Killdeer Plains February 18, 2008
Since botany and butterflies are a bit slow- I am forced to blog about birds, and what a day birding we had at Killdeer Plains! Greater Mohican Audubon and Greater Akron Audubon teamed up for a field trip and invited some OOS greats along to do our heavy birding! :) A great time was had by all! You had to see that one coming, right?
The birds were amazing; check out Big Jim McCormac's blog for the details, but don't believe everything you read. "Shovlers" eschew ice- and would only go into that parking lot after much cajoling. "Oh, sure it is OK. What are you, some sissy? Some pansy-girl?" But enough of blog-o-sphere defaming, let's talk of Killdeer Plains.
This wetland/grassland wildlife area, managed by Ohio Division of Wildlife is a magnet for winter birds. Northern Harriers , Rough-legged Hawks, Short-eared and Long-eared Owls have long been the staple of Killdeer winter birding. After much consideration and concern about the health and well- being of the Long-eared Owls, a group of the uninitiated visited their cathedral-like pine grove to witness four perched in the boughs. It was truly a moment of Zen.
Group 3 leader, Warren Uxley bird-dogged an entire field trying to kick up a Short-eared owl, but none were to be found while the sun was still shining, not even the testosterone-laden leader of group 1 could produce. (This is called...pay back). Not until we were driving out, did someone finally see them diving in the headlights of the out-bound cars.
The photo was taken a week before, during the pre-scouting trip. This short-tempered Short-eared Owl perched-up and reminded me that NO TRESPASSING would be allowed on this piece of the preserve. He could be employed as a new border guard; all the voles and mice he cares to eat seems like reasonable pay. :)
OK, I am off for a week in Texas - and hoping for some butterflies to share with you.
Until then, Weedpicker