Date: 9/17/18 8:59 am
From: Laura Dornan <tldornan68...>
Subject: [Ohio-birds] Ottawa NWR & Howard Marsh
On Sat, the 15th, we made a journey to Ottawa NWR to do the auto tour with friends from Columbus.  We had 28 species, nothing really notable except for ONE black-throated green warbler and 10 white pelicans.  Shorebird habitat was pretty much non-existent but we did find 1 solitary sandpiper (how appropriate).  Waterfowl included 12 trumpeter swans, 8 wood ducks, about 50 Am. wigeon, 8 pintails, some gadwalls & a few mallards in eclipse plumage.
 After lunch at Blackberry Corners (how nice it is going there not in May--no long wait for service & food), we went to Howard Marsh Metropark.  What a great place!  We had not been able to get to the lake this past spring and were anxious to check out this new birding hotspot.  I had been concerned that it would be necessary to walk long distances to see many birds.  Not so!  For those who have yet to visit & who may have been hesitant because they (like us) must now do their birding almost completely from the car, you will be happy to know that the drive into the parking area is about 1 mile long, through fields & marshes with lots of shorebirds, ducks & other waterfowl.  Highlights included a hunting female northern harrier, a huge flock of blue-wing teal, some gadwalls, hooded mergansers, a few green-winged teal about 2 dozen Caspian terns and some common terns (which we usually find to be not so common), a black-bellied plover and best of all, both a Wilson's phalarope and a red-necked phalarope.  Our first 2-phalarope day ever, east of the Mississippi.  24 species in all; in about 1/2 the time & 1/7 the distance as Ottawa.
We ended the day with 35 species of birds & to top off this very fun day of birding, we saw at least 65 migrating monarchs---53 of them at Ottawa.
Laura DornanStark County

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