Not Exactly a Bald Eagle

Yesterday we visited Highbanks Metro Park in the hope of seeing the Bald Eagles that nest in a Sycamore tree along the Olentangy River. The landscape, without a cover of snow, has become a sepia tone, especially if the skies are gray. Fortunately due to recent rains fungi were making a good showing.  While we didn’t see the eagles, we were treated to sightings of numerous woodpeckers as well as nuthatches, juncos, titmouse, blue jays and chickadees.

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Pileated Woodpecker sightings made up for the absence of the eagles and this one, while not real close, did allow us to take it’s picture.

Pileated Woodpecker on log in action 120114 highbanks csb1

Female Pileated Woodpecker, study 1, Highbanks, (Donna)

Pileated Woodpecker on log best 1 120114 Highbanks Hike cp1

Female Pileated Woodpecker, study 2, Highbanks, (Donna)

Pileaded Woodpecker looking up 120114 highbanks cp2

Female Pileated Woodpecker, study 3, Highbanks, (Donna)

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.    .    .    and as mentioned above there were the fungi. Below are a few examples of the fungi seen.

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Turkey Tail Fungi on one of the many fallen trees, Highbanks

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Turkey Tail fungi, Highbanks

Fungi Flower 120114 Highbanks csb1

“Fungi flower”, something we’ve never seen before, Highbanks, (Donna)

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Fungi, Highbanks

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Another view of Turkey Tail, Highbanks

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High Banks contains many mature trees creating an interesting picture when one falls.

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Fallen tree, Highbanks

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Finally, while walking in Griggs Park near our home, we continue to monitor the comings and goings of migratory waterfowl on the reservoir.

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Male and Female Rudy Ducks, Griggs Reservoir

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A lone Horned Grebe, (we were amazed to hear this one calling), Griggs Reservoir

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My wife was able to get this interesting lichen fossil composition while I was enamored by the ducks.

Fossils and lichen on rock 112914 Griggs walk north cp1

Lichen and Devonian period fossils, limestone rock, Griggs Park, (Donna)

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Our wish is that you will have a moment in the next few days to enjoy nature in your neighborhood. Thanks for looking in.

The Bark of a Sycamore Tree

Showing their stark black brown skeletons against a gray sky, winter is not the most beautiful time of year for deciduous trees. However, after shedding portions of it’s bark in the late summer and fall, the Sycamore is the exception. At a distance the white bark of the Sycamore’s upper branches contrasts beautifully with the trees around it. Taking a closer look nearer to the ground, one can enjoy the bark’s endless patterns and textures.

Trees along the Scioto

Trees along the Scioto, can you spot the Sycamores?

Patterns and Textures

Patterns and Textures, Donna

Sycamore along the Scioto

Sycamore along the Scioto

Unlike today’s windy 15 degrees, yesterday was a good day to be out. There was little or no wind and the temperature was 20 degrees warmer. So with that in mind, we set off on our usual six mile urban hike with hopes of seeing some uncommon birds or maybe an eagle along the river. When not looking at sycamore bark we did enjoy investigating fungi and lichens growing on some of the other trees.

Fungi on fallen log

Fungi on fallen log, Donna

Lichen

Lichen

Fungi and lichen on bark

Fungi and lichen on bark, Donna

Bird Tracts in Snow

Crow tracks in Snow, Donna

Baltimore Oriole Nest

Abandoned Baltimore Oriole Nest

We saw Hooded Mergansers and Mallard Ducks in the river and even Kinglets, Chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Tufted Titmouse along it, but no eagle. It looked as though it was going to be a routine day. But that was before a Red-tailed Hawk swooped down and landed right in front of us.

Hooded Mergansers and Mallards

Hooded Mergansers and Mallards, Donna

We never could figure out what it was after as we never saw it eat anything. It did seem to be looking for or at something as it repeatedly clawed at or stomped on the ground. After taking some pictures we left it undisturbed to continue it’s quest. The day had been a slightly warmer so perhaps a chipmunk had ventured out and just made it to safety before it had arrived.

Red-tailed Hawk, study 1

Red-tailed Hawk, study 1

Red-tailed Hawk, study 2

Red-tailed Hawk, study 2

Red-tailed Hawk, study 1

Red-tailed Hawk, study 3

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Thanks for stopping by.

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