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.
Field Trip Report
Event: Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society Field Trip to Ohio and Erie Canal Report
Date: Sunday, June 17, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Location: CanalWay Center, 4524 E 49th St, Cleveland, OH 44125
Leaders: Nancy Howell
Target Species: Resident and nesting species in a variety of habitats
Results: 6 Birders, 46 Species
Description: 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.
Beneath the high tension power lines the shrubby areas produced many Yellow Warblers, Gray Catbirds, Northern Cardinals, American Goldfinch and a good number of Willow Flycatchers, many of which cooperated and sat on bare branches. We observed a female Yellow Warbler gathering nest material, dried grass and cottonwood fuzz, from the side of the all-purpose trail. She came several times then flew into the dense shrubs. The male, probably her mate, watched and sang nearby. Indigo Buntings were heard singing and one was sighted from a distance. They too like the thicket areas.
Wetland areas had numerous Red-winged Blackbirds, both adult and young birds. Tree Swallows fussed as Common Grackles landed in dead trees where the swallows were probably nesting. American Robins were common along the trail whether it was in the open or in the wooded area. They are quite adaptable.
Many pairs of Barn Swallows, nesting beneath a covered shelter area under the railroad trestle, swooped in, out and around us. We located active nests by looking at the ground and seeing the droppings of the young birds. Several nests had little heads poking out just waiting for the adults to return with food.
Entering the wooded area to get into the shade and to find woodland species, a Baltimore Oriole nest was noted in a Sycamore tree. We could hear one young bird begging and it was found when an adult came in to feed. The young bird was recently fledged and had a stubby little tail. Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos were heard, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were heard, then seen and several other woodland species were added including Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Blue Jay were added to the list. Orchard Orioles were heard in a couple of places, but hard to see - darn leaves.
Coming out of the wooded area and heading along the canal we were able to see the sky better and located Belted Kingfisher that tried to sneak by without calling, a couple of Turkey Vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk were enjoying the thermals rising from the valley, and a flyby Green Heron was a nice addition. One Yellow-billed Cuckoo called from across the canal and was briefly sighted. The skulky birds are hard to find and they slip away easily. Near the end of the walk an Eastern Phoebe made sure we saw him perched in an open area near a small bridge. Below is the list of species sighted and number of each species. - Nancy Howell, WCAS Board Member
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