When I learned about Honey Run Highlands, I kept this place in mind as it is much closer to home for me. Some bird species are easier to come by in the southern parts of Ohio. Honey Run Highlands is not way south but south enough. In the earlier part of May I took a day off work and made the trip specifically to see a Prairie Warbler. I did get to see that and more.
My May Migration Wanderings
By Tom Fishburn, WCAS Member
I love road trips. And I love to visit special places during the spring bird migration times. Although the pandemic has certainly limited me, this year I have accomplished some shorter distanced trips to a variety of favorite places as well as some new ones.
Last year I discovered a new park in Knox County and went back just last month. In years past I would travel further to south-eastern Ohio to wander around the Zaleski State Forest and Wayne National Forest to catch early migrant birds. When I learned about Honey Run Highlands, however, I kept this place in mind as it is much closer to home for me. Some bird species are easier to come by in the southern parts of Ohio. Honey Run Highlands is not way south but south enough. In the earlier part of May I took a day off work and made the trip specifically to see a Prairie Warbler. I did get to see that and more.
Weekends can be more difficult to go birding social distancing style. Especially so when a knockout gorgeous rarity shows up like a breeding plumage Red-necked Phalarope. I planned to stay home on that Sunday. But this was in the Rocky River Reservation less than ten miles from home and the bird was a "Lifer" for me.
Taking another day off work the next week l headed to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Bath Nature Preserve. I've never seen so many Blue-headed Vireos than on that day. Mary Anne Romito mentioned how good a year this was for those.
Hoping to avoid crowds on the following weekend I headed to Mentor. Parking at the Zimmerman Trailhead was full, so I checked the Wake Robin Trail. There I was almost by myself. Halfway down the boardwalk a Virginia Rail scooted away close by my feet. I was patient as it wandered in and out of the reeds just 20 feet off the boardwalk. This was a unique opportunity for me, and I enjoyed this bird for a good twenty minutes. Two more stops in Mentor included hiking the Kerven Trail and a final quick stop for the day at Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve.
Up to this point in the month the migration had been much slower than usual. Apparently, with northerly winds during the first half of May the birds held back. Tim Colborn mentioned another factor to me that the colder than average temperatures may have limited insect spread. Then when the winds shifted from the south on May 18th amazing waves of migrants moved north that lasted all week. Unfortunately for me this was during the work week and I heard about it more than experienced it. Just the same I enjoyed my May road trips and got to visit several parks and see a satisfying variety of birds. With my camera by my side you can also see much of what I did. And I hope you enjoy doing so.
June 5, 2020
Make A Donation to Western Cuyahoga Audubon. Your gifts guarantee chapter activities, programs and research continues to reach members and connect birding conservationists around the world. Use our safe and secure PayPal payment button below to make a donation of any amount you choose. All donations are gratefully received.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
After watching, ‘My Painted Trillium Quest' by Tom Fishburn, Kim Langley, WCAS Member said, “Wonderful! It was a lift just knowing that such a site exists and is being protected!”
WCAS is a proud member of The Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters (COAC) and promotes chapter development by sharing the best practices, brainstorming solutions to common problems, and building relationships in workshops and retreats. Subscribe
Bird Walk Reports
Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
4310 Bush Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. The tax ID number is: 34-1522665. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send your check to: Nancy Howell, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Treasurer, 19340 Fowles Rd, Middleburg Hts, OH 44130. © 2020 Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. All rights reserved.