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.
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.
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!
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.
Love that massive, colorful bill.
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!Tweet