I got an invitation to go birding at the "Grand Valley Nature Preserve" from Debbie, a teacher who lives nearby and has a permit. And of course, I had to ask my FAVE Cincy birding buddy along (Kathi, aka KatDoc)
If you want to read about my previous visit with Kathi, click here.
Debbie might just become a new birder friend. She is a self-proclaimed "newbie", but fun to hang out with. She put up with tons of chattering and babbling from Kathi and me.
(When it comes to the Flock, we are all like BFF with anyone we meet)
Let's just focus on what we saw (it wasn't much):
The day started hot and humid.
It continued with more hot and humid.
This place is stellar in the winter, just lousy with ring-necked ducks , both scaup species, mergansers, coots and grebes, a bald eagle has visited in previous years...just great stuff.
Summer....is rather boring.
Note: I didn't get a picture of it, but I saw a female Blue Grosbeak. I was the only one in the group who saw it, but I'm sure of the ID. Brown bird, huge conical bill, dark upperparts, paler underparts, darker wings and tail...sitting in a shrubby part of the preserve.
I have poured over pictures, habitat and range maps...LIFER! Number 220~
Grand Valley is rather proud of their Purple Martin colony...they ended last year with 35 nestlings, and this year, they counted 135 nestlings!
Jeez. I can't get one PAIR to nest in my yard.
We saw many, many, many PUMA...the power lines were thick with them. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them. Wish I had thought to get a photo of the powerlines. You could see the blackness of all the PUMA from across the preserve.
Kathi's eagle eyes spotted a green heron across the way:
I think this is the first time I have seen one in sunlight. They are usually so skulky.
We kept hearing what sounded like a Field Sparrow with an 'accent'. The typical song of a FISP has a trill that goes up at the end, but this one was trilling down. A listen to the good ol' Birdjam (Hi, Jay!!!) confirmed a FISP.
Kathi goes Off-Road Birding.
(Girlfriend needs a tan)
This single tree, stretching out of the water inspired us to try to make up a haiku for it.
(You know, a poem with the formula of 5 syllables, then 7, then 5?)
It was too hot and muggy, so we never even got past the first line.
But sitting in the cool basement, I might be able to come up with something...
This tree small and wet
Mocks our panting and gasping
We are so sweaty.