Page last updated August 3, 2016
We have some pictures that were taken during the 2016 Summer Census. You can click on an image to open a larger window of that picture.
|Wild Turkey Family Area#28||Osprey Nest Area#30||Common Loons Area#30||Savannah Sparrow Area#30||Osprey Nest at Acme Area#23|
Doug has also provided a brief description for each of the territories that you can read below:
2016 GREATER AKRON AUDUBON SOCIETY 39TH. BREEDING BIRD SURVEY OF SUMMIT COUNTY
First off, we'd like to thank everyone for their involvement with this survey. Your continued enthusiasm and expertise, recruitment of others to help out, hours afield, miles on your vehicles and by foot, and time spent away from your daily activities is much appreciated! Without you these results would be much less interesting, numbers not nearly as impressive, and total species of birds found in the County of Summit would not be nearly as diverse.
The weather for this year's count was pleasant, for the most part. Mostly sunny skies and not a lot of wind made for good birding conditions. Other than a stormy morning on June 16th., in which I was down in the south Barberton/Clinton area and the sky turned an eerie shade of green/black with some minor cloud rotation, conditions were good. Even though it looked for a brief moment that I might end up counting birds in Kansas, the thunderstorm rolled in, unloaded, and rolled out.
Even so, some parties counting in the northern third of the county had to deal with something even more menacing than the random thunderstorm. 2016 was the year for the hatching of the "periodical cicada" which made trying to listen for such high-note singing birds like the Cerulean Warbler or Black-throated Green Warbler an impossible task. While Michelle and I were birding at the new Summit Metro Parks Mountain Bike Trails, we were surrounded by the incessant noise. It was like being trapped in some bad 1950's B-movie, "Psycho Cicada's From Outer Space", perhaps. Oh, the horror! She recorded the noise on her cell phone and we still get a kick out of hearing it and sharing it with others!
Summit County has changed a lot over the years. Farms become housing allotments, wetlands are filled, highways are extended, shopping malls come, then go vacant with no tenants, only to have new ones sprout up. Schools extend their athletic fields and parking lots into fields and woodlots, further fracturing ecosystems. New roads and on/off ramps are created to make the hustle and bustle of everyday life easier, and places you used to hike into now have "No Trespassing" signs due to vandalism, illegal dumping, dirt bikes, etc.
But, alas, not all is lost! One would be hard-pressed to find a county in any state that has both a National Park as well as such a wonderful county park system like Summit Metro Parks. Land is always lost, but what the Cuyahoga Valley has will always remain for generations to come and Summit Metro Parks is constantly acquiring more land, granting access to areas once off-limits, opening new trails for all to enjoy or simply leaving the land as is, a haven for our local flora and fauna to thrive. From the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail extending just south of Clinton along the Tuscarawas River, north to the Little Cuyahoga River basin, and farther north through the Cuyahoga River valley. From the fields west of Norton, Copley and Richfield and east towards Tallmadge, to the cool, dark ledges of Kendall, Boston and Twinsburg. From the watery arteries and lakes of the Portage Lakes region, to the grassy areas of not one, but three airports (Kent State, Akron-Fulton and Canton-Akron), as well as countless city parks - if it's diversity in just one county you're after, you will find it here!
Not everyone has a prime section such as the Cuyahoga Valley to census, and we appreciate all of you that count in an area not as "bird-rich".
Pigeons, starlings and house sparrows need counted as well, and I know Michelle and I always get a kick out of finding a species not expected in a city setting such as the Red-eyed Vireo we had near Luigi's Pizza in downtown Akron, or the pair of Warbling Vireo along a small creek off of Brittain Rd. in Akron, or a female Wild Turkey with 5 poults about a quarter-mile from N. Arlington Rd.!
For the first time in a long time, we believe we had numbers from all 30 areas that make up the census. There are still a few "OPEN" areas in need of a good home. If at all possible, we try to put people in an area in which they live. Counting is always easier in an area one is familiar with, so if you know of anyone interested in an open area, perhaps they live in the area or nearby, or perhaps your current area only takes a couple of days to census and you are looking to take on another, just let us know. There will be a brief description of the "OPEN" areas and what was seen there listed below. So, without further ado, the 2016 summary follows:
AREA #1: Situated in the northwestern section of Summit County sits AREA #1, the Richfield area. This rather large area is covered by several teams spread out throughout the area. Fred Dinkelbach covered the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Coliseum Grasslands as well as Summit Metro Parks' Furnace Run Metro Park. Highlights there were 2 Killdeer and a nest with four eggs, 4 Henslow's Sparrow (the only one's tallied in the county), 35 Bobolink and 25 Eastern Meadowlark. He tallied 44 species and 322 total birds in just under 3 hours of time afield.
Susan Jones and Clyde Witt covered the C.V.N.P.'s Riding Run Bridle Trail and were rewarded with 2 Red-shouldered Hawk, 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoo (the word "cuckoo" will be a recurring theme here in the northern third of the county thanks to the periodical cicada's 17-year hatching party!), 5 Veery and 1 Ovenbird. Susan and Clyde tallied 34 species and 82 total birds in 4 hours of coverage.
Hope Orr with help from Steve Borgis, Wayne Crouse, and Annette Webb tallied 51 species and 324 total birds in just under 6 hours of time afield. Covering Camp Bradlo, Rising Valley and Crowell-Hilaka Camp, the highlights were 1 Bald Eagle, 7 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Veery, 3 Wood Thrush, 2 Ovenbird and 4 Scarlet Tanager.
Mary Lou Hura, with help from Peg Bobel, Bob Fritz, Marianne Nolan, and Michael Pasek covered the Regina Nursing Home grounds. Together, they tallied 42 species and 165 total birds in three and a half hours. Highlights included a single Ring-billed Gull, 2 Wood Thrush, 2 Scarlet Tanager and 1 Baltimore Oriole.
