The March Tremont Urban Bird Walk also had Kirtland Bird Club members join us. Thirteen participants came together on Saturday, we were hoping for more, but the weather was not cooperative in having lots of people come out. Temperatures were in the low 30s, a light dusting of snow had fallen overnight and continued in fits and spurts during the walk. It was tough to bundle up at the end of March. The birds bundled up to some degree, either puffing up to insulate better or keeping a low profile. - Report by Nancy Howell
The March Tremont Urban Bird Walk also had Kirtland Bird Club members join us. Thirteen participants came together on Saturday, we were hoping for more, but the weather was not cooperative in having lots of people come out. Temperatures were in the low 30s, a light dusting of snow had fallen overnight and continued in fits and spurts during the walk. It was tough to bundle up at the end of March. The birds bundled up to some degree, either puffing up to insulate better or keeping a low profile.
Snowflakes hitting our eyes and faces, wet binoculars, and overcast skies were not the best birding, but 26 species and 2 taxa groups (Larus sp. - gulls, Hawk sp.) were tallied. While waiting for participants to arrive, an American Robin sang from a tree sapling, while another robin on the ground looked grumpy. Rock Pigeons, European Starlings, Common Grackles, Double-crested Cormorants and gulls flew over or landed nearby. A Cooper’s Hawk came blasting by and swooped into trees in a neighboring yard.
The group started at an overlook of the Cuyahoga River and valley. Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were common, but too far away to get an accurate count as they perched along both sides of the river where gravel piles are stored. A few Canada Geese were sorted out from the gulls
As we descended into the valley many robins and starlings were sighted and Common Grackles became more abundant - first in couples then small flocks. Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, House Sparrow and Song Sparrow were noted before reaching the platform that extends into the river.
At the platform additional Canada Geese, Mallards and our Lesser Scaup “Lester” were seen. More gulls, this time the species could be seen more clearly - Ring-billed and Herring. Teh group looked for the Peregrine Falcons on the Innerbelt Bridge, the lift bridge, as well as the Hope Memorial Bridge, on which there is a peregrine nest box, but no luck. The birds were probalby hunkered down due to the weather. Heading further north on the towpath, with vision a bit obscured by falling snow, the group did pick up a few more species, Mourning Dove, Killdeer, Bonaparte’s Gull, Northern Flicker, Northern Mockingbird, and Red-winged Blackbird primarily as we neared the firehouse at Collision Bend.
Overlooking the river at Collision Bend a second Bonaparte’s Gull was located along with other gulls, a Belted Kingfisher was heard and then sighted by some. Additional sparrows were noted, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Song Sparrow, while a Red-bellied Woodpecker also made the list. Several of the participants chose to head back to their cars at this point but a few in the group continued along Carter Rd. More snow and the wind was picking up so not a whole lot was added to the list. A fast flying raptor (hawk?) did zoom by us from behind and continued, but none of us had a good enough look for an identification. Our return to the towpath did produce an American Crow and a few species that had been noted earlier.
By the time we neared the parking lot … still continuing to look for the hawk(?) that zoomed by as well as the Peregrine Falcons … we were glad that the walk was ending as we were all a bit chilly and wet. Let’s hope for good weather soon!
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