Monday, August 10, 2009

Hot, but not-so-hot birding

Despite the forecast, I just had to get outdoors Sunday. So I decided to go hit a couple of spots down on the Ohio River. With the heat, I wasn't expecting much bird wise. The morning started out way too hot and humid - I was already sweating profusely by 9AM.

I checked out Crooked Run Nature Preserve in Clermont Co., Ohio first. It was very dead bird and bug wise, with the best bird being a young Broad-winged Hawk being mobbed by a family of Eastern Kingbirds.

Here is my attempt to photograph a Slender Spreadwing at Crooked Run:

Slender Spreadwing

I then decided to head to my cousin's farm in southern Brown Co. Ohio, but on the way I had found a good sized patch of Swamp Rose Mallow and Swamp Milkweed in a little river inlet. I decided to stop and look around. It was just too marshy to go into. I did see a Giant Swallowtail butterfly winging it high above me, so I decided to look around some more. I could hear a Yellow-breasted Chat and White-eyed Vireo calling on the other side of the inlet, but could never find them. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird was flitting around with some Silver-spotted Skippers on teasel . Other than that, it was just hot and humid. While walking back to the car, I noticed two Great Egrets flying upriver along the far Kentucky shore. When I got back to the car, this bright orangish-yellow wildflower caught my eye. It was growing on the sandy bank (atop a cliff) of the Ohio River.

Most likely Wormseed Wallflower Erysimum cheiranthoides?
Growing in Clermont Co. not too far from the Brown Co. line. 2' high.

For some reason, I tend to have a hard time remembering the names of plants that I have seen before. I usually just think "I know that I know this plant, just can't remember the name" and go on. I couldn't remember having seen this plant before. I could tell it was in the mustard family by looking at its flowers and seed pods, but that's about it. I can't find it in any of my wildflower books and the internet search results are confusing (some kind of wallflower). Is this likely a non-native/garden escape? Comments welcome.

Update: Flower is most likely European Wormseed Wallflower. Thanks goes to Jim McCormac for his botanical expertise.

Butterflies appeared to be more abundant recently with the heat. I guess the cool, damp start to the summer had everything on hold. I finally heard katydids for the first time in a while, it was eerily quiet without them.

Little Wood Satyr

Female Common Whitetail

Had to get back to the A/C!!!


  1. Hi Donald- Looks like we both share a passion for nature. Thanks for following the Ohio Nature Blog.


  2. ...beautiful butterfly. I like the design on the wings. Lovely dragonfly as well!