Thursday, November 16, 2006

Schoolhouses, blue-eyed geese, bird surprises

What a day. Where to begin?
A day where you get a life bird is nice, but how about a day that gives you three(maybe four)? And I trespassed to do it!
I was out birding by myself today here and there, and since I was so close to it, I got a picture of the Schoolhouse restaurant:

It's a restaurant that used to be...yep...a schoolhouse. Great home-cooked food, like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, etc. They have a small animal area where you can feed blue-eyed geese:...and right across the road is a quarry. Well, it used to be a quarry.
As I was pulling out of the restaurant's driveway, I looked out over the quarry and saw a bunch of small black dots on the water.

American Coots! Hundreds of them. But I was faced with this sign at the entrance:Damn. Well, they won't mind if I just go take a peek.Lots and lots of coots. This is just one of the lakes that have been formed from the quarry. This is a small flock of the coots. But then, I started to look closer...what are those white things?Buffleheads!
Then I noticed other birds with white fronts and spots on their heads. Common goldeneyes!

Then I noticed some birds that were brown...American widgeons!

This is the view from one of the trails.

I also saw what I think might have been common loons. But I didn't get any pictures of them.

Melinda, one of our tireless RAPTOR volunteers, stopped by the house today, and I asked about the quarry and the possiblity that I saw loons.

1. The quarry was saved from becoming a housing development by the village of Indian Hill (one of the IT places to live in Cincinnati). And you can only get a permit if you live in Indian Hill. What kind of crap is that? I WILL be getting a permit. It's now my mission.

2. I probably did see loons. Melinda said they are common sights there. Yippee!


Susan Gets Native said...

I just got this email from Geoff. This is what I have to live with:
I know I'm a worry wart, etc., but do you really want to post, with photographic evidence, that you broke a law and trespassed against this thing? Seriously.

Otherwise, great post.
Thanks, babe.
But I live on the edge, man!

Mary said...

A banner day! YOU GO, GIRL! Get yer permit.

Shannon said...

Geoff - to assure your worried nerves, I am sure that Susan did not pose any threat considering that she was only shooting with a camera.

-llm. said...

Congrats on the lifers! That's very cool. There was a pair of Buffleheads that spent the winter in the pond at the senior community where my inlaws live. They are so cute and hard to photograph -- at least my pair was -- they'd dive the very instant I clicked the lens. I got SO many pictures of the surface of the pond with a ripple in it where there USED to be a Bufflehead! :)

Department of Non-permitted Permits said...

We have been advised that you may have been hunting birds without a permit. In particular we have had several compliants that you may have traumatized the loons by pointing a camera at them. Our loons are very private creatures.

Our motto is:
Bother our loons, we send the goons.

Have a Nice Day.

Mary said...

We all know who the department of non-permitted permits is. You've blown your cover.

NatureWoman said...

COOOOOOL!!!!! Three in one day! How exciting! I'm glad you trespassed for those photos. It certainly can't mean that *you* shouldn't trespass. After all, you have birds to add to your list *AND* you have a blog. That sounds like a good defense to me!

NatureWoman said...

Oh, and I love old schoolhouses!

Jess Riley said...

Cool, cool, cool! Love the buffleheads.

KatDoc said...


The Camp Dennison gravel pits is (are?) THE place on the east side to see winter waterfowl. A scope is practically required to get really good looks, though. Bob Foppe introduced me to the pits last winter, and also I visited there once with the Cinti Bird Club. I have even seen Bald Eagles there.

However, they are quite serious about the "No Trespassing" thing, and the Indian Hill Rangers will nail your butt if they catch you. It is primarily a safety issue, I believe. If you fell in and sued Indian Hill for damages, they might have to pay out big bucks.

There are several pull-off places where you can park along Rt 126, and there is a nature trail and an area where you can walk along the ridge at the south end, but don't cross the invisible line.

I can hook up with you some time, show you the trail, and share my spotting scope, if you are interested.


LauraHinNJ said...

Sounds like a great place, Susan. Too bad it's off-limits!

beckperson said...

Ate a wonderful dinner at the Schoolhouse on Sunday night. Yummy. I recommend it highly!