Monday, October 8, 2007

#365: Orange-crowned Warbler

I picked up life bird number 365 on Saturday on the Avids trip, an Orange-crowned Warbler. This bird has been eluding me since I started seriously birding in 2003, so it was great to finally see one, as non-descript a bird as it is.

The focus of the trip was sparrows, though. Our first stop was the former site of the Richfield Coliseum, once home to professional sports and U2 concerts but now a grassy field. Apparently in wetter years, it's a great spot for Ammodramus sparrows like Nelson's Short-tailed and Leconte's, but the only sparrows we scared up there were Savannah and Song, although Palm Warblers were a nice consolation.

Our next stop was Dike 14 at the Cleveland Waterfront State Park, or rather, the fenceline since you aren't allowed into this important bird area. This is where I saw the Orange-crowned Warbler, along with Lincoln's, Savannah, White-Crowned, Chipping and Song Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other species of note included Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Warblers, Blue-headed Vireo, Eastern Phoebe and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (one of which was apparently harvesting something from a metal radio tower).

Next was Lorain Harbor, where a new impoundment has been freshly constructed. They helpfully bulldozed a coupel trails through the phragmites, and the place was hopping with sparrows. We had Song, White-crowned, White-throated, Savannah, Swamp, and two Nelson's Sharp-tailed sparrows, along with Common Yellowthroat.

Finally, we cruised the Cedar Point Chausee, but high traffic volume discouraged us from walking out to scope birds. Our drive by did not reveal anything that looked too interesting, so that was fine.

On sunday, I tried for the Franklin's Gulls at Buck Creek State Park and Indian Lake, but dipped on both. I guess that gull will have to wait a while for me.

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