Sunday, May 24, 2015

Erie County 5/17--Least Flycatcher, Bank Swallow, Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee Warbler, Connecticut Warbler

Our final van trip of the vacation (and the last day we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning) was to the "Wilds of Erie County." Erie County seemed pretty far away to me when we hit it going west on our way to Toledo, but the places we were going were in the western part of the county, so it was only about an hour's drive to the first destination, Pipe Creek Wildlife Area.

This tour was run by a pro and, as it happens, he was also in charge of scheduling all the other trips for the festival. So he got to pick the place he wanted to go. I was happy to finally be birding with someone who knew how to lead a trip, but despite that, I was getting weary of being with a lot of other birders for the 3rd day in a row. It didn't help that two of the birders were "youth birders," two kids, 12 & 9, I think, who were birding fanatics already. I'm all for the next generation of birders, in theory, but in practice, I don't like being with kids, especially kids who talk talk talk talk. They were with their grandmother, who took a real interest in the birds in their hobby, and their mother, who could read a book while walking. I thought she should be grateful that her kids were doing something more intellectually stimulating than playing video games in the basement and maybe she was.

At Pipe Creek, on the shores of Lake Erie, we got Bank Swallows, a good look at a Least Flycatcher, and very fleeting glimpse of a Northern Waterthrush. The kids, with their young and (I admit it) more knowledgeable ears, were  hearing all kinds of stuff I wasn't. Of course, maybe if they had piped down a little, I would have had a better shot.

There were a surprising number of ducks in the impoundments--odd to see wigeons and Ruddy Ducks this time of year. We found a couple of Cedar Waxwings, which have been oddly sparse this year.

After a few hours at Pipe Creek we drove a short distance to our 2nd destination, Sheldon Marsh, which sounded to me like a television producer from the 60's. This was a park fashioned from someone's estate (there are quite a few of these former estates turned over to the public in Ohio) and it had a great trail running through woodlands. Here we got much better looks at Red-headed Woodpecker and Scarlet Tanager.

Photos: Shari Zirlin
We also picked up two difficult warblers--Tennessee Warbler (difficult for me because it is so bland in both looks and song) and Connecticut Warbler (difficult because it is a skulker). I saw the TEWA, I only heard the COWA, but at least it has a very loud, distinctive song, unlike some of the buzzy whispers many of the warblers have. (I don't know why they call them warblers, most of them hardly warble at all). Shari did see the COWA for a split second before it dove down into the underbrush once it knew it was being watched. 

POP QUIZ: Can you name the other "state" warblers without looking at a list? Warning: Virginia's Warbler doesn't count, it's a "lady warbler." 

72 species on my new Erie County, Ohio life list:
Species               First Sighting
Canada Goose     Pipe Creek
Mute Swan     Pipe Creek
Gadwall     Pipe Creek
American Wigeon     Pipe Creek
Mallard     Pipe Creek
Blue-winged Teal     Pipe Creek
Ruddy Duck     Pipe Creek
Double-crested Cormorant     Pipe Creek
Great Blue Heron     Pipe Creek
Great Egret     Pipe Creek
Turkey Vulture     Pipe Creek
Cooper's Hawk     Pipe Creek
Bald Eagle     Pipe Creek
American Coot     Pipe Creek
Spotted Sandpiper     Pipe Creek
Solitary Sandpiper     Pipe Creek
Ring-billed Gull     Pipe Creek
Herring Gull     Pipe Creek
Caspian Tern     Pipe Creek
Common Tern     Pipe Creek
Red-headed Woodpecker     Sheldon Marsh
Red-bellied Woodpecker     Pipe Creek
Downy Woodpecker     Pipe Creek
Eastern Wood-Pewee     Pipe Creek
Alder Flycatcher     Pipe Creek
Least Flycatcher     Pipe Creek
Eastern Phoebe     Pipe Creek
Great Crested Flycatcher     Sheldon Marsh
Eastern Kingbird     Pipe Creek
White-eyed Vireo     Sheldon Marsh
Warbling Vireo     Pipe Creek
Red-eyed Vireo     Pipe Creek
Blue Jay     Pipe Creek
American Crow     Sheldon Marsh
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     Pipe Creek
Tree Swallow     Pipe Creek
Bank Swallow     Pipe Creek
Barn Swallow     Pipe Creek
Tufted Titmouse     Sheldon Marsh
White-breasted Nuthatch     Sheldon Marsh
House Wren     Pipe Creek
Swainson's Thrush     Sheldon Marsh
American Robin     Pipe Creek
Gray Catbird     Pipe Creek
Northern Mockingbird     Pipe Creek
Cedar Waxwing     Pipe Creek
Northern Waterthrush     Pipe Creek
Black-and-white Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Tennessee Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Nashville Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Connecticut Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Common Yellowthroat     Pipe Creek
American Redstart     Pipe Creek
Northern Parula     Sheldon Marsh
Magnolia Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Bay-breasted Warbler     Pipe Creek
Yellow Warbler     Pipe Creek
Chestnut-sided Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Blackpoll Warbler     Pipe Creek
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Sheldon Marsh
Wilson's Warbler     Pipe Creek
Song Sparrow     Pipe Creek
Scarlet Tanager     Sheldon Marsh
Northern Cardinal     Pipe Creek
Rose-breasted Grosbeak     Sheldon Marsh
Indigo Bunting     Pipe Creek
Red-winged Blackbird     Pipe Creek
Common Grackle     Sheldon Marsh
Brown-headed Cowbird     Sheldon Marsh
Baltimore Oriole     Pipe Creek
House Finch     Sheldon Marsh
American Goldfinch     Pipe Creek

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