Tag Archives: birds

Everett Field Park Wildlife

Everett Field Park In Newark, Ohio

About the Park

Everett Field Park is off of Everett Avenue near the Owens-Corning Plant in Newark, Ohio. It’s a large park with bicycle paths, a small river, frisbee golf, gardens, and ball diamonds. Sadly, there’s a lot of trash and it’s been heavily vandalized.

Unexpected Wildlife

This view of Owens-Corning dominates the park. It’s smell dominates too.

Owens-Corning Fiberglas plant in Newark, Ohio.
Owens-Corning Fiberglas in Newark, Ohio

If you relax, walk quietly, and start taking in the sound of the flow of the river, wildlife will start to show itself. I was looking for interesting photos. It’s was slow at first. Just dead weeds and vandalized park equipment at first glance.

Dead weeds with thorns.
Dead weeds.

I really don’t know what weeds these are in their dead state like this.

I walked along quietly. I was hoping to catch more photos of deer. This morning was different for my routine. I’d added an extra hour to allow time for photos. I ended up here with that idea. As I went on, I found some government employees passing a joint. They bolted quickly giving me an evil stare. As if I’m the bad guy, to funny.  I’m not that bad. No photos, no drama. I’ve got better things to do.

A few minutes later, I heard the uproar of ducks taking flight quickly. I swung my camera and shot. There’s nothing to original with duck photos, but I like to attempt to catch any bird in flight.

Ducks taking flight.
Ducks take flight.

When ducks just gather and take off, it’s a slow buildup to the take off. They will quack to each other and their body language will communicate that they are about to take off. This was different. One bolted and the others just instinctively took immediate flight. This was my signal that something predatory was around.

I knew I didn’t scare them to that degree. I thought maybe a group of people would be coming around the bend. I looked up to see if a hawk or an eagle was in the area. I heard some geese hissing and then, the fox seen me and bolted up the hill. He stopped to stare at me, probably hoping I’d leave so he could get breakfast.

A red fox.
A red fox staring down the hill at me.

What a rush it was to get the photo! Usually, I just get a fleeting glimpse of one running across the road.

Crow flying between power lines.
Crow flying in between the power lines.

All of this happened in about an hour of just quietly walking and observing. I never left the city limits. The world is full of cool things if you make time for them. It’s easier to sit at a desk after enjoying a little bit of nature. Realistic perspectives come easier. Life just flows better.

A Sunday Walk In The Woods Turns Exciting When An Eagle Appears

Fungus on an Old Log
Fungus grows on an old log in the forest.

The walk started out boring. The western end of The Blackhand Gorge trail is that way. If you’re quiet, you can catch deer out in the field or even a Hooded Merganser Duck in the river. Most of the time though, it’s just a well-shaded, level walk down an old railroad bed. This time was different. I’ve heard about an eagle in the area, but I never was lucky enough to see them.

We heard a loud clap on the water. Soon, we seen the huge wing span making it’s way through the woods. I thought it might be a buzzard, but the clap on the water made me pretty sure it was an eagle. Then I seen the white tail feathers to confirm that it was an eagle.

An eagle flying over Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve
An eagle flying at Blackhand Gorge Nature Preserve near Newark, Ohio.

By the time we confirmed it was an eagle, it was far away. I could only make out a tiny speck on a branch. With my camera equipment, I need light and at least a monopod. I didn’t have either to get any great photos, but I love that I could at least capture a recognizable shot with what I did have.

An eagle fishing in The Licking River
Eagle scanning The Licking River for more fish.

My camera was good enough to see that he was eating a fish. I watched him for a while as he scanned for more. My wife walked down near towards him to get him to fly. It worked, but he had seen us and just moved further away. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that we were annoying the bird’s fishing so we turned and left him alone.

It’s great to see some of Ohio’s wildlife return and to be as common as this. I remember when seeing a deer was somewhat rare when I was a boy believe it or not. I still get excited when I get a chance to take photos of deer too. It’s these shots that make me wonder why I’m not in the woods more.

A Sparrow In Hawthorne Trees

Have you ever been around a Hawthorne tree? They are not a tree you want in your yard. The thorns are sharp as needles and tough as nails. They will rip holes in mower tires, your clothes, and you.

