A Winter Bird

It’s mid November and the winter birds, migrants from further north, are taking up residence in Columbus. One of our favorite places to look for them is along Griggs Reservoir. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s a six mile hike  (round trip) from our house so we get a little exercise and also get to look for any creatures that might feel like showing themselves.

Along the reservoir we couldn’t help but notice the leaf bare Sycamores with their white bark highlighted against the blue sky.

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Sycamore

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Looking back at the same tree from the opposite direction. What a difference light makes.

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As we continue on along the reservoir there are the usual suspects, Great Blue Herons and Mallard Ducks.

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Great Blue Heron, Donna

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Great Blue Heron in flight, Donna

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Mallards

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When it didn’t look as though we would be rewarded with anything special in the way of birds, we spent some time looking for fossils. The fossils we see in the shoreline rocks are from the Devonian Period about 350 million years ago.

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Assorted fossils

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Fossil 2

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Fossil 3, Donna

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Fossils, 4

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We continued on, looking for a Chickadee or Titmouse which might be part of a flock that could contain something less common. Seeing a few birds in the tree tops, I get excited and train my binoculars on them. They turned out to be Gold Finches. Meanwhile my wife is enthusiastically whispering about something and I assume she must be looking at the same birds. Looking away from my binoculars I realize she is excited about something flitting around in the nearby shoreline brush.

Forgetting about the treetop birds, I join her as we both peer intently into the brush and are rewarded with great views of Golden Crown Kinglets, a winter resident in our area. How a bird, that essentially weighs the same as a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, can get two adults so excited is hard to explain, but the little guys sure made our day.

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Golden Crown Kinglet

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Golden Crown Kinglet 2

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Golden Crown Kinglet 3

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Golden Crown Kinglet 4, Donna

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Thanks for stopping by.

Fossils Along Griggs Reservoir

Today was a blustery day along Griggs Reservoir. As we walked the eastern shore one Bluebird was brave enough to show it’s face. Other than that, the birds seemed to be hunkered down and most of the colorful leaves from a few days before were gone.

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A Sycamore contrasts with a beautiful sky. The eastern shoreline of Griggs is where the fossils were found.

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Intrepid Bluebird

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While I was enjoying the wind as it blew through the trees trying to dislodge the few remaining leaves, my wife was taking a close look at the rocks along the shore.

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Windblown leaves

The area around Griggs is composed largely is shale with what appear to be granite erratic’s littered throughout the park. I don’t know if I would consider Griggs to be a fossil hunting hot spot but we sure enjoyed looking for them today. Now we need to spend some time understanding what it was we were looking at. Other than the blowing leaves pic, my wife was kind enough to provide all the pictures for this post.

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Typical of the rock formations along Griggs containing fossils (taken earlier)

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Shells

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Coral

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Brachiopods?

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Additional research required

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Very interesting but additional research required

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Looking at the fossils and contemplating the work of plate tectonics one couldn’t help but wonder where in the world these fossilized creatures were when they were alive. Thanks for stopping by.

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