting!

Below are some pics of that trip as well as other recent journeys into the wilds of Ohio. If you want a better view click on the image.

1 Black Rat Snake - Alum Creek

1 Black Rat Snake – Alum Creek

2 Black Rat Snake = Alum Creek

2 Black Rat Snake – Alum Creek

3 Black Rat Snake - Prairie Oaks

3 Black Rat Snake – Prairie Oaks

Wildflowers from the Alum Creek Paddle:

Fire Pink - Alum Creek, Donna

Fire Pink – Alum Creek, Donna

Blue-eyed Grass - Alum Creek, Donna

Blue-eyed Grass – Alum Creek, Donna

Common Water Snake seen during our Alum Creek paddle:

Common Water Snake - Alum Creek

Common Water Snake – Alum Creek

We continue to identify central Ohio dragon and damselflies:

Widow Skimmer - Prairie Oaks, Donna

Widow Skimmer – Prairie Oaks, Donna

Vesper Bluet - Prairie Oaks, Donna

Vesper Bluet – Prairie Oaks, Donna

Variable Dancer - Prairie Oaks

Variable Dancer – Prairie Oaks

Stream Bluets - Prairie Oaks

Stream Bluets – Prairie Oaks

Fragile Forktail - Prairie Oaks, Donna

Fragile Forktail – Prairie Oaks, Donna

Eastern Forktail - Prairie Oaks

Eastern Forktail – Prairie Oaks

A Pair of Stream Bluets - Griggs, Donna

On a recent trip to Prairie Oaks it was exciting to see Orchard Orioles feeding there young:

Immature Male Orchard Oriole - Prairie Oaks

Immature Male Orchard Oriole – Prairie Oaks

A Northern Flicker seemed as though it was watching as we looked for Damselflies at Prairie Oaks:

Northern Flicker - Prairie Oaks

Northern Flicker – Prairie Oaks

Finally some rather unexpected or unusual discoveries at Prairie Oaks:

Coyote Scat? - Prairie Oaks

Coyote Scat? – Prairie Oaks

Strange Leaf Parasite - Prairie Oaks

Strange Leaf Parasite – Prairie Oaks

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Thanks for stopping by.

The Coves of Alum Creek Reservoir

In the spring one of our favorite things to do is to spend the morning exploring the coves of Alum Creek Reservoir. We often launch from the Cheshire Road Bridge area and head for one of the lake’s no wake zones to avoid the motorboat noise. Other than an occasional airplane overhead, or a train not far off, it’s pretty quiet. It’s a pleasant experience any time of the year but the spring with all the birds singing it’s magical. Below are some images from our recent paddles.

Pond Panorama - Alum Creek

Pond Panorama – Alum Creek

Great Blue Heron - Alum Creek

Great Blue Heron – Alum Creek

Baltimore Oriole - Alum Creek

Baltimore Oriole – Alum Creek

King Bird - Alum Creek

Kingbird – Alum Creek

Prothonotary Warbler - Alum Creek

Prothonotary Warbler – Alum Creek

Downey - Alum Creek

Downy – Alum Creek

Small Cove - Alum Creek

Small Cove – Alum Creek

Tree Swallow - Alum Creek

Tree Swallow – Alum Creek

Yellow Warbler - Alum Creek

Yellow Warbler – Alum Creek

American toads - Alum Creek

American toads – Alum Creek

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Thanks for stopping by.

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