Date: 9/3/17 4:41 pm
From: Randy Rowe <rowe926...>
Subject: [Ohio-birds] Findlay Reservoir long-tailed jaeger
I drove to Findlay Reservoir this morning from Wooster to check out the
long-tailed jaeger, arriving about noon. I had never been there before, so
was not sure where to go. There are actually two reservoirs - a smaller one
(probably original one) on the SE side, which is now encompassed on two
sides by the larger one that is 3-4 times bigger. There are two parking
lots and access points. One on the NW side (road 207) that gives access to
the large reservoir and one on the south side (road 205) that gives access
to the smaller reservoir.

Having no idea where to go, I started at the NW access. At the top, I was
surprised how large that reservoir was. I expected other birders would be
there, but no one was, so I suspected I was at the wrong place. I scoped
the water there and saw 50+ ring-billed gulls and two greater black-backed
gulls, but nothing that looked like a jaeger on the water or flying.
However, that was a lot of water to cover. So, I drove to the south access
and hiked up to the dike on the smaller reservoir. There were other birders
there and one fellow had been there Saturday too. He said that on Saturday,
the bird was flying by that spot fairly regularly and showed me some of his
photos. However, he said that today, the bird seemed to be ranging much
wider, though it had flown by there about 20 min ago. It was about 12:15pm
then, so I decided to hike out onto the dike that separated the two
reservoirs.

Well, out on that dike, I was with several other birders and, thankfully,
the jaeger came flying by in about 10 minutes. It has a habit of flying
over the water along that central dike and we got excellent views of the
low-flying bird at about 75ft or so. Great views. I stayed there another
25-30 minutes with some other birders. We saw the jaeger quite a ways off
sitting on the water over towards the SE corner of the reservoir and also
flying along the wood line in that area. Finally, the bird again headed our
way as several of us followed it in our scopes. Once it got closer, I
changed to binoculars and it again made a close fly-by of only 50 feet or
so with excellent views. It even landed on the water for 30 seconds or so
within 100 ft of us before then circling high above. While waiting for the
jaeger, I also saw two black-bellied plovers fly in and land on the dike
and several black terns flying over the water. I left about 2pm.

So, overall, I had great views of the jaeger, which was well worth the
trip. Hopefully it will stick around a few days more. The best approach
seems to be to park in the south parking lot and get out on the dike. Then
watch the smaller reservoir and find the bird flying or sitting on the
water. Hopefully it will then fly by your position for a good view. That
make take a half hour or so of patience. Good luck.

Randy Rowe, Wooster

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