I am now half-way through my BIG YEAR for Erie County. When preparing to write my monthly update, I always refer back to what I have already written. I try not to duplicate things but I must repeat: it will be harder now to add new species, especially in the summer. But there is always the promise of fall migration and the hope of early winter arrivals before the year ends! There is also the unexpected, one of the elements that makes birding such an adventure. For example, right now there are over 25 American White Pelicans at East Harbor State Park. They have been there for weeks and I keep wishing they would fly one county over. My husband suggests that maybe I could entice them with a fish trail.
Traveling took up quite a bit of my time in June and I honestly did not get out much to bird in Erie County. At the beginning of the month I spent a few days at Pokagon State Park and Shipshewana in Indiana. Later in the month I was in Washington and Oregon on a two-week birding trip. We saw 190 species of birds and some gorgeous scenery. I added 17 new life birds but I can’t count any of these birds for my BIG YEAR in Erie County. Darn! Thanks to a tip from a birder friend, I did add one new species to the Erie County list, a Dickcissel. This is a bird that prefers grasslands and is not always easy to find. But this one was right around the corner from home. I thought that brought my total to 206 species, but eBird says 207 species. So I must have forgotten to add one somewhere along the way. Two hundred and seven different species of birds is not too bad.
There is a birding event coming to Sandusky on September 20-21 at Osborn Park. It is the Lake Erie Wing Watch birding festival. Geared towards families and all levels of birders, this two-day event is shaping up to be educational and fun. Jen Brumfield, a well-known Ohio birder, will give the keynote presentation. There will be other short sessions including Birding 101, Erie County Hotspots, Waterfowl ID and Attracting Birds in Winter. Time and Optics will be on hand for you to try out and maybe purchase binoculars and spotting scopes. Food from the Frosty Frog and live animals from Nature’s Nursery also will be there on Saturday. The evening will conclude with a bonfire, s’mores and live music by Emily Keener. Sunday there will be field trips to various locations, led by local birders. You can get all of the details on the website: www.LakeErieWingWatch.com The event is FREE so save the date, spread the word, and plan to be there.
Many shorebirds will begin to migrate south in July and August. Willow Point Wildlife Area has been a reliable spot to view shorebirds. Just today I saw a beautiful American Avocet there. I have special permission to bird at NASA Plum Brook in July. I’ll let you know next month if I find that Henslow’s sparrow or other new birds there. Thanks to all of you who have provided positive feedback. I’m so glad you are enjoying and looking forward to the monthly updates. Keep your emails coming, I’m happy to answer any questions that I can. Thanks this month goes to Paul. Until next time………………..Happy Birding!