Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 20:40.

Black Swamp Bird Observatory found a Northern Shrike in the nets yesterday 10/22. What a prize for one of the most beautiful days of the year.
BSBO and Long Point Bird Observatory across the pond, monitor changes in local bird populations.  The pulse of the planet

We have the opportunity to set up an observatory in Cleveland and we should do so--when the Dike 14 public meetings are held in December.  Stay tuned to Jim McCarty's column in the Plain Dealer and make your opinions heard.  My opinion--Dike 14 should be a protected environmental monitoring station and preserve with limited public access.  We need to stay atuned to our planet for all of US animal species.

hot_card2.pdf117.13 KB
( categories: )

Dike 14 Public Meetings in December

GreenCity Blue has published the dates of the upcoming Dike 14 Public hearings:

Dike 14 public meetings

Start: Dec 5 2007 - 5:00pm
End: Dec 5 2007 - 6:30pm

Public meeting on the Dike 14 Confined Disposal Facility focusing on recent results of EPA brownfields assessments (which will help determine how safe it will be to open up Dike 14 as a publicly-accessible natural area).

More information.


Cleveland Lakefront State Park
8701 Lakeshore Blvd, N.E.
Cleveland, OH
United States

Start: Dec 6 2007 - 6:30pm
End: Dec 6 2007 - 8:00pm

Public meeting on the Dike 14 Confined Disposal Facility focusing on recent results of EPA brownfields assessments (which will help determine how safe it will be to open up Dike 14 as a publicly-accessible natural area).

More information.


St. Phillip Neri Church Community Center
799 East 82nd St. (off St. Clair)
Cleveland, OH
United States


Dike 14?

  Can any one summarize the conclusions or comments made at the recent Dike 14 meetings?

Best bets for Birding

Ohio boy Ken Kaufman has the best site for the latest birding fix.  Check out:

Today's the big day for Northwest Ohio. 

Will our region capitalize by establishing Dike 14 as a NEO wildlife refuge??????

Dike 14 and Whiskey Island?

  What is the state of shorebird populations and shorebird habitat in Ohio?  I am pondering the future of Dike 14 and Whiskey Island on a beautiful day in September.

Please read the thoughts of Bill Whan republished with his kind permission:

Does all the attention to a few Sandusky County potholes and a single
godwit in central Ohio indicate minimalism among birders is becoming
fashionable, or are we just making the best of a bad deal? To see
whether I'm just a worry-wart, I looked back in the archives of
ohio-birds and the Ohio Cardinal for this time of year. The earliest I
could find of both was 1999.  That year, 32 shorebird species were
discovered in the state 21-30 August. There weren't all that many hot
spots: some reports from Conneaut, a few from Medusa Marsh, fewer from
spots in the interior of the state including Hoover Res for the best of
them, but many from the Crane Creek estuary at ONWR and the old Cedar Pt
causeway in Sheldon Marsh SNA.
        Species, and maximum numbers seen at one spot, plus number of spots
where reported, follow for August 1999:
Black-bellied plover--3,4
Am. golden-plover--1,2
Semipalmated plover--75, 5
Killdeer--1750, 8
Am. avocet--22,3
G. yellowlegs--110,4
L. yellowlegs--485, 4
Solitary sandpiper--2, 2
Spotted sandpiper--3, 4
Upland sandpiper--1,1
Whimbrel--20, 4
Hudsonian godwit--9, 3
Marbled godwit--2, 5
Ruddy turnstone--1, 2
Red knot--1, 2
Sanderling--50, 4
Semipalmated sandpiper--200, 4
Western sandpiper--1, 1
Least sandpiper--100, 6
Western Sandpiper--2,1
White-rumped sandpiper--1,2
Baird's sandpiper--4, 3
Pectoral sandpiper--180, 5
Dunlin--1, 2
Stilt sandpiper--30, 4
Buff-breasted sandpiper--3, 3
Short-billed dowitcher--300, 5
Long-billed dowitcher--17, 2
Wilson's snipe--2, 2
Wilson's phalarope--3, 5
Red-necked phalarope--1, 4
        In my opinion, none of these maxima is all that remarkable for Ohio in
August in recent decades, except that some are rather low. There are no
rarities. The 32 species overall is on the high side of average for
August, too. Other shorebirds reported later in 1999 included a piping
plover, a long-billed curlew, purple sandpiper (5), ruff (3), woodcock
(6), and red phalarope (6), for a fall season total of 38 species, the
highest overall in the past decade. This is a higher total than that
from other comparable species groups in the state, like waterfowl or
warblers, in the period. Shorebirds are our most diverse migrants.
        In more recent Augusts, 2003 produced only 29 species, and 2004 thirty.
August 2005 provided forage for shorebirds at the
Miami-Whitewater Wetlands and Hoover Reservoir and Berlin Reservoir
inland, and Conneaut, Medusa Marsh, Pipe Creek and Pickerel Creek
wildlife areas, moist-soil units at ONWR, and the Cedar Point
Chaussee along the Lake--an unusually large number of sites. The high
single-day count of species was a nice 27, on 28 Aug, in or near ONWR.
The month's total was 32 species, including two piping plovers and an
out-of-season dunlin (1-3 alt-plumaged dunlins have been an August
staple near NW Lake Erie since 2004). A decent year for Hudsonian
godwits, with 85 reported. A spent Hurricane Katrina deposited a record
355 white-rumped sandpipers at Conneaut the 31st. Of course, other birds
made autumn 2005 most memorable, with little and Sabine's gulls in
August, magpies, white ibis, white-winged dove, m. frigatebird, gray
flycatcher, western kingbird, numerous Selasphorus hummers, and first
state records of cave swallow and green violetear.
        In 2006, the August total was 31, with three ruffs the highlight.
Conneaut and Sandusky Bay spots were productive; inland,
Miami-Whitewater was OK, Hoover was not, and Wright Marsh in Wayne Co
and the Hardin Co wetland had a chance to shine. 2007 had 32 species,
including another ruff and a piping plover. Perhaps it was because upper
Hoover Reservoir was perfect for migrant shorebirds--great habitat so
close to a large urban area--that we had 26 species during the first
week of August last year.
        The August of 2008 was remarkable, shorebird-wise, mostly for scarcity
of habitat. Conneaut delivered as usual, although the local humans did
the best they could to scare off birds. Few inland reservoirs, despite a
very dry month, produced mudflats until quite late in the month. The
Sandusky Bay wildlife areas--Pickerel Creek briefly, and Willow Point
longer--hosted reported shorebirds. Overall, it would have been a very
disappointing August had it not been for the unusual hydrology of the
Bellevue area, where many low-lying areas in agricultural land were
flooded, then gradually dried, inviting thousands of shorebirds in a
phenomenon last seen in 1933. More than anywhere else, this flooding
contributed to a good count of 24 species for the first week of August
in Ohio. The month's total was 31 species, with no remarkably high
numbers of any, except for four of the one rarity: black-necked stilt.
        Are there trends here? We really don't see enough shorebirds in Ohio to
reliably detect population changes, but we can confirm that piping
plovers are recovering a bit. Recent nestings of black-necked stilts and
Wilson's phalaropes seem encouraging, but may merely reflect poor
conditions in their customary realms. Our regionally unique molt-staging
long-billed dowitchers have been hanging on, despite loss of habitat.
Over the past decade, the great northwestern marshes are playing a
diminishing role for shorebirds as managers struggle with invasive
plants and Bush-league budgets.
        The numbers of shorebird species we see each August remain remarkably
stable, and only a few arrivals come later in fall--purple sandpipers
and red phalaropes mostly, now that a few summering non-breeding dunlins
seem to be regular. Ten years is too brief a period to be sure, but
reported numbers of certain species--knots, and the larger ones like
whimbrels, godwits, dowitchers, and willets--seem to be decreasing, even
though more and more observers are afield. As for habitat, only Conneaut
stands out as consistent year after year, despite boorish disturbances.
Many shorebird refugia of recent years--unfilled dredge-spoil
impoundments (Cleveland, Lorain, Huron, Toledo), marshes open to Lake
Erie like Metzger, etc.--are no more. Managed impoundments--at wildlife
areas, reservoirs, etc.--serve migrant shorebirds mostly when drawn down
for other reasons, except for the noteworthy Mill Creek Wildlife
Sanctuary (actually designed for shorebirds [!], with 24 species thus
far this year).
        I believe overall numbers of shorebirds are falling in Ohio, some as
part of documented population decreases overall, but also because
stopover habitat here is growing scarcer. We continue to see similar
numbers of species because so many more observers are reporting them,
and perhaps because fewer available stopover habitats concentrate birds,
but even so in my brief time as an observer it has grown harder to see
20 species in a day here than it used to be. I doubt anyone did this
year. Do others who've been shorebirding in Ohio for many years agree?
Bill Whan