Rounding out the all-out assault on AREA #1 was Paul Ellsworth, covering both Eastwood Preserve and Kniss Preserve. Highlights for Paul were 2 Wild Turkey, 4 Red-shouldered Hawk, 2 American Woodcock, 9 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Barred Owl, 4 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a whopping 14 Hairy Woodpecker, 6 species of flycatcher, 4 Brown Thrasher, 2 American Redstart, 17 Eastern Towhee, 8 Scarlet Tanager, 11 Baltimore Oriole, and, always a difficult find, 1 Purple Finch. In all, he found 61 species and 518 total birds in 8 hours of time afield. As a whole,
AREA #1's squad of dedicated counters amassed 75 total species, over 1,400 total birds counted and over 26 hours of time afield. AREA #1 didn't stand a chance!
AREA #2: Another large northern section, AREA #2 is tackled by many seasoned observers. It includes the area around Peninsula north to the Summit/Cuyahoga County Line. The Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center (C.V.E.E.C.) is deftly covered by Heather Berenson. The C.V.E.E.C. hosted 2014's Blackburnian Warbler during the census. No blackburnian this year, but nice finds for Heather were 8 Wood Duck, which consisted of 2 females and 6 young, as well as a female Hooded Merganser with 1 young. Also, 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2 Acadian Flycatcher, 1 Wood Thrush and 3 Blue-winged Warbler. She totaled 43 species just at the C.V.E.E.C.
Jeff & Marian Kraus covered the Stanford/Brandywine area of the C.V.N.P. Nice finds here were a mother Wood Duck with 8 young, 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, 3 Ring-billed Gull, 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Brown Thrasher, 4 Hooded Warbler and 5 Scarlet Tanager. At the site of 2011's Blue Grosbeak pair, they were forced back by 25 ticks for Marian and 12 for Jeff, proof of what gracious host's they are! They tallied 55 species (of birds, that is ~ not ticks), and 258 total birds in 5 and a half hours.
Henry Trimpe covered the C.V.N.P.'s Station Rd. area and Summit Metro Parks' Bike & Hike Trail in the Sagamore Hills area. Nice finds were 3 Red-shouldered Hawk, 8 Ring-billed Gull, 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 4 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 1 Red-headed Woodpecker (missing just a Hairy Woodpecker for the clean sweep!), 1 White-eyed Vireo, 9 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and 2 Yellow-throated Warbler. He tallied 65 species for his diligence.
Hope Orr, along with Wayne Crouse, Winnie Kennedy and Fred Riley covered the Towpath Trail from Boston north to Red Lock. Nice finds here were both Yellow-billed Cuckoo (4) and Black-billed Cuckoo (1), 4 Red-headed Woodpecker, 4 Swamp Sparrow, and also added both Peregrine Falcon at the Ohio Turnpike bridge. They tallied 51 species in a little over 2 hours.
Joe Wojnarowski, with help from his daughter Caitlyn, covered the Oak Hill Picnic Area, Horseshoe Pond and the Tree Farm Trail. Highlights include a single Broad-winged Hawk, 7 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Black-billed Cuckoo, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 6 Ovenbird, 1 Blue-winged Warbler and 1 Cerulean Warbler. The best find though, was a single Magnolia Warbler, tying the summer census high from 2010 and 2012. Together they ended up with 37 species.
Pat Rydquist and her crew of Joanne Barnes, Bob & Sherilyn Burns, Alan & Deb Cassanova, Ned & Jodie Delamatie, Betty Indiolo and Jay Smith covered Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park and the rewards were many. Six Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2 Black-billed Cuckoo, 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 2 Brown Creeper, 3 Veery, 1 Louisiana Waterthrush, 1 Northern Parula, 4 Yellow-throated Warbler and 2 Black-throated Green Warbler. Trumping all of these though, was the first record of a Northern Waterthrush on the census! This warbler was undoubtedly a late migrant as Pat and her crew were there on the first date of the census, June 10th. This becomes the 190th. bird recorded in the 39th. year of the census. They finished with 58 species in 4 hours, tallying 240 total birds.
Dwight & Ann Chasar covered much of the remaining area, tallying 85 species with over 23 hours of time afield. Highlights include 1 Wild Turkey, 2 Cooper's Hawk, 3 Red-shouldered Hawk, 1 Broad-winged Hawk, 13 Red-tailed Hawk, 5 Spotted Sandpiper, a whopping 27 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Common Nighthawk, a clean sweep of all the expected summer woodpeckers, 6 species of flycatchers, led by 35 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 13 Yellow-throated Vireo, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch (the only one this year), 1 Marsh Wren, 10 species of warblers, (Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded, American Redstart, Cerulean, Yellow, Pine, Yellow-throated and Black-throated Green), 2 Dark-eyed Junco, 5 Bobolink and 5 Eastern Meadowlark. They should try leading a bird walk once in a while! Combined, these teams tallied 98 different species in AREA #2, over 3,500 total birds and over 49 hours of time afield! Bravo!
AREA #3: George Novosel, taking over AREA #3 this year, covered the area solo and found many good birds for his efforts. Some excellent finds were 277 Canada Goose and 1 Mute Swan, 1 Bald Eagle, an impressive 76 KIlldeer, 11 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 American Woodcock, 136 Ring-billed Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 1 Black-billed Cuckoo, 6 species of flycatcher, 5 species of thrushes (17 Eastern Bluebird, 2 Veery, 3 Hermit Thrush, the only reported this year, 13 Wood Thrush and 211 American Robin), 74 Gray Catbird, 1 Brown Thrasher, an impressive 667 European Starling, 2 Ovenbird, 2 Black-throated Green Warbler, 101 Northern Cardinal, 286 Red-winged Blackbird and 18 Baltimore Oriole. The area is very large and contains Hudson, Macedonia, Northfield and Twinsburg, and the overall numbers show it! He tallied 75 species, 3,171 total birds counted and over 38 hours afield. Welcome aboard, George!
Also helping out in AREA #3 was Jim Tomko. He covered Hudson Springs Park. In 2 hours and 35 minutes afield he recorded 48 species and 291 total birds counted. Highlights there included 7 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 6 Acadian Flycatcher, 1 Yellow-throated Vireo, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Wood Thrush, 2 Hooded Warbler and 3 Purple Finch. The Yellow-throated Vireo and Purple Finch were new additions to AREA #3, bringing the total number of species in this area up to 77. Not a bad day at the "office"!
