I woke up thinking…heck, it’s a calm day, light winds and clear skies…not much is going to be happening on the Lake. I had 35 minutes to bird, before heading to work, so I popped across the street to Edgewater SP, where I can get a great high bluff view for lakewatching. It was immediately evident it was a slow day for waterbirds. Only Ring-billeds and Herrings were loafing in small (upper hundreds) numbers. Scattered small groups of waterfowl were around, mostly mergansers, but I could immediately spot Bufflehead and scoters with eyesight alone.
I scanned for passing waterbirds for a few minutes then thought, well, I’ll check these small rafts of waterfowl. “There’s three White-winged Scoters……some mergs…..there’s a couple of Surfs….female Bufflehead, male Buf….HOLY $%&*& KING EIDER. Point blank in my scope was a stunning, gorgeous female King Eider loafing with two Surf Scoters and a small group of Bufflehead. I nearly passed out but immediately started texting and making calls and the rest is history. Congratulations to all that saw this bird today. So great that even the Bowling Green contingent hauled it over. A life, state, and year bird for EVERYONE. #265 on my Cuyahoga County big year list! Victory!
The following incredible photos were digiscoped by Jerry Talkington around 8:40 a.m. from the Cliff Drive overlook.
DIRECTIONS: Park at the “Perkin’s Beach” parking lot on the extreme west (upper) end of Edgewater State Park. Walk west up the small hill that runs alongside Cliff Drive. Once atop Cliff Drive, you have a phenomenal view of Lake Erie. It is ILLEGAL to park on Cliff Drive. Police have a heavy presence there and you will be ticketed and towed. See map below.