I am a casual bird watcher. I would like to be an avid bird watcher, following all the rare bird alerts, religiously noting my sightings in my Life List. Alas, at this point in my life more mundane tasks get in the way, such as work and chores and that life list, started but not maintained … sigh. However, every once in a while a special bird shows up right in front of me at the most unexpected moment.
It was a beautiful summer Saturday, perfect for the road trip I had been craving all summer. Dana (aka “Hubby”) has a new car and it was time to break it in. Hubby and I headed east along the Lake Erie shoreline with our final destination being Conneaut Harbor, last stop before crossing the border into Pennsylvania. We’ve visited this harbor several times but it seems we are usually there in the fall and winter. This glorious summer day the harbor was a busy place, with people enjoying all forms of water sports – swimming, boating, skiing. We found a section of the beach we could drive onto (to break in the new SUV, you know) and behind it was a small pool. I saw a guy with a camera focusing a looooong lens on something in the pool. I have learned from experience that this and people peering through spotting scopes means something special is around. He left before I could ask him what he was looking at but the targets were not hard to find. Two American Avocets were enjoying the abundance of Northeastern Ohio on their way south for the winter. One was busy picking out tasty treats from the bottom of the pool, the other appeared to be napping with its head tucked behind it’s wing, posing on one leg.
Over all it was a good day for wildlife. We saw barn swallows flitting around the harbor boats and many gulls on the shore, in the air and water. Mallard ducks and Canadian geese shared the pool with the Avocets. We crossed the border into PA and at the Elk Creek Access area of Erie Bluffs State Park we saw a fox and a small buck deer. I also heard but did not see a Great Blue Heron beyond the creek. I can’t wait to return to this area and see what else might turn up.
Following are more photos of our fun day along the lakeshore. I hope you will share your most special bird or wildlife sighting in the comments.