AREA #4: Ken Andrews hit the road from where he lives and headed east, covering Summit Metro Parks' Liberty Park and Pond Brook Conservation Area in the extreme eastern side of the Twinsburg/Reminderville area. He tallied 49 species with highlights being single birds of both Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoo, 4 Acadian Flycatcher, 6 Purple Martin using the nesting gourds there, 1 Wood Thrush, 22 Cedar Waxwing, 7 Field Sparrow, 41 Song Sparrow and one Red-winged Blackbird shy of an even 100. His over 4 hours afield netted him 570 individual birds.
AREA #5: Heading back west again, we enter the friendly confines of AREA #5, covered by 2 teams. Susan Jones, along with the tag-team talents of Patrick Coy & Karin Tanquist, covered Howe Meadow, Indigo Lake, Hale Farm & Village, the Bath Nature Preserve and the C.V.N.P.'s Perkins Bridle Trail. Nice finds here were 1 Green Heron, 7 Killdeer, 8 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 6 species of flycatcher, 2 White-eyed Vireo, 5 Veery, 2 Wood Thrush, 5 Brown Thrasher, 2 Blue-winged Warbler, 1 Cerulean Warbler, 2 Savannah Sparrow, 6 Bobolink and 1 Purple Finch. They finished with 69 species, 888 total birds and over 14 hours of time afield. The second group was led by Rob & Peg Bobel, with help from Nanette Canfield, Jeff Green, Mary Lou Hura and Michael Pasek. Conquering Crown Point Ecology Center off of Ira Rd. they tallied 46 species, 363 total birds in over 3 hours of coverage, that included 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 3 Wood Thrush, 1 Brown Thrasher, 7 Bobolink and 8 Eastern Meadowlark. These two teams combined for 72 species total for AREA #5.
AREA #6: Marie Morgan & Craig Griffin covered AREA #6 nicely with a little help from their friends. Marie forged ahead, not letting a recently broken toe deter her from all the fun she knew lay ahead! Most of this area is just north of the Merriman Valley area and includes the Akron Water Pollution Control Station, site of the census' only Lark Sparrow that her and Bert Szabo found back in 2005, Summit Metro Parks' O'Neil Woods Metro Park and the Towpath Trail from Botzum Trailhead north. Their small army of dedicated help included Rob & Peg Bobel, Nancy Howell, Mary Lou Hura, Harold Marsh, Michael Pasek, Bert Szabo, Dan Toth and Janet Wertz. Also helping out with his nesting box surveys of both Tree Swallow and Eastern Bluebird was Lew Monegan. Highlights from AREA #6 and all the eyes in the field include 35 Wood Duck, and thanks to the Bath Rd. heronry, 409 Great Blue Heron (186 adults, 223 young and 93 nests), 30 Turkey Vulture, 2 Broad-winged Hawk, 1 American Kestrel, 5 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 7 species of flycatcher highlighted by a lone Alder Flycatcher, 16 Bank Swallow, 10 Wood Thrush, 5 Blue-winged Warbler, 6 American Redstart, 14 Scarlet Tanager, 2 Bobolink, 3 Eastern Meadowlark, 5 Orchard Oriole and 25 Baltimore Oriole. Combined, they totaled 75 species, 1,830 birds and over 27 hours of time afield. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs!
With Tom & Mary Anne Romito out of state on a birding trip, Karin Tanquist covered the Towpath Trail from Ira Trailhead north to Bolanz Rd. She tallied 46 species in only two hours of "work". Highlights for Karin included 1 Green Heron, 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2 Veery, 2 Wood Thrush, 3 Hooded Warbler, 2 American Redstart and 8 Baltimore Oriole. As a whole, AREA #6 totaled 76 species, 2,033 total birds and almost 30 hours of time afield.
AREA #7: Doug Marcum put in 6 days of field work in AREA #7, with help from Javier Ojeda on 06/18. The area includes the deep, wooded ravines around Blossom Music Center, the tall sycamores down in the river bottom along Akron-Peninsula Rd. between Northampton Rd. and Ira Rd., Summit Metro Parks' Hampton Hills Metro Park as well as the grassland fields across from Blossom Music Center. In other words ~ far from boring! Although last year's Kentucky Warbler was not re-found, there were plenty of highlights. Such as 2 American Woodcock, 5 Spotted Sandpiper, 10 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 10 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 17 Veery, 15 Wood Thrush, 7 Ovenbird, 3 Blue-winged Warbler, 18 Hooded Warbler, 13 American Redstart, 4 Cerulean Warbler, 1 Pine Warbler, 1 Yellow-throated Warbler, 1 Savannah Sparrow, 1 Dark-eyed Junco, 17 Scarlet Tanager, 18 Bobolink and 3 Eastern Meadowlark. Excellent numbers of birds, totaling 77 species, over 740 total birds in over 12 hours of time afield.
AREA #8: Can we interest you in an OPEN area? Michelle & I covered this area this year. It includes the newly opened Hampton Hills Mountain Bike Area, Summit Metro Parks' first mountain bike trails. They do not permit hiking on these mountain bike trails, so Michelle and I saddled up and rode 2.8 miles worth of trails, trying to hear over the constant drone of cicadas, in search of birds. I also drive through this area to and from work, so I was able to add what I could just as work got in the way of all my birding! The area includes the old Hardy Rd. Landfill area, Theiss Rd., Hardy Rd., Northampton Rd. along Mud Brook and the Mud Brook valley behind Timber Top apartments as well as plenty of residential streets. It is an area not too big, easy to cover, so it does not require the entire 10-day count period should one be on a limited time basis. Interested? Just let us know! We tallied 56 species without much effort - other than staying on the mountain bike trail! The highlights include a female Wild Turkey along Theiss Rd. as I was coming home from work, 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the mountain bike parking lot (you can walk around the parking lot and the old, abandoned section of Hardy Rd. - just not the trails), 2 White-eyed Vireo were there as well, 1 Yellow-throated Vireo and 1 American Redstart were heard while riding the trails, and a lone Brown Thrasher, found by Marie Morgan and Bert Szabo after they strayed into our area (without any repercussions, I might add!) Marie? Bert? Feel like taking on AREA #8 in 2017?
