A Spring Gift Along The Reservoir

This post covers some of the birds as well as other things that have been seen along the Scioto River corridor in central Ohio in the past few days. Many of the birds seen will continue their migratory journey further north. It’s a magical time of year as green spaces, especially those along lakes and rivers, are transformed by the sights and sounds of birds perhaps not seen other times of the year.

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Some birding days are better than others. In the spring a strong wind from the north usually means more birds. A wind from the south seems to send them on their way. All the birds may seem to be in the treetops one day while the next they’re at eye level making an impossible subject easy to photograph. While no one can guarantee what will be seen, even an inexpensive pair of binoculars will greatly increase your chances of seeing birds allowing you to enter their world and appreciate creatures with such unique beauty that it’s sometimes hard to believe.

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Everyone has their own way of appreciating nature, while we do make a point of traveling to more distant locations, we try to concentrate on a few areas close to home, observing the changes as the year progresses. A benefit of visiting a “favorite spot” often is that one is blessed with a sense of ownership, not in a possessive sense, but rather as a caring participant. A litter bag is always part of our equipment as it’s especially hard to walk by litter after one has just seen a Scarlet Tanager. The real plus is that through listening, looking (perhaps taking a picture), and allowing myself to be in the place, I’m extended beyond myself to a larger whole. Through this experience, which I once heard referred to as “a prayer”, I become richer and more grateful.

 

Griggs Park along the reservoir.

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A few days ago my wife was looking for warblers right along the river as I did likewise along a some trees a little further away from the water.  She was paying attention to the low lying brush at water’s edge when she decided to look up into the overhead tree branches and found herself confronting a much larger bird.

Bald Eagle along the Scioto River just below the Griggs Reservoir Dam, it didn’t stay long .   .   .

before it flew across the river .   .   .

to a safer perch. (Donna).

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Out of the corner of my eye I did see the eagle as it flew by but right in front of me there was a Great Crested Flycatcher. What to do, a flycatcher in the bush or a flying eagle. I chose the bird in the bush.

Great-created Flycatcher along the Scioto River just below Griggs Reservoir Dam..

Take 2.

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Warblers are surprisingly small when compared to the Great Created Flycatcher but make up for their size in quantity. Many, including Cape May and Yellow-rumped, continue to be seen.

Black and White warbler, Emily Traphagen Park.

Take 2.

Male American Redstart, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Take 2, (Donna).

Redstart with mayfly, Griggs Park.

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It’s hard to ignore the orioles which continue to be very common. Right now there are so many in Griggs Park that it’s quite possible that only a few will nest here with the remainder heading further north.

Male Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park.

Female Baltimore Oriole, Griggs Park.

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It was a real treat to see our first Cedar waxwings of the year.

Cedar Waxwings, they handed the berry back and forth several times. Griggs Park.

Cedar Waxwings, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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Red-eyed Vireos are often spotted in dense treetop leaf cover but every once in a while they come down so we can get a better look.

Red-eyed Vireo, Griggs Park.

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An Acadian Flycatcher was also seen.

Acadian Flycatcher? Griggs Park.

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We first spotted a streak of white, black, and red. Open landing the Rose Breasted Grosbeak played hide and seek as it chowed down on what were apparently very tasty seeds.

Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Griggs Park.

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Another bird seen only during spring migration is the Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet Tanager, Griggs Park.

Just a minute.

There, that’s better.

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Morning sun and leaves, Griggs Park.

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The Swainson’s Thrush is usually only seen during migration.

Swainson’s Thrushes were everywhere in Griggs Park.

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Our first Kingbird of the year along Griggs Reservoir. Some will stick around to nest in the park.

Kingbird, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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We also noticed a few “non-bird” type things.

Immature male Common Whitetail, Emily Traphagen Park.

False Solomon’s Seal, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Female Black Swallowtail, Emily Traphagen Park, (Donna).

The Northern Water snake orgy goes on, see previous post, (Donna).

A Woodchuck tries to blend in, Griggs Park.

Wild Columbine, Emily Traphagen Park, (Donna). This photo was inspired by one of our birding friends.

A chipmunk poses, Duranceaux Park.

Six Spotted Tiger Beetle, Emily Traphagen Park, (Donna).

Zebulon Skipper, Emily Traphagen Park. (Donna).