p.s. Bob Royse went to Alaska in June, and has posted some exquisite
photos of birds he found there, including seventeen shorebird species,
at  . I cannot recommend his
work too highly, or often enough. Check it out.


  I know where I will be tomorrow :)  From Julie Shieldcastle at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, time to get out there!


Even though it is cold this weekend, over the past several days the marshes
around Ottawa NWR and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area have opened up some holes in the ice for waterfowl to concentrate. Ottawa NWR had swans (both Trumpeter and Tundra), Canada Geese, and Mallards. Small flocks of Tundra Swans aremoving around the area. Yesterday there was a small grebe on Lake Erie onthe Magee Wildlife Beach-I imagine it was a Horned but I had no binoculars.

Common Mergansers and Lesser Scaup were on the lake as well, with flights
flying east to west. There were also a couple small flocks of Wood Ducks
which is a little early for the species. However, with a few good south
winds blowing lately, I would have expected some early spring birds to show
up. There was even a female Wood Duck which took off from the pond by the
Magee Boardwalk. I counted at least eight birds (Wood Ducks) but there was
probably more since I only heard the female Wood Duck take off in the last

This morning walking at Ottawa NWR there were five Hooded Mergansers
including 4 displaying males and a female in with a group of Canada Geese.
There are great sights of spring to be viewed despite the temperatures!

As a side note, there are two Fox Sparrows still frequenting the Black Swamp
Bird Observatory feeders at our Window on Wildlife.

Enjoy the beauty of the season,

Julie Shieldcastle

bird inventory in our neighborhood

When are you naturalist/wildlife people commencing the bird inventory in the Brooklyn Centre area? Our Audobon people, Tom and Mary Anne, have offered to provide the framework and the oversight. I just wanted to bring it up because things seem to have slowed because of a few illnesses among your group lately, and it would be good for everybody to get revved up now, since things are starting to poke up through the ground already.



Owls in the Hood

In my inbox today 4/5/2011:


Greetings all -
One of the most bizarre and surprising observations I've had happened this evening in the driving rain and wind that had been intense all day long. At 4:40 p.m., while headed north on I-77, immediately north of the Fleet Road exit (a few miles from downtown Cleveland), I was shocked to see a SHORT-EARED OWL pumping hard into the wind, heading west. This area is highly urban/suburban. The nearest "green space" would be the Ohio and Erie CanalWay Reservation, about a mile to the southwest. During migration, Short-ears can sometimes be seen during the day, moving across the lakefront, or even heading out over the Lake (i.e. birds flying over the dunes at Mentor Headlands State Park), but typically not (!) observed in this habitat ("the hood") and weather (driving wind and rain).
You never know what the day will bring...
best of birding - Jen

Jen Brumfield


(I am responding to Jen--today--Riverside Cemetery is a known owl roosting site :)



Lake Erie Wing Watch

Harvey Webster's Modest Proposal

In case, you missed it. In the Sunday, November 22, 2009 editorial section.