Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Straight up day of birding at Crooked Run Estuary

I love Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those are the days that both girls go to school until 1 pm, and I can go birding alone. I love them, but they just don't get the "shhh...there's a bird up there" thing as well as I would like. I like being able to amble through a forest or a swamp and not have to worry about turning to someone and saying "Quit beating that tree with a stick!" or "Okay, I will carry you up this steep incline just to stop your whining".
Crooked Run Estuary is a beautiful spot along the Ohio River in Clermont County. Geoff and I discovered it a few years ago, the girls like it, and I have done education programs with my raptors there at the yurts (yes, they have yurts you can stay in...Swami would love them. And if you are a new reader of my blog, Swami is my father-in-law, and one of the funniest people I know. And you would never know, if you knew him professionally, that he was capable of such hilarity on Yak Herder Central.)
Anyhoo, on to my day:
Why does fungus remind me of food? This one looks like a bloomin' onion.And this one reminds me of green popcorn. Mold on fungus? Alot of life on this fallen tree.

A male belted kingfisher with a FISH in his beak!
(Male kingfishers are less colorful than the females...the females have the reddish "belts".)

A tree full of burls! I can't wait to see how this tree handles all that infection. Imagine how much money all those burls will be worth when they are big.
Blogger wouldn't let me add all the photos I wanted, so I will put them in with Picasa later. But in this tree, I saw my life Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. (Go ahead and run with that one, Jim)

In this picture, you can see the drill holes made by the sapsucker. The bird was pretty far up in the tree, and I wouldn't have even noticed it if it hadn't been calling. I froze and trained my bins straight up...almost falling backwards in the process.

A sign showing some of the birds you can see at the observation deck by the Ohio...nope, didn't see any of these.
I'm rather proud of this one. I spooked a great blue heron as I stepped into one of the bird blinds at the backwater of the estuary, and I caught him in flight.

This is the backwater of the estuary. So peaceful and lovely. I can't wait for spring, to come back here and see all the bird fallout in this tiny corner of Ohio.


NatureWoman said...

Coooool fungus! Were you hungry when you saw the fungus - or does it always remind you of food? Cool birds - I wish I could click on them so I could see them closer (and learn)!
The burl tree definitely has issues! Love the sapsucker holes, the heron and the water photos - it looks so peaceful there!

Susan Gets Native said...

I wasn't really hungry at the time...fungus just grows to look like food, doesn't it?
Sorry about the click thing. I don't know what I could do...I'm just glad I could get them posted.
It was so peaceful. I had the whole place to myself this morning! Just me and the bewds.

The Swami said...

I was going to make same comment re clicking to enlarge. Also, as Swami has told you many times, that is a double-breasted seersucker.

Has blogger, like The Swami, flipped out? The word verification on your blog and on Julie's last night was "smenita" and it seems to stay with the same word.

katdoc said...

Ahhh - one of my very favorite places in the whole world! I love, love, LOVE Crooked Run. I live 5 miles from there, and it is so under-promoted by the Clermont County Parks Dept. that I didn't even know it existed for the first 4 years that I lived here.

Got a lot of my Life Birds at this tiny jewel of a nature preserve. All kinds of things can be found here, from the common to the exotic, including pelicans and sandhill cranes. On Sunday, I had a Snow Goose in the wetlands and a Green Heron, which is still there. This is the latest recorded Green Heron in Ohio, BTW.

In a way, I'm glad that not many people know about it - keeps it "pivate" - but thanks for sharing the beauty of this special spot.


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous area! Great birds. Congrats on your lifebird (sapsucker? seersucker? What's the diff?)