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We can’t forget all the other birds seen in the past week. Many of these are year round or summer residents.

A very noisy Winter Wren, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

Eastern Phoebe, Griggs Park.

Hidden in the leaf cover an immature Eastern Phoebe waits for it’s next meal, Duranceaux Park.

Blue Jays continue to be industrious, Griggs Park.

Red-bellied Woodpecker looks for a meal in Emily Traphagen Park.

The beautiful marking of a Northern Flicker are clearly seen as it briefly pauses overhead, Griggs Park.

Carolina Chickadee, Griggs Park.

Great Blue Heron, Griggs Park, (Donna).

Hairy Woodpecker, Griggs Park.

Easy eats may be why we’ve seen so many Great Egrets along the reservoir and river this spring, (Donna).

Great Egrets, Griggs Park

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With spring in full swing, there’s almost too much is going on, but we hope everyone enjoyed this photographic celebration of spring in central Ohio.

Griggs Reservoir Cove, Griggs Park, (Donna).

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Thanks for stopping by.

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XXX

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Should you wish, prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.

Griggs Park Birding, April 28th & 29th

My wife and I were looking at photos and talking about all the birds we’d seen over a period of 24 hours along Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto River just below the dam. These included a first of the year Baltimore Oriole and an Eastern Kingbird.

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As some of you that visit this blog on a regular basis may already realize, we tend to concentrate on several areas close to our home in central Ohio. This is partly to avoid long drives in the car but more importantly it’s a way to visit areas more frequently and become knowledgeable of their unique features and natural rhythms. Of course the drawback with type of focus is that there are many birds we may never personally see.

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Still when you consider that the below photos are representative of what we saw in late April, within the city limits, and don’t include the birds seen but not photographed such as; Red Tailed Hawks, Double Crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Song Sparrows, Mallard Ducks, Kingfishers, Blue Birds, Downy Woodpeckers, and Ring-billed Gulls, it’s pretty amazing.

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Even if you weren’t looking for birds it’s a great time of the year to be outdoors.

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Griggs Park, early spring.

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But because we were looking for birds it doesn’t take long to spot that previously mentioned Eastern Kingbird in the top of a tree.

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Eastern Kingbird

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Conveniently a Red-bellied Woodpecker was nearby.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker perches beside it’s handiwork.

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The Yellow-rumped was the most common warbler seen.

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Yellow-rumped Warbler.

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Just showing it’s yellow crest.

Yellow-rumped Warbler singing 1

Singing, (Donna)

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Palm Warblers were also about.

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Palm Warbler

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Singing, (Donna)

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A Blue Jay lands near by and is impossible to ignore.

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Blue jay

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.   .   .    and a White-breasted Nuthatch also asked to be noticed.

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White-breasted Nuthatch

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.   .   .    and then a beautiful Cardinal.

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Cardinal

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Okay let’s get back to the warblers.

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Pine Warbler, (Donna)

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Take two

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Hey wait those aren’t warblers!

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Turkey Vultures along the reservoir.

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A Starling peers out wondering what is going on.

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Starling

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In the evening we see our first Prothonotary Warbler of the year.

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Prothonotary Warbler along the Scioto River

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Singing, (Donna)

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While I’m looking at the treetops for warblers my wife is looking at the ground and notices flowering Wild Ginger.

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Flowering Wild Ginger, (Donna)

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A closer look at the flower, (Donna).

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A little further down the river a Great Blue Heron strikes a beautiful pose.

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Great Blue Heron

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.   .   .   and in a tree overhanging the river a swallow takes a break.

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Northern Rough-winged Swallow along the Scioto River.

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.   .   .   and then our first Baltimore Oriole of the year.

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Baltimore Oriole

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However, when not seeing it’s more “exotic” cousins we can always count on a Robin to entertain.

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Robin taking a bath in a pool along the river.

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. . . now let’s get the head.

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. . . flap those wings!

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Almost done.

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Even some creature without feathers make an appearance.

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Woodchuck

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Usually found high up in the top of Sycamores, a Yellow-throated Warbler is seen in a bush alone the reservoir.

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Yellow-throated Warbler, (Donna)

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.   .   .   and as if the birds weren’t enough.

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Crab Apple Blossoms

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Thanks for stopping by.

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