So I made a second trip to Kopf Family Reservation over the weekend. Last visit, a Red-shouldered Hawk provided a great photo op when it landed in a tree only forty feet away from me. This time, a Cooper’s Hawk dropped in. This hawk was so close that he would not fit into my lens frame at full zoom. I highly recommend Kopf (Avon Lake) for a raptor experience.
The Scarlet Tanager is not your typical backyard bird, unless you live next to a large forest. Tanagers are not attracted to bird feeders, but might show up to raid your mulberry tree. My yard is heavily forested, but even so I was extremely fortunate to have this Tanager land in a tree right next to me. I was even more fortunate to already have my camera in my hands. As for the annoying twig, what can I say? Take a deep breath, and accept it.
In the bird world, the male is more likely to have showy colors. Perhaps this is the reason why I’ve seen (and photographed) many more male Common Yellowthroats than female: his bright colors and black mask help him stand out from the shrubs and briars he is normally known to skulk in. So I was pleased to finally get a photograph of the female, who is an attractive bird in her own right.
Lake Medina is a man-made reservoir that was once the primary water source for the city of Medina. Those days are past, and now the lake is a great place to see migratory waterfowl like this Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-winged Teal, and Bonaparte’s Gull.
This hawk was not intimidated by my presence. I first spotted him in a tall tree and instead of flying away, he flew down into a closer tree.
Birding the Kopf Family Reservation
Located in Avon Lake, this forested reservation is very suburban, but also has amazing birding for woodpeckers and other forest birds. People regularly count 10+ redheaded woodpeckers this time of year. This is a rare-encounter bird for me so it was exciting to see them. I easily completed the “Ohio Woodpecker Challenge”, a.k.a. when you see every species of woodpeckers native to Ohio in one outing.
Waterfowl hybridize more than any other type of bird, and Mallards are some of the most prolific when it comes to this behavior. I saw this bird yesterday, and was confused (for a while) about whether it was a Mallard/American Black Duck hybrid or just an immature/nonbreeding male.
But then he stretched his wings out and I got a clear view of the speculum patch, which was bordered with white: a sure sign of a Mallard and not an American Black Duck, and thus this bird was not a hybrid after all.
A fish out of water
I was on the boardwalk at the CVNP Beaver Marsh when I heard a loud “ker-plop.” I raised my eyes to scan across the water, and there was the cause of the commotion: a Belted Kingfisher had dove into the pond, secured a fish, and was now flying across the spatterdock to the tree line.
The Morning After
Of the great snowstorm of December 1st, 2020.
This tiny butterfly can be difficult to photograph, especially with its wings open.