AREA #9: When not chasing down Arctic Warblers in Alaska, Bill Osborne can be found presiding over AREA #9. It's a good way for him to keep his skills sharp on the more common Ohio birds! He and his wife Tina, along with their birding mercenaries Bob Furst, Gene & Linda Kovach and Pat Lanese were able to tally up a stellar list of 96 species, 1,003 total birds in an impressive 55 hours of time afield, proving retirement is never boring if you are a birdwatcher with a census to do. This prime chunk of real estate, as evidenced by the variety of species, is much of the Cuyahoga Valley, including the Ritchie (Kendall) Ledges area and the always interesting Wetmore Rd. area. Highlights here included 8 Wild Turkey, 1 Bald Eagle, this year's only record of a Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 Broad-winged Hawk, 8 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Black-billed Cuckoo, 1 Great Horned Owl, only the second Barred Owl reported, 8 Pileated Woodpecker and 6 species of flycatcher. They also had 5 species of vireo, highlighted by 3 Blue-headed Vireo, this year's only Winter Wren, 4 Brown Thrasher, 1 Northern Mockingbird and the following warbler list: 1 Ovenbird, 1 Louisiana Waterthrush, 2 Blue-winged Warbler, 13 Common Yellowthroat, 12 Hooded Warbler, 2 American Redstart, 13 Yellow Warbler, 2 Chestnut-sided Warbler, 1 Pine Warbler, 1 Black-throated Green Warbler and the piece de resistance, 2 Prairie Warbler! The pair, a male and a female, were found once again at the bottom of Kendall Hills at the back, northeast section near Kendall Lake. Proving that the area was not all deep, mature woods they also added 3 Savannah Sparrow, 5 Bobolink and 2 Eastern Meadowlark. Want even more? Okay, how about 1 American Black Duck, 6 Dark-eyed Junco, 1 Purple Finch and more Scarlet Tanager (24), than Northern Cardinal (18). Sadly, their entire count was deemed a failure by most, as they couldn't find a single Wood Duck - ha!!!
Hope Orr and her merry band of followers also covered part of this area, covering Langes Run, Butler Trail and "Robinson Field". With help from Steve Borgis, Wayne Crouse and Fred Riley, they totaled 36 species that included 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2 Veery and 3 Chestnut-sided Warbler - always a great "summer" find.
AREA #10: This area may or may not be OPEN. It depends on those who covered it this year. It is mostly Cuyahoga Falls with a little bit of Stow mixed in, Wyoga Lake, Mud Brook area, Summit Metro Parks' Bike & Hike Trail from Hudson Dr. to Seasons Rd. and plenty of residential side streets. I used to cover a lot of it during my lunch break, as I work in the area, but now my hour lunch has been replaced by a half-hour lunch, giving me every other Friday off in the process. For the record, this is not a complaint! Anyway, Bill & Tina Osborne and Gene & Linda Kovach took the reins of AREA #10 this year. It is an area that continues to be gobbled up by "progress", as Rt. 8 has spread its tentacles out far and wide from the E. Steels Corners Rd. area. It is the area of my youth, a place I used to be able to walk to from my mother's house that held all sorts of good birds like Blue-winged Teal, Virginia Rail, Northern Bobwhite, American Woodcock, Common Gallinule and the occasional immature Black-crowned Night-Heron in the Mud Brook drainage if you knew where to look. American Kestrel, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark were at one time a common sight along the old "cinder path" of the Bike & Hike Trail before the Rt. 8 extension re-routed the trail. Once they extended Rt. 8 they needed an on/off ramp. And then some gas stations for fuel. And then some fast-food joints to feed everyone. And then, let's build some condo's so everyone can live here, eat here, fuel-up here and hop right on the highway here! Brilliant! Welcome to early morning and after work gridlock! But, I digress, now that I'm all teary-eyed... Now, where was I? Even with all this progress, the Osborne/Kovach crew tallied 68 species, 986 total birds in 43 hours of (hopefully not rush hour) coverage. Highlights here included an American Black Duck with 5 ducklings(!), 4 Green Heron, 14 Killdeer, 12 Ring-billed Gull, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Eastern Screech-Owl, 1 Great Horned Owl, 1 Brown Creeper, 1 Marsh Wren and 2 Blue-winged Warbler. I also added a flock of 25 Ring-billed Gull where I work that came by to check out the local Dumpsters, as I sat there, eating my lunch during my 30 minutes, fighting the temptation to go out and cover AREA #10. Bill, Tina, Gene and Linda, just let us know if you'd like to continue the tradition of finding 68 species in this area in 2017!
AREA #11: Can we interest you in yet another OPEN area? AREA #11 may get taken over by Kay Clark in 2017. Michelle and I covered it again this year. It is a small area, mostly residential streets of Cuyahoga Falls, but also has Summit Metro Parks' The Gorge Metro Park, which means plenty of "street birding" by foot or car, but also has access into the wooded areas of Glens Trail and The Gorge Trail on the northeast side of the Cuyahoga River. We tallied 39 species in just under 3 hours of birding. Highlights included a lone Wood Duck duckling in the Cuyahoga River off of Glens Trail, lost and frantically calling for its mother. Wait, that's not exactly a "highlight"! Anyway, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard and Great Blue Heron were all found here. We had a pair of Spotted Sandpiper along the Cuyahoga River behind Lambert Buick on Front St., the entire time busy Rt. 8 was buzzing by in the background. 2 Common Nighthawk were reported in downtown Cuyahoga Falls by Janet Wertz. We also had a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird collecting spider webs near The Gorge spillway. For such a city-like setting it held some nice songbirds such as Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Rough-winged and Barn Swallow, a one-legged Wood Thrush, that was, well, singing his leg off, Gray Catbird, one of our 2 Yellow Warbler (the other was behind Lambert Buick trying to sing over the din of Rt. 8), a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager was along The Gorge Trail along the Cuyahoga River, both Rose-breasted Grosbeak were along Glens Trail and the lone Baltimore Oriole was at The Gorge parking lot. The lone House Wren we found was in Oakwood Cemetery. Janet Wertz's nighthawk pair put the final total at 40 species in an easy area to cover with a few nice surprises if you know where to look.
AREA #12: Can we interest you in another OPEN area? There is a chance that a couple that John & Judy Wilkinson know may take this area over, but only if their brainwashing techniques are up to par. If not, Janet Wertz may help out in this area, as she lives in the area and had so much fun this year in AREA #14 that she could hardly contain herself and turned in some numbers for this area, too! Stay tuned...
