Neighborhood Migrants

Warm days, now noticeably shorter, are giving way to colder nights with the landscape increasingly graced with the colors of autumn in Ohio.

Autumn reflection in central Ohio.

.

During the past couple of weeks we’ve made a concerted effort to look for birds passing through Griggs Reservoir Park on their southern migration. We’ve avoiding the temptation to travel further afield thinking it would be fun just to see what is or isn’t passing through our “neighborhood”. There have been reports of birds that have eluded us, such as the Blackpoll and Yellow-throated Warbler, but all in all the effort has been rewarding.

.

The Black-throated Green Warblers were very cooperative:

***, (Donna)

***

***. (Donna)

***

.

Only one Cape May Warbler was seen:

Female Cape May Warbler

.

A fair number of Northern Parula Warblers were spotted:

***

***

.

This Yellow-throated Vireo is not sure he wants to eat a stink bug:

***

***

.

We had only one sighting of a Black-throated Blue Warbler:

Good enough to ID the bird but that’s it.

.

The fairly common Yellow-rumped Warblers are often seen eating poising ivy berries:

***, (Donna)

 

***

.

A Nashville Warbler was also part of the mix:

***

.

One Ruby-crowned Kinglet tries it’s best to hide while another jumps right out and poses. To date more kinglets have been heard than seen.

***

***

<<<>>>

Contrasting with last year, this has not been a good year for seeing Black-crowned Herons on the reservoir. However, on a resent paddle we were rewarded:

Juvenile, (Donna).

Adult, (Donna).

<<<>>>

While looking for warblers a group of very active Blue Birds was hard to ignore:

***

***

***

<<<>>>

A young male Wood Duck has been hanging around the park for the last couple of weeks. By it’s association with a group of mallards it appears to think it’s one:

***

***

***

<<<>>>

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the other birds that have fascinated us while we looked for fall migrants.

An immature Red-tailed Hawk seemed curious about what we were up to.

Something has this Juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker’s attention, (Donna).

A Mallard Duck, bathed in autumn light, swims across the reservoir.

A pair of Northern Flickers, (Donna).

A Tufted Titmouse acts cute like titmouse do, (Donna).

A White-breasted Nuthatch goes about it’s day.

One of the many Cedar Waxwings seen in the park in recent weeks.

A female Downy Woodpecker poses for a picture.

A Great Blue Heron strikes a graceful pose along the Scioto River, (Donna).

This Blue Jay has quite a mouthful, (Donna).

.

It’s a dark gray rainy morning as I finish writing this so it’s hard to imagine what nature will offer in the coming days and this is the time of year when things tend to wind down. However, if past experience is any indication, it will only take another walk in the woods to again experience the magic. Thanks for stopping by.

.

***

 

Walking Not Running

When younger one of my greatest joys was running trails in the various area parks and experiencing the exhilaration as my body rose to the challenge of each new hill or greater distance. Blame it on the aches and pains of age, overuse, or maybe just wanting something more out of the experience, but at some point trail running wasn’t as enjoyable so I started to walk when in the woods. Sometimes I walked fast, but often a little slower not worrying as much about getting a “workout”. It wasn’t long before I started seeing things I hadn’t noticed before and often found myself stopping for a better look. At first, armed with only a little curiosity, I did so impatiently, wanting to keep moving. But gradually, the more I looked the more was noticed; relationships and interconnections, certain butterflies liked certain plants, some birds were usually found in the treetops, others on the ground, and some somewhere in between. Some birds passed through very briefly in spring and fall while others appeared to hang around all year.  There were unique spring, summer, and fall wildflowers. Nothing was forever, flowers faded, plants died, hawks ate squirrels, storms downed once admired stately trees, but through it all there was always new life.

.

Aware of their interconnectedness, the plants, animals, and insects seen became more interesting, and then they, as well as the experience of being in nature, became almost magical. There was apparently a lot more going on than I ever realized when running. Slowly, rather than being “inner-directed” and worrying about “breathing and pulse rate”, I became “outer-directed”. A feeling of being part of something much bigger than myself, or even humankind, started to develop. Before long a feeling of oneness with “that bigger something” would embrace me while walking through the woods or paddling a lake or river. But also a heightened awareness arose that, like the “stately tree”, I was not here forever. I had been given a gift that allowed me, for a very brief moment of seemingly insignificant time, to look, listen, smell, and touch the wonder of it all.

.

So on that note, the following pictures of things seen in nature over the last few days are offered as a merger celebration of this brief moment in time.

.

The Baltimore Orioles have arrived to nest along the Scioto River and Griggs Reservoir.

