Monday, February 04, 2013

Back to birding!

This young Herring Gull looks about the way I felt for a while.  I just haven't felt like doing anything but sleeping.

Young Herring Gull

Now that I am feeling much better from my bout with whatever bug I had, I have been able to get back to doing some birding.  People have been seeing some good birds on the east side of Cincinnati  so I thought that I would go out to try to find some of them.

I originally went to the Medahl Dam to try to find the reported Surf Scoter there.  The day I went it was 67° F.  I didn't see the bird.  I decided to just check different spots along the Ohio River.  Nothing much anywhere.

I got so bored, I decided to take pictures of plants.  Here is a plant that many locals probably didn't even know existed here.

Mistletoe along Ohio River in Pt. Pleasant, Clermont Co.

I remember seeing this around the Ohio River only when I was a kid. I remember telling people that this was  Mistletoe, but they didn't believe me.  I now know that it is indeed Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum.  It is fairly common along the Ohio bank of the Ohio River, but not so much as you travel even a few miles from it.  

The weather had changed dramatically in just a short time.  As it was close to 70° F the days before, it had turned to the single digits with snow by the end of the week.   I decided to watch the feeders to see if anything good had come in.  I didn't see anything noteworthy rare wise, but I did get to enjoy the many colors at the feeders like this handsome male Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Red-bellied Woodpecker male

As I had two days off in a row, I just couldn't sit home and watch the feeders all day.  I had to get outside.  The temperature was only 15° with negative wind chills, but the sun was shining bright.  I decided to go chase the Surf Scoter again.  I have only seen what I thought was one through my scope at East Fork State Park, but it was such a distant view, I didn't even count it on my life list.  

I got something to eat, and headed to Medahl Dam to look for the Surf Scoter.  Boy it was cold.  My hands were freezing as I don't like to use my binos with gloves on unless I have to.  I figured I was close enough to the car, I could go back to heat up.  

The first bird I saw pop up right in front of me was a Ruddy Duck.  It was as close as I have been to one.  It quickly disappeared   I saw a Horned Grebe and Pied-billed Grebe - no scoter.  And then I saw a dark duck pop up in the rough water near some wood debris - SURF SCOTER!  

Surf Scoter

What a cool looking bird!  The current kept drifting it closer to me, and I could see that it didn't like.  It started hanging out with some Ring-billed Gulls which made it more comfortable.  

Surf Scoter and Ring-billed Gull

Surf Scoter

Surf Scoter


Love that massive, colorful bill.


Surf Scoter

I think I can count it this time!  I was so excited about seeing this life bird, I didn't realize that I couldn't move my one hand til I got back to the car!

3 comments:

  1. It has been so cold - but it feels even more rewarding when standing in the cold finally pays off!

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  2. Nice! Way to go Surfin' Cincinatti.

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  3. Congrats Donald onyour life'r, you deserve it for the endurance.
    All the best Gordon.

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