Anyway, Michelle and I covered this area this year. It includes Crystal Lake, Silver Lake and part of the Cuyahoga River. Find the water and ye will find the birds! It is mostly Stow and Silver Lake, very residential, but with the aforementioned lakes as well as Meadowbrook Lake, the Summit Metro Parks' Bike & Hike Trail from Silver Lake to the Summit/Portage County Line, skirting the Cuyahoga River, and the Andrew W. Paton Kent St. Airport off of Rt. 59, it is very "birdy" without being overwhelming. Highlights here include an adult Bald Eagle flying over Silver Lake. Silver Lake also held a group of 4 Ring-billed Gull. One Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was found at Brust Park along Rt. 91 at the parking lot used to access the Bike & Hike Trail. A Brown Thrasher was found at a church along Rt. 59 across from the K.S.U. airport. The field across from the airport held a lone male Bobolink. The airport itself had 2 Eastern Meadowlark and although we've had Horned Lark there in the past, we could not find any this season. We also made a few contacts at the airport for future birding access, even if it just means birding the grasslands from afar with a spotting scope, but since we finished birding there we did not talk to anyone. Just a thought for next year should someone take this area over. Also, while birding behind the Stow-Kent shopping center we came upon a Dumpster fire behind Pet Supplies Plus. All these birds plus a chance to call 911 ~ who could ask for anything more!!! Michelle and I finished with 61 species in the area, traveling there on three different dates, and putting in just under 6 hours of time afield. Adding Janet Wertz's neighborhood birds, she added an Eastern Towhee, that put the number at 62 species and combined for over 650 total birds.
AREA #13: Staying in the Stow area is AREA #13 handled by Dave & Nancy Reinhart. They covered Silver Springs Park and the Stow section of the Bike & Hike Trail as well as plenty of residential streets. Nice finds in their area were over 50 Canada Goose, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Wood Duck, 24 Mallard and 3 Green Heron, proving that water is the key. Also recorded were 4 Red-shouldered Hawk, 1 Pileated Woodpecker, 7 Eastern Bluebird, 38 Gray Catbird and 7 Baltimore Oriole. Their totals came to 50 species and just shy of 700 total birds, topping out at 697, and over 21 hours of time afield.
AREA #14: Back to the Cuyahoga Valley! Janet Wertz and her minions covered AREA #14 which included Summit Metro Parks' Sand Run Metro Park, F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, Sand Run's Parcours Trail, the Towpath Trail from North Portage Path to downtown Akron as well as Glendale and Mt. Peace Cemeteries. With help from Kay Clark, Ned & Jodie Delamatie, Jo Lowther and Taben Roye they tallied 58 species and over 1,100 birds with 24 hours of time afield. Michelle and I live in this area and were able to add 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbird from our feeders bumping that up to 59 species total. Highlights included 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, indicating which part of the county the cicadas were in, 24 Acadian Flycatcher, 26 Red-eyed Vireo, 12 Wood Thrush, 15 Hooded Warbler, 18 Scarlet Tanager, 10 Rose-breasted Grosbeak and 17 Baltimore Oriole. Plenty of foot trails into the mature woods proved very rewarding. But the star of AREA #14 was the only Eastern Whip-poor-will on this year's census. Once again found at Mt. Peace Cemetery off of Aqueduct St. in Akron, west and above the Towpath Trail as it nears downtown Akron.
Also helping out in AREA #14 was Pat Rydquist. She aptly covered the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm grounds. Highlights there included single sightings of Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 2 Black-billed Cuckoo, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2 White-eyed Vireo, 4 Hooded Warbler, 2 Scarlet Tanager and 4 Baltimore Oriole. In 3 hours of time afield she finished with 53 species and 270 total birds. Try topping that "birds while found at work" list!
AREA #15: New to the census this year was Bert Szabo - I'm kidding! Bert and his harem of Diane Johnson and Elaine Kurtaugh covered Summit Metro Parks' Cascade Valley Metro Park area and the North Hill section of Akron. Proving the southern part of the Cuyahoga Valley can be just as rewarding as the Ira Beaver Marsh or Station Rd. area to the north, they recorded over 1,000 total birds and 58 species. Highlights here included 1 Green Heron, 10 Killdeer, 2 Ring-billed Gull, 50 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, over 80 Bank Swallow, 5 Wood Thrush, 39 Gray Catbird and a warbler list of 5 Common Yellowthroat, 3 Hooded Warbler, 3 American Redstart, 19 Yellow Warbler, 1 Chestnut-sided Warbler and only the second Northern Parula reported this year. Michelle & I checked on the newly paved section of The Overlook Trail while doing the neighboring section AREA #8 (open by the way ~ did I mention that?), to check the Bank Swallow colony there above the Cuyahoga River. We were able to add to their Bank Swallow numbers as well as adding a soaring Broad-winged Hawk and a lone Belted Kingfisher, upping their totals to an even 60 species, 1,061 total birds and 15 hours of time afield, all in the shadow of the City of Akron, which by the way, held an impressive 310 House Sparrows for them.
AREA #16: Leaving the southern part of the Cuyahoga Valley we head east to the Tallmadge area, tackled by the Tallmadge twosome of John & Judy Wilkinson. Mostly residential, but with greenspace access by way of the Tallmadge Bike & Hike Trail (The Freedom Trail), as well as the Tallmadge Jaycee's Howe Rd. Park and Maca Park, as well as backyard feeders at their Tallmadge residence. Highlights included 5 Red-tailed Hawk, 24 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 15 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 5 Acadian Flycatcher, 2 Willow Flycatcher, 8 Wood Thrush, almost 150 American Robin, 37 Gray Catbird and 7 Field Sparrow. They tallied 45 species and over 570 total birds.