Baltimore Oriole over the Scioto River, (Donna).

Male Baltimore Orioles along Griggs Reservoir.

 

Another lone male along the Scioto. The males are often seen chasing each other this time of year.

.

Paddling on Griggs Reservoir it’s hard not to notice that the Wild Columbine is in bloom along the low but rocky cliffs of reservoir’s east shore.

Wild Columbine.

.

Walking park paths other late spring wildflowers have also been seen.

Appendage Waterleaf, (Donna).

.

Very common Yellow-rumped Warblers pass through Griggs Park heading north to Michigan or Canada to nest.

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Another view.

.

High in a Sycamore the first Great Crested Flycatcher of the year is seen. It will probably nest along Griggs Reservoir.

Great Crested Flycatcher. Note distinctive yellow underside.

.

A whimsical year round resident, this Carolina Wren shows off it’s prize.

Carolina Wren

 

Another view.

.

Numerous Palm Warblers are seen passing through Griggs Park as they also head further north.

Palm warblers are common in the spring and fall along Griggs Reservoir.

Another view.

.

Also on it’s way further north a Nashville Warbler forages at the edge of the Scioto River. Not a bird we often see.

Nashville Warbler.

Another view, (Donna).

.

As it searches for higher ground a Northern Water Snake is seen along the rain swollen Scioto River.

Northern Water Snake

.

A “turtle family” doesn’t seem to mind the high water.

Red-eared Sliders along the Scioto, (Donna).

.

Trying to locate a warbler we sometimes have a sense we’re being watched.

Peeking out.

.

Sure enough!

Gray Squirrel

.

We hope that in the past few days your adventures in nature have been as rewarding as ours. Thanks for stopping by.

.

XXX

.

Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo.

 

Celebrating Spring at Prairie Oaks

Recently we spent several hours at Prairie Oaks Metro Park looking for migrating warblers and other signs of spring. We were completely drawn into the moment with butterflies, wildflowers, warblers and other migrating birds surrounding us as we walked along the river. Sunlight filtering through the emerging translucent leaves creating the effect of green stained glass further setting the mood.

In addition to the pictures below a number of birds and butterflies were seen where no photograph was possible. So below is just a glimpse of what you might have seen had you walked the trails in the last few days. Some pictures turned out amazingly well and others fall into the category of “data acquisition” but they all, in their own small way, celebrate spring at Prairie Oaks.

as always you can click on and image for a better view

.

At Prairie Oaks many forms of life are attracted to the river.

IMG_6527

The Big Darby, study 1

.

Like warblers, flycatchers and other birds.

IMG_5960a

A Baltimore Oriole watches as we head down the trail.

Black-and-White Warbler best 050614 Prairie Oaks cp1

Black and White Warbler, (Donna)

IMG_6085

A Tufted Titmouse looks for insects

IMG_6077

A Great Crested Flycatcher announces it’s presence with a unmistakable call.

IMG_6043

A Eastern Towhee peeks from behind the leaves.

IMG_6017

A Kingbird surveys it’s realm from a tree top.

IMG_6001

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers like to be around water.

IMG_5982 (2)

Yellow-throated Vireo

IMG_5962

Palm Warbler

IMG_5936 (2)

Yellow-throated Warbler

Catbird best 050614 Prairie Oaks cp1

Catbird, (Donna)

IMG_6126

Magnolia Warbler

IMG_5941 (2)

Warbling Vireo, study 1

IMG_5940 (2)

Warbling Vireo, study 2

IMG_5972

Nashville Warbler

IMG_5953

Nashville Warbler

.

Constantly in motion, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet plays hide and seek.

IMG_6058a IMG_6057a IMG_6052a

.

The smaller creeks that feed into the river are often dry by mid summer.

IMG_6543

Spring flow.

.

Butterflies were enjoying the spring sun.

IMG_6124

Eastern Comma

IMG_6012

Painted Lady

.

A pond that may also be dried up by July.

IMG_6548

Spring Pond

.

But right now the pond is home.

IMG_5990

Leopard Frog in hiding.

IMG_5987

Water Strider

.

Fungi run a very close second to wildflowers in natures beauty contest.

Pancake stack fungi 050614 Prairie Oaks fix

Shelf Fungi, (Donna)

.

Wildflowers compete for our attention.

Wild Geranium with bee 050614 Prairie Oaks fix

Wild Geraniums, (Donna)

Phlox and tree 050614 Prairie Oaks fix

Phlox, (Donna)

IMG_6041

Dandelion along the trail.

buckeye flower fix 050614 Prairie Oaks

Buckeye leafing out, (Donna)

.

