Mohican State Park seemed like a likely place to start. Since July is about over, most breeding birds are no longer singing. There are some exceptions, such as Red-eyed Vireos, Acadian Flycatchers, and Yellow-throated Warblers. I spent three hours at Mohican, including hiking from the covered bridge to the Pleasant Hill Dam on one side of the river and then back on the other side. At the dam there were a few Turkey Vultures overhead, but the Northern Rough-winged Swallows that nested there had already departed. Among the birds encountered along the river were several Louisiana Waterthrushes, a dozen Wood Ducks, and several Wood Thrushes. I couldnít find any Canada Warblers, even though a number of them nested along the river again this year.
At the gorge overlook area, several Hermit Thrushes were singing - always a treat. A Black-throated Green Warbler sang briefly, as did a Hooded Warbler. Not far down the road I heard one lone Pine Warbler, again it sang only once. Scarlet Tanagers called from time to time.
As I was leaving Mohican, an adult Broad-winged Hawk flew up from the road ahead of me. Driving closer, I saw that it had the remains of a chipmunk in its talons. The hawk remained on the ground with its prey, only a short distance from the road. I watched it for several minutes, taking some photos, before another car came by, causing the hawk to fly back further into the woods.
After stopping for lunch in Loudonville, it was time to check out Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area. Much of the area was dry, especially along State Route 95. However, Wilderness Road held a nice surprise. Five Caspian Terns were standing along the edge of the small lake. I stayed there for awhile, watching as one and then all the terns took off and flew around the area. One made an impressive dive into the water. Eventually all five landed again in the same area, and a few minutes later, two more Caspians joined them. When I finally left, six were still there and one was checking out a smaller pond south of the road.
There were lots of Killdeer in the area, along with one Spotted Sandpiper and a lone Least Sandpiper. A Double-crested Cormorant flew by at one point. Several Bald Eagles, one adult and one young bird, were soaring over the area. The heat finally convinced me to head for home, satisfied with a good day of birding for late July.
Published: July 23, 2012