AREA #17: Proving that if some is good, then more is better, John & Judy Wilkinson also covered AREA #17. Choice sections in this area include Summit Metro Parks' Tallmadge Meadows Metro Park and Munroe Falls Metro Park, as well as Cuyahoga Falls' Water Works Park. Highlights include over 150 Canada Goose, 5 Osprey (with 2 being young), 33 Ring-billed Gull, over 100 Blue Jay for the entire area, 15 Wood Thrush, 28 Cedar Waxwing, 10 Field Sparrow, 2 Bobolink and 1 Eastern Meadowlark. Super highlights (proving you never know what will be calling Summit County home each breeding season) include an American Bittern, our first since 2010, in flight near the back end of Water Works Park - a great find! Also, on territory again this year at Tallmadge Meadows, was a Yellow-breasted Chat, one of only two reported this year. And finally, one of the joys of doing the census because you never know what will turn up, they had a "Lawrence's" Warbler at Tallmadge Meadows as well - always an exciting find! Michelle and I went looking for the warbler, and although we did not re-find the hybrid, we did add to their Ring-billed Gull totals as well as adding a Red-headed Woodpecker in the dead timber, flooded swamp along the meadow giving them a total of 63 species, 1 hybrid and over 1,300 total birds counted.
AREA #18: Ann & Marty Gulbransen, even with a recent moving adventure to take up their time, were able to get some numbers in the west side of Copley area, AREA #18. Highlights include 1 Double-crested Cormorant, 3 Purple Martin, 1 Wood Thrush and 1 Northern Mockingbird (always a Summit County rarity.) They tallied 44 species, 468 total birds and 5 hours of much-appreciated time afield, as we all know how much fun moving can be! Michelle works in AREA #18, and while either staring out the window dreaming of a life less ordinary or doing her lunch break exercise walking, she was able to add 3 new species to their totals, Killdeer, Rock Pigeon and Northern Rough-winged Swallow, as well as 41 total birds to up their totals for the area to 47 species, 509 total birds and over 12 hours of time afield. Jolly good!
AREA #19: Staying in the Copley area, Mike Edgington traversed AREA #19 and ended up with 53 species and almost 700 birds counted in over 9 hours of time afield. Although he said the overall diversity and numbers were down, he managed to find a family of Hooded Merganser, 2 adults with 7 young, that, coupled with Heather Berenson's two at the C.V.E.E.C., set a new high for the species, besting the 2001 record of 4 of these dapper little diving ducks. Mike also found 1 Wild Turkey, the only Sora reported this year, 1 White-eyed Vireo, 24 Barn Swallow, 1 Brown Thrasher, 147 Red-winged Blackbird and 1 Eastern Meadowlark.
AREA #20: How about another OPEN area? Like to shop? You can do all your shopping and birdwatching at the same time in AREA #20! Mostly residential and businesses, but some surprises were found while putting in only 1 hour and 40 minutes of census time. Lots of West Market St. and west Akron. Our best find there was a pair of Purple Martin in a dead snag at the entrance to Ohio Edison off of Mull Ave. near White Pond Dr. Sharing the top of the tree was a lone Eastern Kingbird. We had Canada Goose families in the decorative pond behind D'Agnese's Italian Restaurant off of White Pond Dr., Einsteins "Theory of Non-Migration", water + grass + goose squared = why go south? Most of the female Mallard with young were in the ponds at Rosemont Country Club in Montrose. We finished with 4 female and 19 ducklings. A pair of Belted Kingfisher were there as well. We did have an interesting sighting at one of the ponds there. An adult European Starling was floating in the center of one of the water hazards. We watched it for 15 minutes before it was finally able to breastroke its way to shore. Not sure what made it crash land - a perfectly timed, errant golf ball perhaps? - but by the time it reached shore it was waterlogged, exhausted and near death. Odd. We had 2 young Killdeer with one parent bird in the parking lot of Litchfield Middle School off of Mull Ave., a lone Yellow Warbler along the R.R. tracks that parallel Frank Blvd., and an Eastern Wood-Pewee in the residential area with mature trees near the intersection of Halifax and Ridgewood Rds. This easy to bird, OPEN area is yours for the astounding price of, "free"! We finished with 34 species, 361 total birds counted and didn't even break a sweat.
AREA #21: Up next is AREA #21 - home of the "Zoo Crew". It is a rather large area that extends from downtown Akron east towards the Tallmadge area. Led by Vicky Croisant and a host of Akron Zoo folks such as (but not limited to) Jackie Chambers, Kim Cook, Jenny Dixon and Stephanie Miner. They covered the environs surrounding the Akron Zoo as well as Summit Metro Parks' Goodyear Heights Metro Park. They tallied 355 total birds of 28 species. Highlights at Goodyear Heights Metro Park included 2 Pileated Woodpecker, 4 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 2 Red-eyed Vireo, 4 Wood Thrush and 44 Red-winged Blackbird. Highlights at the Akron Zoo and uncaged were 10 Canada Goose, 9 Mallard, 2 Great Blue Heron, 45 Mourning Dove, 1 Gray Catbird, 21 Red-winged Blackbird and 35 House Sparrow.
Plenty of area is left to be covered in AREA #21 if there are any interested parties. Michelle and I covered some of the remaining options in this area including North Howard St., Home Ave., Eastwood Ave., Evans Ave., East Market St., Akron's Northside District, The Freedom Trail Bike & Hike Trail from Tallmadge Circle to its current ending at Eastwood Ave. in Akron, Rt. 8 south to I-76 west to Rt. 59 back into downtown Akron. We found no sign of the downtown Akron Peregrine Falcon pair, but the highlight of the area was the female Wild Turkey with 5 poults along The Freedom Trail behind Cioffi Construction off of Eastwood Ave. A family of Wild Turkey less than a quarter-mile from the start of Arlington Rd. was quite a surprise! Other out of place birds we found were a Hairy Woodpecker off of Eastwood Ave. near the Little Cuyahoga River, 1 Eastern Kingbird, 2 Warbling Vireo along The Freedom Trail near Brittain Rd., a single Red-eyed Vireo lustily singing a stone's throw from Luigi's Pizza, and singles of both Orchard and Baltimore Oriole. By just driving the residential streets and using a hand-held clicker we finished with a respectable 299 House Sparrow. We finished with 39 species and 680 total birds in just over 3 hours of time afield ~ or is that time "a-city"?
Rob & Sandy Harlan, catching an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game (the Akron Rubber Duck is not a countable species according to A.B.A. guidelines) on 06/14 added a single Common Nighthawk from the downtown Akron area. With all observers reporting, AREA #21 amassed 50 species, 1,036 total birds, 9 innings and over 14 and a half hours of time afield. Play ball!
