Friday, May 10, 2013

Adams County, OH, Thursday, May 9

I contacted my buddy, Randy Lakes, who is still working at P&G, to ask about potential drumming Ruffed Grouse in Adams County.  Adams County is closer to my home than driving to Shawnee State Forest again to try for Ruffed Grouse.  Randy has contacts at the Edge of Appalachia Nature Conservancy in Adams County.  I met Randy at P&G and discovered our mutual interest in birds and nature.  Later, I joined Randy and the late Karl Maslowski, nationally and world famous nature and bird photographer, in the Cincinnati Bird-a-Thon, an effort to raise money for the Oxbow, an area conserved in the extreme southwest corner of Ohio.   Karl's sons, Steve and Dave are continuing the photography business that Karl started.

Randy made contact with Mark Zloba, Ecological Manager, Cincinnati Museum Center, Edge of Appalachia Preserve System.  I got good information from Mark about a spot where he had heard Ruffed Grouse drumming the day before, Wednesday.  Consequently, I headed for that spot, but arrived somewhat later than I wanted to, because I did not first check on the time of sunrise, which is now somewhat later than the first time I tried for Ruffed Grouse at Shawnee State Forest back on March 30. 

I arrived at the Picnic Shelter on Abner Hollow Road at 6:45 am and should have been there at sunrise.  As I walked up the road to the shelter, I heard a distant and faint Ruffed Grouse drumming a few times.  I did not count the previous Ruffed Grouse that I saw briefly in a drive-by, budding in a tree in Minnesota at Sax-Zim Bog in January, because at that time I did not believe that I could distinguish if from Sharp-tailed Grouse with the brief view of it out of the corner of my eye.  Now I can count it.  Thanks Mark for the information and Randy for the initial contact.  There were two male Blue-winged Warblers singing aggressively and chasing each other around at the shelter, a dispute for breeding territory.   Blue-winged Warbler is a new bird for the year.  See photos. 
The first photo shows a Blue-winged Warbler in display with its tail spread showing the white and with wings spread and looking up to locate the other male.    The second photo shows a male singing.  I also heard and saw Chestnut-sided Warbler and heard Blackburnian Warbler, both new for the year.  Two male Indigo Buntings were also in dispute of this territory.  A White-eyed Vireo, a Black and White Warbler and a Prairie Warbler were singing and very visible.   I walked the trail beyond the shelter on the uphill part of the trail and listened and looked for Ruffed Grouse.  On this trail, I had two Red-eyed Vireos, at least three Hooded Warblers and two Kentucky Warblers singing as well as two vociferous Worm-eating Warblers singing in opposition on both sides of the trail.  I drove east on Abner Hollow Road and stopped at a local old cemetery, where I heard another Blackburnian Warbler singing.  Also, in the area, I heard at least three Louisiana Waterthrushes singing as I drove slowly with my windows down as well as several Yellow-
throated Warblers, multiple Prairie Warblers and Common Yellowthroats as well as at least one Northern Parula.  None of these are new for the year.

I also checked out the area near the Nature Conservancy Eulett Center on Waggoner Riffle Road and on Cole Road near Cedar Mills to look for and listen for Henslow's Sparrows.  I found Eastern Kingbirds in the Henslow's Sparrow field near the Eulett Center and on Cole Road a calling Northern Bobwhite but no Henslow's Sparrows.  I left the area and sopped at Adams Lake State Park to listen for warblers and vireos, but found only another Eastern Wood Pewee singing and a Tennessee Warbler singing on the right side as I exited the state park.  I drove Wheat Ridge Road to Tater Ridge Road to check out a location where we have found both Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows on previous Bird-a-Thons, but without success.  It was almost noon; thus, it might have been too late in the morning.  I did see Eastern Bluebirds and heard Blue Grosbeaks singing along Tater Ridge Road.

Ruffed Grouse, Blue-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler and Blackburnian Warbler raise the total to 405.                

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