Somehow sparrows jump from branch to branch and the thorns never bother them. It was interesting to watch.

Sparrow in a Hawthorne tree.
Sparrow in a Hawthorne tree.

I read that many birds actually prefer thorny plants and that hawthorn trees are excellent for attracting them. Nature must have given them special ways of dealing with the thorns.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Wild turkey at Blendon Woods
Wild turkey at Blendon Woods

I was looking for a photo to post that had something to do with Thanksgiving and I found this photo of a turkey and it reminded me of something to be thankful for.

I took this photo at Blendon Woods near Columbus, Ohio quite a few years ago. I had been laid off for quite a while and things where looking bleak. I went to work for a delivery company to make ends meet until something came up. Instead of worrying to much about the situation, I went to the park to ponder solutions.

I seen a flock of turkeys and slowly stalked them with the cheap camera I had. Watching them humored me and kept me occupied for a little while. It took my mind off of how dire the financial situation had become.

Things got back to normal and I’m very thankful for my job, friends, and family. I’m thankful for the tougher times too. They teach you to be more humble and simple. Sooner or later, things in life break. It’s good to know how to stay simple and humble to get through them. Always be thankful.

Day 58 365 Project

Seagulls At Buckeye Lake
Seagulls At Buckeye Lake During Winter Storm

I didn’t get a photo today. When that happens I go back a few days and see what didn’t make it before and choose from those. Some days you can get a bunch, others life gets in the way.

Seagulls are my favorite birds to watch. They are supreme survivalists and opportunists. They show up everywhere, from the deserts to the oceans. They’re not afraid of anything and they’re always checking us humans out to see if we’re got anything for them.

These birds seemed to actually enjoy the snowstorm.

Day 35 365 Project

Geese taking flight.
Geese take flight after startled by a shotgun blast.

Today is a cheat day on the project. This photo is from this last weekend when we hung out at Buckeye Lake on a frozen Winter day.

There was a huge flock of geese at the lake. A homeowner decided to scare them off with a few shotgun blasts and when that happened, what a spectacle to see the skies fill with hundreds of squawking geese.

Spring Is Almost Here

It finally was warm enough for a comfortable long hike so I went to Dawes Arboretum this morning to check it out.  The pond is still frozen over and the trails were muddy, but the birds were out. –

Pond at Dawes Arboretum In March
Bench overlooking the pond and island at Dawes Arboretum in early March.

 

Blue Jay On A Branch
A Blue Jay
Cardinal peeking out from cover.
Cardinal peeking From Cover

 

Sky Carp

I’ve never understood the animosity towards seagulls, commonly referred to as “Sky Carp”. Sure, they’re common and they can be scavengers, but these birds are highly adaptive survivors.


Seagulls on ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio
Seagulls on the ice at Buckeye Lake, Ohio.

Today the snow let up enough to take pictures and these seagulls at Buckeye Lake were thriving in temperatures that were in the low 20’s.

I really started to enjoy watching seagulls when I first seen them in the deserts of California. It was freezing in January in the Mojave. The thought that anything could be thriving in such a inhospitable environment seemed amazing to me. I thought they were primarily water birds too, but it turns out that they are in just about every corner of the Earth, even Antarctica.

I’ve read that seagulls are a symbol of freedom. Maybe that’s why so many find them intolerable? That kind of hate without a good specific reason as to why attitude happens with freedom too.

 

A European Starling

European Starling
A European Starling

This a really common bird in Ohio called a European Starling. They are everywhere in downtown Newark, Ohio. They remain active throughout the winter too.

When this photo was taken, I was walking into work. This is one of the reasons I try to always carry a camera. Sure, it’s just a common bird, but it made me stop in my tracks and take a moment to enjoy natures beauty in an area where you really have to pay attention to find beauty.

It made me look up information about something so common that I really didn’t know much about too. I found out that they were brought here by Eugene Schieffelin, a wealthy industrialist. Like so many of today’s wealthy, they found it fashionable to fund junk environmentalism in the 1890’s too. In Schieffelin’s day, they thought it was a wise endeavor to import wildlife and plants from one area of the globe to another. Starlings have made a negative impact on the native birds and the effort proved destructive in the end. They’re still a beautiful and interesting bird to watch and photograph.