AREA #22: Rob & Sandy Harlan are the happy stewards of AREA #22, which includes Summit Metro Parks' Silver Creek Metro Park along with many fields and woodlots surrounding the Norton area, cornered by both Medina and Wayne Counties. Great finds here include a lone Northern Bobwhite that was not a Summit Metro Parks release, 3 Wild Turkey, 3 Double-crested Cormorant, 4 Osprey, 3 Spotted Sandpiper and 3 Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Flycatchers were well-represented in the area with 20 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 18 Acadian Flycatcher, 4 Alder Flycatcher (an area high), 17 Willow Flycatcher, 12 Eastern Phoebe, 6 Great Crested Flycatcher and 9 Eastern Kingbird. Also 10 White-eyed Vireo and 63 Red-eyed Vireo. But wait, there's more! One Purple Martin, 8 Wood Thrush, almost 300 American Robin, 103 Gray Catbird, 5 Brown Thrasher and warblers: Ovenbird (1), Common Yellowthroat (44), Hooded Warbler (14), American Redstart (4), Yellow Warbler (73), Chestnut-sided Warbler (3) and the county's second Yellow-breasted Chat. Excellent numbers of Eastern Towhee (21), Chipping Sparrow (106), Field Sparrow (13), Song Sparrow (127), Northern Cardinal (157), Red-winged Blackbird (119), Brown-headed Cowbird (66), American Goldfinch (92), House Sparrow (422) as well as 4 Bobolink and 3 Eastern Meadowlark. Why it's as if they picked up AREA #22, shook it by it's ankles and said, "Gimme all your lunch money!" Together they totaled 84 species, a whopping 3,276 total birds in over 16 hours afield.
AREA #23: Hey! Who's up for another OPEN area? Like water and an easily accessible Towpath Trail? Who could say 'no'? This area has both Nesmith Lake and Long Lake at the north end of the Portage Lakes region. It also has Summit Metro Parks' Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Rt. 224 to Robinson Ave. in Barberton. Michelle & I put in 14 miles by car and another 9.2 miles by bicycle. In a scant 2 hours and 25 minutes of after work, late afternoon birding we ended up with 43 species and 450 total birds. Highlights we found in that short amount of time included 76 Canada Goose, 17 Wood Duck, 35 Mallard, 2 Double-crested Cormorant, 3 Osprey (including one downy young in a nest atop a light pole in the Acme parking lot on Manchester Rd.), 6 Ring-billed Gull, 1 Herring Gull and 6 Purple Martin. Imagine what a little paint, say, in the color of "Early Morning Birding", could do for this little fixer-upper. Free to a good home!
AREA #24 & AREA #26: These two areas are right on top of each other and were counted together this year. Ed Pierce with help from Jim Reyda took down both of these areas, finishing with 64 species, over 1,100 total birds with 10 hours of coverage over four different days. Proving that water works wonders, these areas that include East Reservoir, Firestone Reservoir and the Tuscarawas Race through Summit Metro Parks' Firestone Metro Park, yielded 239 Canada Goose, 19 Wood Duck, 87 Mallard, 16 Double-crested Cormorant, 15 Great Blue Heron, 2 Green Heron and 4 Osprey. Also, 12 Killdeer, 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Black-billed Cuckoo, 1 Common Nighthawk and 4 Wood Thrush. The best find by far were 2 male Redhead at the spillway of Firestone Reservoir at Firestone Metro Park. This doubled the previous record of only one for this extremely rare, out-of-season find.
AREA #25: Finally, the last of the OPEN areas! AREA #25 is situated in the Mogadore area. Michelle and I have censused this area numerous times in the past, but it is free for the taking, especially if you know of anyone living in the Mogadore area. We always tend to concentrate on the section of R.R. tracks from I-76, past Skelton Rd. and on east towards the Summit/Portage County Line. In fact, out of the 60 species we found in this area, only 3 were found outside of this length of R.R. tracks in the Gilchrist Rd. area. Highlights here included a single juvenile Wild Turkey crossing the tracks near the abandoned cement factory. The 3 Green Heron we had all flew in together at a small pond along the tracks at the back of the Mogadore landfill/dump. This area being highly industrial, Killdeer were plentiful with 9 birds being found along with 2 nests consisting of 4 eggs and 3 eggs. Both nests were found with ease. The 4 Spotted Sandpiper we found here are presumed nesting behind the landfill, which is a network of dirtbike and quad trails, which allows for easy walking as long as the Evel Knievel-wannabe's aren't present. Another highlight of the area is nesting gulls. Yes, nesting gulls in Summit County! Dwight & Ann Chasar and myself tried to gain access to some factory rooftops along Gilchrist Rd. several years ago, to no avail. That hasn't changed, but the gulls are still present. It is believed that the Herring Gulls are nesting on the roof of the Rubbermaid factory on the west side of Gilchrist Rd. and Ring-billed Gulls, though numbers were down this year, are presumed to be nesting on the JanorPot factory on the east side. We finished with 8 Herring Gull and 1 Ring-billed Gull, though the ring-billed's could have already left for the morning for Mogadore Reservoir, Springfield Lake or the wilds of the local KFC parking lot. Other nice finds were 2 Cooper's Hawk, 5 Red-tailed Hawk, 3 species of flycatcher, singles of Yellow-throated, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireo, 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 4 Wood Thrush, 18 Cedar Waxwing, 1 Orchard Oriole and 3 Baltimore Oriole. It is a compact birding area, not too big, but the tracks make for difficult walking, and there is a 25-foot high trestle to cross, in case one has a fear of heights. We've never been run off the tracks, though we do hide in the woods when the occasional, always slow-moving train approaches. We've never been run out of the landfill, though we skirt around any activity at the site. As with all OPEN areas, Michelle and I have no problem taking any interested parties on a first year trial, or scouting run, to show the best sections to cover, or what birds to expect where, etc., as we're probably going to continue covering these OPEN areas. Our goal, of course, is to spend the entire count period in our area, AREA #28. We finished the area with 716 total birds in 4 hours and 45 minutes of time afield. Due to time restraints some portions were left uncovered.
