Our walk continued with a small flock of Chimney Swifts actively feeding on flying insects. We later learned that there had been at least one significant flying ant hatch in the park earlier that day that may have been the source for that Swift feeding frenzy.
Event: Backyard Nature Bash Bird Walks Report
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018
Time: 12:30 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Location: Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek Reservation, 2277 West Ridgewood Dr, Parma, OH 44134 Map
Leader: Tim Colborn
Species Focus: Midwest Woodland and Field Species
Results: 8 Birders, 21 Species
Description: August 18th, the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society participated in the 2018 Backyard Nature Bash at the Cleveland Metropark’s West Creek Reservation in Parma, OH. In addition to setting up an information booth, two birdwalks were offered in the afternoon. A total of eight attendees joined us for the walks with six of those opting for the earlier trek beginning at 12:30 p.m.
As we waited to begin our short hike through the park, we spotted a soaring Cooper’s Hawk that lead to a discussion of the difference between this smaller bird-hunting accipiter and the more common large buteo in our area, the rodent-eating Red-tailed Hawk. As our walk began, we noticed several American Goldfinch including some that appeared to be transitioning out of their bright breeding plumage as summer draws nigh. We also found a young Eastern Bluebird joined by his male parent that gave us an opportunity to compare the juvenile to the adult of the species. Our walk continued with a small flock of Chimney Swifts actively feeding on flying insects. We later learned that there had been at least one significant flying ant hatch in the park earlier that day that may have been the source for that Swift feeding frenzy. Our group finally entered the woods and encountered a mewing Gray Catbird, a small group of American Robins, a distant Ruby-throated Hummingbird and two adult Red-headed Woodpeckers.
The later walk began at 2:00 p.m. and the small group re-traced the steps taken earlier in the afternoon seeing and hearing many of the same species. In addition, we had terrific looks at a singing Eastern Wood-Pewee and were challenged to identify a Cedar Waxwing that had just completed bathing in the stream, it’s often distinctive crest temporarily slicked back and it’s waxy tail tips hidden in the shade of its perch.
In total, we identified 21 species on our walks, an understandably low total not unexpected in the middle of a warm afternoon on a late August date. - Tim Colborn, Bird Walk Leader
- Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
- Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
- Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
- Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
- Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
- Hairy Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus villosus)
- Eastern Wood Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
- Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
- Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
- House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
- Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
- American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
- Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
- Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
- House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
- American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
- Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
- Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
- Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
- Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)