Date: 7/28/17 12:48 pm From: Robert Evans <benbovas...> Subject: [Ohio-birds] Late July, rural Muskingum Co. uplands
I have been away for much of the summer, pursuing scientific research (physical chemistry) in a lab in southern California. In addition, my deteriorating knees have limited my excursions to the far reaches of our property on Flint Ridge, walks that used to be daily. But this morning's walk around the hilltop fields and forested ravines of our property was a delight.
It has been wet, with many inches of rain in the previous two weeks (while I was baking in LA County) and .35 inches just yesterday. The sheep are loving it, since the pasture continues to grow profusely. Birds are loving it as well.
This morning's biggest surprise was a singing Louisiana waterthrush in our deepest ravine. It is a location that annually hosts a nesting pair, but I have never heard one sing this late in the season. It definitely made me smile to hear the song of this favorite.
The only other warblers making themselves evident are numerous common yellowthroats, with songs emerging seemingly from every corner of the field/forest edge.
Scarlet tanagers are still singing from the canopy. Rose-breated grosbeaks provide a melodious counterpoint.
Red-headed woodpeckers still visit the suet frequently, a change in just the last two years from the previous 15. They are nesting nearby, but not in last year's hole (starlings.) So our common 5 species of woodpeckers (downy, hairy, flicker, red-bellied, pileated) are now officially 6.
We have chimney swifts nested in our chimney, not intentional allowed on our part. Obviously, the creosote has built to where this seasonally active, lined chimney has enough texture to permit this. We will allow it until they depart, whereupon I will have some work properly sweeping before the autumn/winter fireplace comes into play.
Other expected species abound. Jane (who claims to not be a birder) notes fewer cowbirds than previous years, and adds that she guesses that is not a bad thing. I have seen a few, but she might be right.
All is more or less well with the local natural world.
Bob Evans Geologist, etc. Valhalla Acres Fiber Farm - on Flint Ridge Hopewell Township, Muskingum County
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