Monday, July 1, 2013

Local Ohio Breeding Species Added near Columbus, Sunday, June 30

I had important Health Care business to attend to and needed to contact two MD's.  I sent them a letter and hope to have cell phone and e-mail conferences with them while I am away birding.  On Sunday I pursued some breeding birds that I missed during the spring migration in the east while I was in Alaska.  The three species are Blue-headed Vireo, Veery and Upland Sandpiper, all three of which can be found within two hours of my home and not too far from Columbus.  I also had business to attend to in Columbus, so I "killed" (not really!) two birds with one trip, so to speak.

I arrived not as early as intended at Clear Creek Metro Park south of Lancaster, OH off of SR 33 at about 9:00 am.   I sought Blue-headed Vireo and Veery.  I found one Blue-headed Vireo at the beginning of Hemlock Trail and another on Fern Trail.  I also had about six Hooded Warblers, two Worm-eating Warblers, four Black throated Green Warblers, two Black and White Warblers, at least two Yellow-throated Warblers and several American Redstarts and about six Hermit Thrushes singing.  The Veery was singing by the Fern Picnic Area near the picnic tables across the road from the Fern Trail trailhead.  Clear Creek has these more northern species, Blue-headed Vireo, Veery and Hermit Thrush in shady cool hemlock ravines, which are similar to the more northern habitat that they prefer.   

I heard the Blue-headed Vireo immediately after I got out of my car near the trailhead of the Hemlock Trail.  In an attempt to bring the bird in closer for a good view, I played a recording from Cornell Laboratory Ornithology on old technology, a tape recorder.  The bird immediately stopped singing, which is an indicator, that my song ID was correct.  Apparently, this Blue-headed Vireo similar to other Blue-headed Vireos under these circumstances flew in close to investigate that other male vireo intruding on his well established territory.  I was not able to find the bird, so I walked the hemlock trail up to the top and returned in about twenty minutes.  The Blue-headed Vireo was singing again.  I also had the advantage of having heard about 10 Red-eyed Vireos singing the "preacher bird song", repeating the same phrases over and over again; therefore, I was even more confident in my identification of the song.  This time I was able to  see the Blue-headed Vireo singing, once showing the white throat and breast and dark sides of the face.  The last time I saw the Blue-headed Vireo singing, I tracked the song as the bird moved through the trees seeing the bird move consistent with the song location but not seeing the bird as well. 

I stopped at Fern Trail to look for Veery and spent a fair amount of time walking the trail, but then returned to the parking area and found a Veery singing.  I observed the Veery near the picnic tables while it sang the beautiful downward spiraling song and could see the uniformly reddish brown wings and upper parts and the white breast and belly with the buffy throat with very indistinct spotting. 

WOW, two for two!

Then I stopped at Bolton Field near Columbus, arriving at about 1:30 pm and found one Upland Sandpiper along the runway on the parking lot side east of the corner of the fence with vertical openings and the steel mesh fence along the east or south side at the parking lot.  The Upland Sandpiper was walking through the relatively shorter grass picking and snagging insects.  Near the location of the Upland Sandpiper is a sign with A4 in yellow letters surrounded by black and also with A-22- in white on a red background.  I did not try to read the last number or letter after the last "-" on the red and white sign.  The Upland Sandpiper called once from the ground giving the whirring rising and falling whistle.  I observed it standing upright on the ground while calling.  Three for three! I tried for some very long distant photos, but the bird was well out of range.   

Blue-headed Vireo, Veery and Upland Sandpiper raise the total to 525.  Now I'm heading north to Michigan. 

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