Early Evening Bird Walk, Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation, Lagoon Picnic Area, October 20, 2021 Report
Our final early evening bird walk for 2021 was held at the Lagoon Picnic Area in the Rocky River Reservation. It was a gorgeous evening and attracted 19 participants. What was just as fun as seeing the birds was doing some astronomy as the sun set. The full moon had not risen over the valley, but Jupiter and Saturn had!
Early Evening Bird Walk Report
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Location: Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation, Lagoon Picnic Area. Meet at Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks, Valley Pkwy, Brook Park, OH 44138 Map
Leaders: Nancy Howell, Michelle Brosius
Target Species: Birds using dead trees
Results: 28 Species, 19 Birders
Description: Our final early evening bird walk for 2021 was held at the Lagoon Picnic Area in the Rocky River Reservation. It was a gorgeous evening and attracted 19 participants. What was just as fun as seeing the birds was doing some astronomy as the sun set. The full moon had not risen over the valley, but Jupiter and Saturn had!
Our “target species” were birds in dead trees and there are plenty of dead trees around the Lagoon Picnic Area. Besides the forest, there is the lagoon, the open grass of the picnic area, and the Rocky River itself. As the group began to gather White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Brown Creeper were heard. The first “dead tree” denizen was a Pileated Woodpecker! Nice sighting, then a large bird flew behind the picnic shelter and landed on a live tree. Yes, we looked at birds in live trees too and glad we did as it was a Red-tailed Hawk. Yippee!
The group took the dirt path along the back portion of the lagoon. White-throated Sparrow and Eastern Bluebird were sighted in this area along with a couple species of woodpecker. The Metroparks is making the trail easier to access as a boardwalk (not completed) over some of the wetter areas has been added, some soil has been leveled, and rocks were filling some of the deeper holes, probably to allow access by machinery. It should be nice walking once completed.
Great Blue Heron, Carolina Wren, Song, and Swamp Sparrows were noted in the marshy area of the lagoon, while the wooded areas yielded Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Northern Cardinal. Throughout the evening, American Robins were flying high overhead almost in a steady stream.
The list of woodpeckers was good with Red-bellied, Downy, Hairy, Pileated and Northern Flicker. A participant sighted and pointed out a Hairy Woodpecker that was working on a dead stump along the river. Everyone had the opportunity to see and discuss the size of the bird as well as the length of the bill. .
While heading back to the parking area, a younger birder stated she had seen a large bird through the trees, we all stopped to look and she was right! Two Bald Eagles soared above the treeline, nearly overhead. Wow, you could almost hear “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing in the background. We finally gathered in the parking lot to review the species sighted or heard. We could barely get through the list when waterfowl began coming in - Canada Goose, Wood Duck and Mallard. Lastly, one of the participants texted her husband that she had heard a Great Horned Owl. We all walked to the area where it had been heard, and some felt they had heard it call again, while others did not. All in all a wonderful, fall evening. - Nancy Howell, Bird Walk Leader
View: Early Evening Bird Walk, Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation, Lagoon Picnic Area, October 20, 2021 Report (PDF)
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