Virtual Field Trip Report, March – May 2021 by Michelle Brosius, WCAS Board Member & Field Trip Co-Coordinator
For May’s virtual field trip participants visited the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Oberlin Preserve, which had just opened last summer. The target species were spring warblers and the American Goldfinch. Target species were present as were a number of flycatcher species and woodpeckers.
Virtual Field Trip Report, March – May 2021
By Michelle Brosius, WCAS Board Member & Field Trip Co-Coordinator
The Virtual Field Trip series is an option for engaging with nature and community while adhering to social distancing guidelines necessitated by COVID-19. Participants in the program independently visit a pre-selected location throughout a given month and then report back to me with bird lists, journaling, and photographs regarding the visit. These items are then compiled into a scrapbook that is shared during a virtual meetup the second Wednesday following the field trip month.
March’s virtual field trip took place at the Cleveland Metroparks’ North Chagrin Reservation in search of the Red-winged Blackbird. Two sites were suggested, Oxbow Lagoon and Sanctuary Marsh by the North Chagrin Nature Center, but participants were encouraged to explore as much of the reservation as desired. During the month, plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds were seen. Shaun Missig was able to get three lifers: House Finch, Sharp-shinned Hawk (juvenile), and Eastern Phoebe. I had seen and photographed a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk and took the opportunity to highlight differences between the two very similar birds, mainly differences in the tail tips (rounded in Cooper’s and squared in Sharpies) and belly streaking in juveniles (present in Sharpies but absent in Cooper’s). Tom Fishburn shared a stunning image of an Eastern Phoebe and we welcomed new participant Lisa Gerbec, who also had stunning photos to share. Also during the month, Al Rand introduced us to the amphibian migrations, showing us photographs of salamanders and frogs at the reservation. Watch the WCAS Field Trip to Cleveland Metroparks, North Chagrin Reservation, Mayfield, OH March 2021 Virtual Meetup Recording
In April, four participants made the trip out to The Nature Conservancy’s Lucia S. Nash Preserve in search of the Sandhill Crane and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Both target species were sighted. Tom Fishburn had fantastic luck by finally spotting a bird that has alluded him in the past, the Pine Warbler. He had only seen this bird twice before and neither time had offered him a good look. I also spotted an Eastern Phoebe maintaining a nest in the eaves of an old fishing/hunting lodge and used the opportunity to remind folks of proper nest etiquette and to keep a distance from nesting birds. Watch the WCAS Field Trip to The Nature Conservancy, Lucia S. Nash Preserve, Burton, OH April 2021 Virtual Meetup Recording
For May’s virtual field trip participants visited the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Oberlin Preserve, which had just opened last summer. The target species were spring warblers and the American Goldfinch. Target species were present as were a number of flycatcher species and woodpeckers. Nancy Howell saw the most bird species by tallying an impressive 74 species over two visits! The prairie habitat at Oberlin Preserve is still young, but features bluebird nesting boxes, courtesy of Black River Audubon, and a Chimney Swift tower provided by a Girl Scout troop. Also, be sure to explore the Ramsey Right of Way Trail on the east side of the preserve that extends all the way to Route 20 and passes through woodland and wetland habitats. Watch the WCAS Field Trip to Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Oberlin Preserve, Oberlin, OH May 2021 Virtual Meetup Recording
I invite you to watch the recordings and check out the scrapbooks of any of these virtual field trips, and to check out our upcoming virtual field trips, by visiting wcaudubon.org and clicking on the Virtual Field Trips 2021 tile on the home page.
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