Out of frustration about how much birding time is "wasted" taking care of everyday life stuff, I went to Spring Valley Wildlife Area (SVWA) on Sunday evening, April 14. I checked the bike trail to see if I could find the recently reported Prothonotary Warbler, but without success. I did find my first of the year in Ohio Yellow Warbler north of the beaver dam north of the entry path to the bike trail from the parking area by the dam for the lake at SVWA. I met two birders from the Dayton area, Springboro, who were also looking for the Prothonotary Warbler, but also apparently without success also. I went to the boardwalk to check for Virginia Rail and Sora. I found 3 calling Virginia Rails, a new bird for the year. One Virginia Rail came in close to the boardwalk and was visible near the chair on the boardwalk before the observation platform. I also tried for American Bittern, but without success. There are still Rusty Blackbirds coming into the marsh to roost at dusk with the flocks, now smaller, of Red-winged Blackbirds.
Before dawn on Monday morning, April 15, I drove to East Fork State Park to the Horseman's Parking Lot to listen for Barred Owl. This is an almost guaranteed place to hear Barred Owl. I heard a distant Barred Owl call once at about sunrise, while it was getting light. A flock of American Crows was apparently harassing the Barred Owl, prompting the call. I met a mushroom harvester when I arrived. He is also a turkey hunter and verified that the turkey hunting season started next week. Therefore, I walked the horseman's Trail out to the "S" curve to listen for Prairie Warbler. Usually, I can get Prairie Warbler from the parking lot, but not this day at the parking lot or on the trail.
I also visited Armeleder Park, where Prothonotary Warbler had been reported, but did not find the bird. I heard a Purple Finch singing near the canoe launch area, and saw the following birds: White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Eastern Meadowlark, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged Teal and Lesser Yellowlegs and heard a Yellow Warbler at the north end of the park. However, none of these are new for the year.
The total is now 333. I have not left for Florida yet, but very soon. A lot of preparations needed for scheduled trips later this month and next and Spring chores that cannot be delayed.