Throughout the fall WCAS has had a number of Birding Challenges and a Mask-making Contest to keep our members and guests busy and getting outdoors during the COVID-19 restrictions.
If Bath Nature Preserve, Nimisila Reservoir, and/or the Lake Isaac virtual field trips are of interest to you, you are in luck as all the meetups are recorded and posted online at the wcaudubon.org news blog. You can also use the search feature near the bottom of the home page to locate the recordings.
"It was a slow day for birding. Weather was cold and windy. We had 6 observers. 38 species were observed. The warblers were disappointing, with only 2 species, the Northern Waterthrush and the Nashville Warbler. We had good looks at the White-throated Sparrow, 20 were counted in several locations. Highlight was a first-of-year Great Crested Flycatcher." ~ Bill Deininger, Bird Walk Leader
"We had 38 species. Highlights were a fly over bald Eagle, both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, our resident Barred Owl and a nice look at a female Pintail." ~ Bill Deininger, Bird Walk Leader
The day started off with the temperature at 25 degrees and ended at 33 degrees. Clouds kept the sun from shining, but we were fortunate to see some blue sky. The 30 observers were treated with 24 species during the three hour walk. Most of the regular birds were spotted by all. Highlights were a pair of Swamp Sparrows and five Tree Sparrows. We had a good look at a fly over Red-shouldered Hawk.
Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle Report 2019 Submitted by Nancy Howell, Compiler for the Lakewood Circle
Many, many thanks go out to more than 100 birders and friends who helped locate the birds on this list. Whether birding by car, on foot, watching feeders or owling, everyone’s hard work was truly appreciated. Plan ahead and mark your calendar for the Lakewood Circle Christmas Count on Sunday, December 27, 2020.
38 birders ventured out on a chilly and overcast morning. At least the snow and rain held off. The birding was a little slow with only 17 species but we had good numbers of individuals. Thousands of Ring-billed Gulls were the most prevalent birds.
Tim Colborn led an instructional bird walk for those interested with an appreciation for avian life.
"Our plan was to first walk the roads within several hundred yards of the parking area, looking into the marshes for wading birds and waterfowl. Within the first few minutes, we were observing dozens of swallows around and landing on structures. Mostly Barn Swallows, they were joined by a handful of Tree Swallows and one or two Bank Swallows allowing comparisons of plumage and size." ~ Tim Colborn, Field Trip Leader.
Perfect weather for the picnic! About 20 birders and Audubon friends enjoyed the annual picnic and plant exchange. Thanks Don Howell for starting charcoal, and thank Dave Graskemper and Rich Kassouf for leading the walk. - Penny O’Connor
Walking the trail we encountered common birds, American Robin, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers and more. Rounding a bend on the trail with a different view of the lake, a Double-crested Cormorant came in for a landing and later a flock of six cormorants flew over. A Blue-headed Vireo sang and was seen by most, but lighting was terrible due to overcast skies, so the beauty of this early vireo was lost.
We had 27 observers at this 2nd Saturday of the month bird walk for February 2019. The temperature was 18 degrees, with some sun, and very little wind. Some new observers joined us. We had only 23 species. Best bird was a fly over Bald Eagle. Two very colorful Bluebirds sat and were enjoyed by every one. After we just finished filling out the bird list a Brown Creeper appeared at the feeding station for some close up looks.
As we were pulling up 2 other birders were walking toward the parking area, so I asked if they had seen the Merlin and they had. So our group jumped out of our cars and walked to the pine trees where we had great views of the the Merlin for several minutes before we left for Scranton Flats.
What a difference a year makes. In 2017 Count Day was noted as being “frigid”, but in 2018 Saturday, December 29 the day was relatively mild with temperatures in the mid to lower 30’s, overcast skies and almost no wind. No snow was on the ground and precipitation was hardly noticeable.
WCAS held a third conservation project laboratory on January 5, 2018 at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Cleveland. Fifteen people attended this event. Kurt Miske opened the meeting and Tom Romito facilitated the event.
