Lorain Co. Short-ears, etc.

An unexpected day off work led to a half-day afield in Lorain Co. – mostly in hopes of closing the gap between Brumfield’s and my own county year lists. In the spirit of the recent county-listing pandemonium, which has taken on new life with the passing of the new year, we’ve decided to stage a showdown of our own. EAST vs. WEST. That’s right. Biggie vs. Tupac…no casualties.

I digress. Today, I totaled 50 species in Lorain Co. environs south of Lake Erie…and for those doing January Big Days, county big years, or just regular old birding here’s the rundown:

Abbe Rd. near Ford plant: Gadwall & black ducks (5)

Lorain Co. airport: The first of two stops here today (read on) netted 75 Horned Larks, 5 Lapland Longspurs, and a Rough-legged Hawk…and a lone coyote

Oberlin Reservoir: Nice waterfowl variety including 11 Northern Shovelers and a surprise Green-winged Teal, and two Tundra Swans. The good news was that there were ~2000 gulls resting on the water here today and appx. 75% were Herring. While I was unable to detect any white-wingers, three adult Great Black-backeds and a Bonaparte’s stood out from the mix. This body of water can produce FANTASTIC gulling, as some of you may remember from the spring thaw a couple years back (11 each Glaucous & Iceland Gulls on 2/28/09). The gulls here filter back and forth from the nearby landfill and change in composition throughout the day.

West Rd. just north of Hughes Rd: Single longspur amidst Horned Larks

Wellington Reservoir: Thirty Pied-billeds Grebes were an astonishing January number to me; 11 Tundra Swans and five Common Mergansers added to the mix

Findley SP: This is a great wintertime stop for coniferous species and half-hardy Yellow-rumped Warblers. I found six Red-breasted Nuthatches & and ten of the warblers in a short time

Lorain Co. airport: Back to the airport for a dusk vigil. Short-eareds were in the air when I arrived at 4:55, and there were at least three owls present. Take the third pulloff (where the fence bends), and this is where the owls will come the closest…as a matter of fact right up to the fence itself:

There were also 30 or more Snow Buntings present at the airport when I returned in the evening.

– gabe


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