Too Many Ospreys To Count

Recently we decided the paddle the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir. To get started we put in at the Howard Rd launch and headed north. Early in the year we can expect to see both migrating and breeding warblers along the shore. In late July, from all we can tell, the warblers are no longer present. If they are, they’re being real quite.  So what would we see? Since it was a beautiful day, cool temperatures and a light wind, it didn’t matter too much. It was a great day for a paddle.

As we made our way up the reservoir we did manage to see Spotted Sandpipers, Green Herons, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Terns, Great Blue Herons, Hummingbirds, Peewee’s, Phoebe’s, a Bald Eagle and even a Yellow Billed Cuckoo. Not bad! However, the real star’s of the day were all the Osprey’s. The nesting platforms at the north end of Alum Creek Reservoir were very successful this year. There were too many birds to count!

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The route.

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Bluffs overlooking north end Alum Creek Reservoir

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Spotted Sandpiper near the bluffs, Alum Creek Reservoir

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Cormorants, Alum Creek Reservoir, (Donna)

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Alum Creek, submerged tree.

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Quite a few Eastern Amber wings were out, (Donna)

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Eastern Comma, looking a little tired.

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Large Wolf Spider along the shore, Alum Creek Reservoir

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Cliff along Alum Creek where it flows into the reservoir.

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Kingfisher perched along the cliff.

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Osprey, north end of Alum Creek Reservoir

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Osprey, north end of Alum Creek Reservoir, study 2

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Osprey, north end of Alum Creek Reservoir, study 3

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Sandbar on Alum Creek, as far up the river as we could paddle.

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Alum Creek

 

 

A Puffy White Cloud Sort of Day

Mid-July and it was a perfect day for a long paddle on Griggs Reservoir. Temperature in the low seventies, little wind, with puffy white clouds dotting a very blue sky. The canoe seemed to glide along effortlessly.

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Paddle, drops and ripples, the aesthetic of canoeing.

Are we really in Columbus?

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A Puffy White Cloud Kind of Day, (Donna)

 

It wasn’t long before we started seeing birds. First it was a Kingfisher as we entered a cove.

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Female Kingfisher

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Just barely two pictures.

A little further a Double Crested Cormorant enjoys the morning sun.

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Double Crested Cormorant

As does a Painted Turtle.

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Painted Turtle on Griggs Reservoir

 

A little while later, north along the west shore we surprised a Red-tailed Hawk as it enjoyed breakfast. A bad day for the snake.

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Red-tailed Hawk

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Not a happy day for the snake.

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Red-tailed Hawk, study 2

 

Continuing on north of Hayden Run.

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Mallards in the morning mist.

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Griggs Reservoir natural area.

 

Several Ospreys were seen just south of the 161 bridge.

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Osprey on Griggs Reservoir

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Taking flight

 

In the same area a White Tail Dear made it’s way across the Scioto River.

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Where the Scioto flows into Griggs Reservoir.

A Green Heron plays hide and seek.

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Immature Green Heron

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Hiding

 

While in the north end of the reservoir we pulled out to explore the “wetlands area”.

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Normally this area would be covered with vegetation but recent high water has slowed that down.

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Wetlands Area

 

As is usually the case, my wife was hot on the trail of any wildflowers or birds she could find.

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Water Willow, (Donna)

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House Wren, (Donna)

 

It was hard to head back to our launch but we did have five miles ahead of us before we could call it a day.

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A great day to be on the water, Scioto River just north of Griggs Reservoir.

 

 

Late June Happenings Along The Reservoir

We returned from Scotland a little over a week ago and to be honest, it’s been hard to get our heads back into central Ohio. For those of you that may be curious we Hiked The West Highland Way and then spent a few days exploring the Isle of Skye. It was a wonderful adventure made all the more special by all the great people we met along the way.

Now that we’re back we thought we might check out the changes the month of June had wrought on one of our favorite haunts, Griggs Park and the reservoir. June brought plenty of rain and as I write this it shows little sign of letting up. It is very green.

So let’s what we found during the last few days:

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With all the rain, waterfalls flowing into the reservoir are doing well.

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Photographing a Griggs Reservoir waterfall.

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The water runs very clear even though the water in the reservoir is pretty muddy. (Donna)

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My wife, ever on the lookout for what’s currently blooming, found some subjects willing to pose:

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Spiderwort, (Donna)

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Wild Rose, (Donna)

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Butterfly Weed, (Donna)

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Bumble Bee on Milkweed, (Donna)

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 But she didn’t tell me about the trained butterflies she’s been working with:

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Clouded Sulfur Butterflies, (Donna)

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How the butterflies kept their composure with the Red winged Blackbird shouting from the bleachers, I’ll never know.

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Red-Winged Blackbird, (Donna)

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A Phoebe was more polite:

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Phoebe, (Donna)

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 Further on, but quite far from the river, we saw a Map Turtle laying it’s eggs:

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Female Map Turtle laying eggs.

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In the woods a thrush called and we were fortunate enough to find it:

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Wood Thrush

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Along the river a Fox Squirrel stuck a curious pose as a Red Tailed Hawk, just finished with nesting, surveyed it’s realm from a distant tree:

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Fox Squirrel

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Red-tailed Hawk

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While along the reservoir cormorants relaxed in the morning sun and mothers do what they always do:

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Double-crested Cormorants.

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Mother Mallard Duck with babies.

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Wood Duck with young.

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.   .   .   as we paddled back to our launch.

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Paddling on Griggs Reservoir.

 

Griggs Reservoir Beavers

One of the nice things about living in Columbus is that in a few minutes from our house we can be on Griggs Reservoir fishing should we so choose. For years we would ride our bicycles across the Fishinger Road bridge on our way out of town to the west and scarcely give Griggs a thought. But I would always see people fishing, mostly in Bass Boats, so a number of years ago I thought I’d give it a try.

This morning was one of those times that I decided to spend a couple hours fishing before chores around the house beckoned.  Loading up my 14′ Hornbeck with fishing poles, tackle, binoculars and camera off I went. While I seldom catch anything real big, I’m always entertained by a good number of Bluegill, Crappie, Bass and an occasional Catfish or Carp, all on ultra light tackle. This morning was no exception. I’d been fishing about 45 minutes when I noticed what originally looked like Muskrat swimming not far from the boat. Closer examination with the binoculars reveled that it was not to be a Muskrat at all but a Beaver, and a large one at that. As I approached closer in an effort to get a pic I was greeted by a loud tail slap and a big splash. We have seen signs of Beaver on Griggs over the years but  this was this first time I’ve  actually seen one on the reservoir and only about a half mile north of the Fishinger Road bridge. Pretty exciting!

After a couple hours of fishing my adventure was complete, to many Bluegill and Crappie to count, a few small Bass, Baltimore Orioles, Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, and a Double Crested Cormorant. Not to mention the Beaver.

All on Griggs Reservoir!

PS: Remember to double click on images if you want a better look.

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Double-crested Comorant

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Griggs Reservoir Beaver

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Take 2.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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