The Big Darby was flowing clear.

IMG_6551

The Big Darby, study 2

.

Translucent leaves contribute to the magic of spring.

IMG_6557

The springs woods at Prairie Oaks

A Tropical Bird in Columbus

We decided to go for a walk below Griggs Reservoir Dam this morning hoping to see some migrating warblers. Usually Saturday morning is a weekly date with our tandem bicycle but the weather looked threatening so birding, where we could get back to the car quickly, seemed like the thing to do. The wind was supposed to pick up later in the day so we got an early start.

The first bird to greet us was one of our favorites, a Baltimore Oriole. Usually we see them at the top of tall trees after he trees have fully leafed out making them difficult to photograph. However, this one was lower in a tree whose leaves were not yet completely hiding it. It struck numerous poses for us as it busied itself eating what appeared to be young seed pods.

click on image for a better view

IMG_5799use

Baltimore Oriole, study 1

IMG_5788use

Baltimore Oriole, study 2

IMG_5761use

Baltimore Oriole, study 3

IMG_5760use

Baltimore Oriole, study 4

Baltimore Oriole 6 050314 Griggs cp1

Baltimore Oriole, study 5 (Donna)

*

After almost being chased back to the car by a passing shower, we continued on, hearing lots of birds but not seeing much. Today, with it leafing out more, our line of sight wasn’t what it was just a few days ago. Cardinals seemed to be everywhere so we didn’t give it much thought when a bright red bird appeared in the distance. A quick look through the binoculars revealed it to be not a Cardinal but a Scarlet Tanager! We were excited as we usually have to travel some distance to see such a bird and here it was less than two miles from our house. It was undoubtedly just passing through but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. The Scarlet Tanager is one of those birds that, when seen, transports me to the jungles of South America. It looks just a little out of place in Ohio.

IMG_5830cuse

Scarlet Tanager

IMG_5837use

Scarlet Tanager, study 1

IMG_5824use

Scarlet Tanager, study 2

*

Energized buy the tanager we continued on, seeing other tropical and sub-tropical migrants including a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Warbling Vireo and numerous warblers.

IMG_5841use

Yellow-rumped Warbler, study 1

IMG_5929use

Warbling Vireo, hiding

IMG_5905use

Palm Warbler, study 1

IMG_5899use

Palm Warbler, study 2

IMG_5889use

Great Crested Flycatcher

IMG_5885use

Orchard Oriole, study 1

IMG_5874use

Orchard Oriole, study 2

IMG_5852use

Nashville Warblers, too far away!

IMG_5847use

Yellow-rumped Warbler, study 2

*

When the birds didn’t have our attention we couldn’t help but notice some beautiful fungus which was undoubtedly a product of recent rains.

Dryad's Saddle IMG_6520use

Dryad’s Saddle, study 1

Dryad's Saddle  IMG_6526use

Dryad’s Saddle, study 2

Acorn Fungi family 050314 Griggs cp1

Mystery Mushroom, (Donna)

Tan shelf fungi 050314 Griggs cp1

Shelf Fungi, also Dryad’s Saddle?

*

A Scarlet Tanager in the middle of Columbus. It doesn’t get much better.

Scarlet Tanager 050314 Griggs cp1

Scarlet Tanager, (Donna)

 

*

 

pr

Fall Warblers in The Morning Sunshine

It was one of those cool clear early autumn mornings when we found ourselves at Prairie Oaks looking for migrating warblers. We walked along a row of trees bordering a field with the trees being warmed by the early morning sunlight. To our delight we observed about eleven different species of warblers feeding in these trees. The birds, which included kinglets and gnatcatchers were very active and my efforts to photograph them were met with limited success, my son Ben did much better.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.

Thanks for stopping by.

piecemealadventurer

Tales of the journeys of a piecemeal adventurer as a discontinuous narrative

Photos by Donna

Sharing My Passion of Birds and Wildlife

Londonsenior

The life of an elderly Londoner and her travels.

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Eloquent Images by Gary Hart

Insight, information, and inspiration for the inquisitive nature photographer

gordoneaglesham

The Wildlife in Nature

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

My Best Short Nature Poems

Ellen Grace Olinger

through the luminary lens

The sun is the great luminary of all life - Frank Lloyd Wright

talainsphotographyblog

Nature photography

Mike Powell

My journey through photography

The Prairie Ecologist

Essays, photos, and discussion about prairie ecology, restoration, and management

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Montana Outdoors

A weblog dedicated to the world outside the cities.

Cat Tales

Mike and Lori adrift

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

Exploring Nature in New Hampshire

Jessica's Nature Blog

https://natureinfocus.blog