Vultures (and others) at Paint Creek Lake

I live near a large lake created by hand of God in the form of prehistoric glaciers called Lake Erie.   When I was growing up, I watched the creation of a smaller lake created by the hand of man in the form of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Thus was formed Paint Creek Lake.

Paint Creek Lake Dam, viewed from the beach

The creation of  Paint Creek Lake changed the landscape in my neck of the woods tremendously and created a large recreation area for boating, swimming, camping, and hiking for humans and horses.  It is also a great place for bird watching.  Earlier this year while visiting my parents we headed over to the beach to see what we could see.

Before we even got there, we found these crazy creatures hanging out on the road to the lake:

Turkey Vultures

And this guy:

Black Vulture

If you have an older bird book, as my parents did, it will show the range for the Black Vulture as being south of Southern Ohio but they have moved north.   One of my books also states that you will rarely see Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures together but at Paint Creek Lake I have seen them together frequently.  There were at least 25 vultures in the sky while we were there.      You can sometimes also see these strange birds down near the lake, on the ground, in the mornings with their wings spread,  either to dry their wings or warm their body after a cool night.  There are also bald eagles around the lake but did we see one of these majestic birds?  No, just these weird, creepy (but fascinating) vultures!  

Fun fact:  A Turkey Vulture will vomit if scared.  We found this out one evening driving down a twisty road called Rapid Forge Road, again near Paint Creek Lake.  We came around a curve and there was a flock of Turkey Vultures on the road finishing off a tasty carcass.    They lifted off as our car came at them and at the last minute one of  them, shall we say, emptied the contents of its stomach right in front of our car, missing us by inches!  Whoa!  That was a very interesting experience, especially since the “contents” missed our car.

We saw a few other birds on our visit:

A family of Canada Geese

Barn Swallow on the beach

Baltimore Oriole in sycamore tree behind the beach

Mystery singer, could not ID

These last few photos were taken at Shoemaker Beach.

This beach was named for Myrl H. Shoemaker, who served in the Ohio House of Representatives and was the 57th Lieutenant  Governor of Ohio.  He probably had a hand in the creation of the lake, since his constituents downstream were the ones getting flooded out every year before the dam was built.  

Here are some more pretty pictures of the lake and beach:

Oh no! We missed Tilly and Kyle!

Some creative beach art

A collection of rocks

A view over the beach

It’s a beautiful place, but not the most beautiful beach.  Hardly anybody was there that night.  The beach was in a “natural” state which some would view as dirty.  The restrooms and changing area were in disrepair, falling apart really.  It used to be a bustling place that even had a refreshment stand.  Maybe some stimulus money will come its way.  The park service did get money to upgrade one of the boat ramps and docks.  It is a great place for boating and fishing.

Peaceful waves

Sunset over Shoemaker Beach, Paint Creek State Park, Ohio, USA

If you want to visit, click on this link for park info:

Paint Creek State Park


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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4 Responses to Vultures (and others) at Paint Creek Lake

  1. What outstanding photography! I like your pictures of those buzzards or vultures. Lovely lake photographs, too! I am glad to have visited your nice blog & will be back.

  2. I think your mystery bird is a finch. Nice Photos.

  3. jennifer theobold says:

    My family and I have spent hours at paint creek. In the summer it is nothing for use to go almost every day to the beach or kayak on the lake. I have kayaked several times back into the plum creek and paddle back as far as I can. paddling back into plum creek I have seen a Baltimore oriole for the first time, I have seen a family of beavers every year for the last 3 years. I have seen the turkey vultures and only recently I have seen the black vultures. I have seen the blue herions also. I have noticed that these birds have greatly increased in the last 7 years. I have even seen bald eagles. The first one I saw was 2 years ago when I paddle back into plum creek; the 2 time I saw one was late last fall; it swooped low while my husband and I were at the beach.

    I am mostly interested in the black vultures since I have only noticed them in the last few years. Last fall….the same day that I saw the bald eagle I watched the black vultures land very close to us and play…I throw them a dead fish and watched them play for hours with it…and they were also turkey vultures landing…the black vultures seem to be leery of the turkey vultures but they both the dead fish.

    We live on a small road off of prospect Rd; 10 mins. south east of Hillsboro. In the last 3 weeks; my husband and I have noticed about 20-40 of these black vultures living in our woods around our house. I don’t see very many of them during the day; but towards dusk; they litter our trees. According to what I have read about them they are rare….especially in Ohio, but you could not prove it by our woods.

    • SallyK says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog! I would love to kayak on the creek. My further research into the black buzzards says they will often displace the turkey vultures. Will be interesting to see if this happens around Paint Creek Lake. I would love to hear your observations.

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