Beginning in the parking lot we had our usual urban birds, Rock Pigeon, House Sparrow, European Starling, and Ring-billed Gull. As we moved beneath the I-90 bridge to view a field habitat, American Goldfinch bounced along, Song Sparrows sang, Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings moved in and out of the grasses, and a lovely male Indigo Bunting perched for everyone to see.
Towpath Trail Tremont Bird Walk Report
Date & Time: Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
Location: The Towpath Trail (Tremont), Cleveland, OH 44113 Map
Leader: Nancy Howell
Results: 25 Species, 5 Birders
Description: The Saturday, July 24, 2021 Tremont Bird Walk, co-sponsored by Western Cuyahoga Audubon and Tremont West Development Corporation, was iffy due to rain earlier in the morning and gathering rain clouds to the west. This may have kept the number of participants on the low side, with 5 people in attendance. Of course the Cleveland area always has so much happening on weekends that potential attendees may have chosen another fun thing to do. No matter, our group began at the parking area, then walked down beneath the I-90 bridge. We could see the Cuyahoga River and many, many kayaks and paddleboards plying the river for the “Blazing Paddles” event. It was cool to see all of the small craft moving alongside a huge cargo ship that was unloading gravel. That’s what the event was celebrating, sharing the Cuyahoga River among commercial and recreational vessels. With the cleaner Cuyahoga, so many people want to recreate along or on the river … who would have thought that years ago? So pleased to see how the river, and parks along the river, have progressed.
Beginning in the parking lot we had our usual urban birds, Rock Pigeon, House Sparrow, European Starling, and Ring-billed Gull. As we moved beneath the I-90 bridge to view a field habitat, American Goldfinch bounced along, Song Sparrows sang, Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings moved in and out of the grasses, and a lovely male Indigo Bunting perched for everyone to see. It was a good start to the walk.
As we continued birds were not super abundant as it was already late July and the potential for rain may have quieted some species. We were able to pick up Gray Catbird and got better views of the Indigo Bunting and a Downy Woodpecker. Nearing the river the Herring Gulls seemed more common, perched on stone pillars, gravel piles and flying around. Very dark young-of-the-year Herring Gulls were viewed and a discussion ensued about how long it takes for a Herring Gull to get its full adult plumage. The river also held Mallards, “Lester” the resident Lesser Scaup, and a single Spotted Sandpiper. The sandpiper did not live up to its name as it had no spots! The bird had already molted into its non-breeding plumage, brown above, white below with a little “hook” of white extending up from the breast in front of the wing bend. The telltale sign of the Spotted Sandpiper was its bobbing hind end.
More kayaks and paddleboards on the river as we continued. Barn Swallows put on a nice “air show” and we could see all of the identifying features, slim build, long, forked tail, rusty undersides, and dark uppersides. A few American Robins poked for invertebrates in the short grass along the trail. We finally added a single Chimney Swift, some Common Grackles, House Finch, a Willow Flycatcher, Northern Cardinal and a Yellow Warbler.
Upon reaching the fire station we looked along the river to see what was around. One participant located a Pied-billed Grebe which was a good addition. The weather was looking a bit iffy and we already had been sprinkled on, so the group decided to turn around. On our return trip we were successful in locating a Northern Mockingbird perched on top of a telephone pole singing a diversity of songs and calls, then jumping into the air, landing and singing once again. It was fun to watch.
Additional mockingbirds were sighted beneath the I-90 bridge as we neared the parking area. We were able to watch their flight and the large white wing patches that flashed as they flew. The mockingbirds as well as American Goldfinch perched on shrubs for us to really get good views. As we returned to the parking area, a single Double-crested Cormorant flew by, adding it as our final species of the walk. Here is the list of 25 species. - Report by Nancy Howell.
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