Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Special Grebe and Shrike, January 16

This morning I drove to Hidden Lake, IN, just over the Ohio line.  This is only about 45 minutes from home.  I got the previously reported Red-necked Grebe near the dam.  I first tired by the beach and thought I saw the bird with its head tucked at a distance near the dam.  I went to the parking area above the dam near the community center and started walked down the path.  As I neared the bottom by the dam, the Red-necked Grebe started swimming out into the middle of the lake following a Pied-billed Grebe.  The light was dim, too cloudy to try for pictures.

On my way back from hidden Lake I checked out the local camp ground lake on State Line Road for waterfowl.  There had been a scoter reported there, but the lake was empty.  I also stopped at Lost Bridge again but there were no waterfowl except Canada Geese.

I decided that I had enough time to try for Northern Shrike.  In 2011, I tried for Northern Shrike across the state of Ohio about 15 times during the period January through March, and never found one until very late in the year, November/December, near Ottawa NWR in northwest Ohio.  A Northern Shrike has been reported at Delaware WA north of Columbus about 1-2 hours away.  Time to get there with enough light.  This location has been reported as a very reliable location, perhaps the most reliable in the experience of very good birders.  I got there with plenty of light to spare and found the very cooperative Northern Shrike and enjoyed it from abut 3:30 to 4:30 pm at a reasonable distance and with telescope views.  No photos.  Not enough light.

At the end of the day, the total is 77, with two new winter rarities or potentially difficult birds to obtain.

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