We had 24 observers on this Second Saturday in December in Rocky River Reservation. It was a brisk 27 degrees, cloudy and a slight breeze. We had 26 different species. The highlights were a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches that fed out of some of the birders hands. We also had a good look at a Barred Owl, perched high up in a pine tree, observed by all. - Bill Deininger.
Scopes were needed to see birds on the lake, but a variety of waterfowl were present. Horned Grebes and Loons dove. Mallards and Redheads and Buffleheads cruised in groups, to the delight of several new birders. Two Belted Kingfishers rattled along Spencer Creek. Thanks Rich and Karen Kassouf and Nancy Howell for sharing eBird lists. The list below is a compilation. - Penny O’Connor, Bird Walk Coordinator
It was a sultry morning on Sunday, June 17 as 6 participants attended the WCAS field trip to the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation’s CanalWay Center. A variety of habitats in an urban area, forests, wetlands, the river, shrub and brushy areas along the Cuyahoga River, provided us with 46 species.
A bright and cool evening is great for a picnic. A singing Yellow Warbler serenaded during the picnic. The plant exchange featured may apples and several smaller native plants, as well as hostas and tulips to name a few. - Penny O’Connor, WCAS Board Member
Tim Jasinski spotted a number of warbler species in the ravine behind the center, a good start toward the total of 12 warbler species for the evening. The resident Barred Owls called and sat obligingly where all could have a great view. Gray Catbirds and brilliant orange and black Baltimore Orioles sang at many locations.
Most of the birders would say our best bird of the day was an immature Barred Owl. It was on a tree branch about 15 feet high and five feet from the trail. Everyone had unobstructed views of the owlet. Down the trail we then saw one of the parent Barred owls hanging around watching out for the owlet. It was a great day for birding. Many species, many great views, many birds singing.
Left-right: Caleb Putnam, AGL Michigan bird Conservation Coordinator; Troy Peters, AGL Engagement Manager; Stephanie Beilke, AGL Conservation Science Associate; (behind) Nat Miller, AGL Director of Conservation; Justin Stokes, National Audubon Director of Legislative Affairs; Bill Heck, NAS Regional Director, Mississippi Flyway North; Brian Merlos, AGL Michigan Field Organizer; Brooke Bateman, Director of Climate Watch. Photo by Constance Rubin.
Audubon’s new Great Lakes Initiative grew out of national’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and includes a Regional Office and staff in the Chicago area. The Audubon Great Lakes meeting November 2017, focused on building chapter capacities for (1) policy advocacy and (2) conservation projects.
Joint Field Trip with Kirtland Bird Club at Bradstreet's Landing and Rocky River Park Report November 2017
High winds meant big waves on Lake Erie, a mild but wintry day with some rain and snow. Red-breasted Mergansers streamed east and west. Winter gulls and waterfowl have arrived. Bald Eagles soared overhead.
Sub-freezing temperatures did not deter 26 birders for the November Second Saturday walk. Ice had formed on the ponds. Eastern Bluebirds and Pileated Woodpeckers came in threes. Birders enjoyed American Tree Sparrows.
An Acadian Flycatcher and a Cedar Waxwing on their nests plus singing Veeries highlighted this perfect June day. A slightly downy juvenile Barred Owl was another great find.
Publishing news, announcements and reports.
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Visit the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Virtual Conference Center for a listing of programs. Download the Free Desktop & Mobile Apps-Version 2
REGISTER Speaker Series Tue Dec 1: Member Meeting and “Lichens: An Overlooked Organism” Speaker Series Tue Dec 1, 2020
ABOUT VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS with Michelle Brosius, Director-at-Large and Field Trip Co-Coordinator, WCAS.
Mapping Wonder™ with Stormy Sweitzer, Oct 24-Nov 21, 2020. LEARN MORE.
WATCH Mapping Wonder™ - A Conversation with David Lindo, The Urban Birder
WATCH Introduction to, 'Urban Ag for People, Birds, and Wildlife'
WATCH WCAS Member Meeting and 'Emergent Mechanics of the Cup Nest and Its 'Mechanical Synthesis', Nov 3, 2020.
Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
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