Date: 8/5/17 7:41 pm
From: rob thorn <robthorn...>
Subject: [Ohio-birds] Chatterton,PickPonds,8-05:highWater,swallows,gnatcatchers
I stopped by several riverside parks in south Columbus (Big Walnut, Natzger, Chatterton Greenbelt) and then finished over at Pickerington Ponds, after wending my way around the long line of Pelotonia riders. It was certainly awe-inspiring to see the endless line of cyclists sailing along Shannon and Bowen Roads; apparently, some 8000+ riders participated in the cancer-cure-fundraising cycle tour this year.

Bird-wise, the story of the morning was water. Most ponds at both Chatterton and Pick Ponds were far too high for shorebirds or even dabblers. It took me forever to find 10 Mallards at Pick Ponds, that's how bad it was. The biggest flock of waterfowl all morning was a flock of 220 Canada Geese grazing the athletic fields at Natzger Park.

Big Walnut and Blacklick Creeks were also running somewhat high, but they had a midge hatch that brought in lots of insectivores. I had calling flycatchers (Pewees, Acadians, Great Crested, Phoebes) at several of these sites, as well as many Gnatcatchers and a few warblers. I even had a few gnatcatchers migrating; flying high south down Big Walnut Creek early in the morning (they're crepuscular migrants, rather than nocturnal ones). It's about the only time these little guys fly high.

Swallows were the other notable landbirds, with small staging flocks at several areas. Big Walnut Park had 35+ Barn Swallows, while Pick Ponds had 20+ Rough-wings. Small numbers of martins were at all stops, and a small family group of 6 was still lingering around the martin house at Glacier Knoll in Pick Ponds.

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