AREA #27: The keeper of AREA #27 is Jim Reyda. The area includes Akron-Fulton Airport, Springfield Lake, Summit Metro Parks’ Springfield Bog Metro Park, as well as all sorts of bird-rich nooks and crannies that only Jim knows. He finished with 83 species, 2,168 total birds and 28 hours of time afield. Highlights here, and there are many, included 2 Wild Turkey, 4 Double-crested Cormorant, 3 Osprey, this year's only Virginia Rail, which consisted of 2 adult birds and one dark juvenile, 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 1 Eastern Screech-Owl, 1 Great Horned Owl, 2 Common Nighthawk, 1 American Kestrel, found at the airport, 7 species of flycatcher including 1 Alder Flycatcher, 4 Horned Lark (the only reported this year and at the airport), 4 Purple Martin at Springfield Lake, 30 Bank Swallow, 6 Wood Thrush, 369 American Robin, 2 Brown Thrasher, 1 Northern Mockingbird (airport, as well), 119 Chipping Sparrow, 6 Savannah Sparrow (airport), 2 Grasshopper Sparrow (airport again, and only reported) and 7 Eastern Meadowlark. He also reports 2 Northern Bobwhite from Springfield Bog Metro Park that are most likely from the Summit Metro Parks' release program. Jim was afield for 7 out of the 10 days during the count period in his area as well as helping Ed Pierce in his areas, earning him the "Dedication Award"! (the "Dedication Award" is not an actual award ~ so don't expect a special package from UPS anytime soon.)
AREA #28: Woo-hoo! Our area! AREA #28 is in the southern part of the county, basically south Barberton, Clinton and the New Franklin area. I have a great relationship with PPG and Quasar Energy which allows access into the PPG Lime Lakes Area. PPG and Quasar Energy have worked hand-in-hand in restoring the mined soda ash land used in glass making. PPG's Lime Lake #4 was the site of 2004's Western Meadowlark which created quite a stir down here, (next time I'll be sure to let them know of any unusual finds before Vanderhoof Rd. becomes a parking lot full of birders with spotting scopes again!) Anyway, the Tuscarawas River cuts through the area and has Summit Metro Parks' Towpath Trail running from Robinson Ave. in Barberton south to the Summit/Stark County Line south of Clinton. It also has Luna Lake, the Benner Rd. Wetlands, Columbia Lake, and numerous sideroads for drive-censusing. In only 2 days of of censusing consisting of a little over 16 hours afield, Michelle and I tallied 84 species and over 1,800 total birds counted. Highlights included this year's only Ring-necked Pheasant sighting, a male along the Tuscarawas River, seen from Lime Lake #4, but at the back end of the Barberton Water Control Station off of Van Buren Ave. Wild Turkey were numerous. The first was a female along Taylor Rd. that seemed quite curious about a farmer's guinea-fowl that had wandered out into the road. The second was a female with 5 poults along Center Rd. The 5 poults were just starting to get their primary flight feathers. The third sighting was another female with 5 poults, this family along Eastern Rd. These 5 poults were a little younger and smaller than the other family. We had 16 Double-crested cormorant with at least 7 nests. They continue to nest in the large cottonwood trees at the northern end of Columbia Lake, on PPG property. Impossible to get an accurate count on the nests due to all the leaves and nesting Great Blue Herons as well. 1 Osprey over the Tuscarawas River at Lime Lake #4, a single Broad-winged Hawk soaring over the west end of Clinton, 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoo and 1 Black-billed Cuckoo. Two Common Nighthawk were found at 9:27pm at the south end of Barberton. We totaled 5 Marsh Wren - 4 at the Benner Rd. Wetlands and 1 in a cattail marsh along Eastern Rd. 1 Brown Thrasher at Lime Lake #4 and 1 Northern Mockingbird at the south end of Barberton along Van Buren Ave. 3 Savannah Sparrow, 2 Bobolink and 4 Eastern Meadowlark. This area might be the most Orchard Oriole-friendly in the county, as we finished with 15 total. Should you ever get down this way, the Towpath Trail, basically from Vanderhoof Rd. to the county line, is very bird-rich with species like White-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Veery, Wood Thrush, Hooded Warbler and American Redstart (11). The best find was a pair of male Dickcissel on territory at Lime Lake #5, the only reported this year. Unfortunately, Lime Lake #5, which is pretty much just a big prairie, is getting choked out by non-native Canada thistle and bedstraw, but both PPG and Quasar Energy have expressed an interest in a controlled burn for next year which should do wonders for this extensive swath of grassland. Once again, no Sedge Wrens were present here, though we have had them in the past, always a hit or (mostly) miss species.
AREA #29: Wolfgang & Joyce Pelz call AREA #29 home, which consists of the watery environs of the Portage Lakes region. Many water-loving birds were found here such as 147 Canada Goose, 3 Mute Swan, 4 Wood Duck, 104 Mallard, a whopping 63 Double-crested Cormorant (proving that if you shoot them at the Great Lakes, they'll just stay at the Portage Lakes!), 7 Great Blue Heron, 3 Green Heron, 8 Osprey, 3 Ring-billed Gull and 5 Herring Gull. With 6 hours of time afield they totaled up 41 species and 725 total birds.
AREA #30: And finally, AREA #30! By now you're probably grateful there are 30 areas instead of 60! We finish in the southern part of the county, covered this year by John Henry with help from Michelle and I. The main attraction here is Nimisila Reservoir, which has recently been taken over by Summit Metro Parks, which should ensure that it remains great bird habitat. Other areas covered include Camp Y-NOAH, Boettler Park, many sideroads, fields and woodlots as well as the Canton-Akron Airport. The airport is great, but in reality the best places to bird it are on the out-of-county Stark County side, but we try. Starting at Nimisila Reservoir, highlights were 2 Common Loon, one of which was an adult bird in full breeding plumage, the other was an immature bird. I suppose the fishing here was too good to leave and head to Minnesota. A distant photo of both birds together is at the end of the summary. We also had 8 Osprey and 4 nests with at least one downy chick visible in the nest off of Christman Rd. at the southeast end of the lake. An adult Bald Eagle was spotted flying across the reservoir with something in its talons and the bird was promptly dive-bombed by 27 Purple Martin that have begun staging up on the high-tension power lines that cut across the reservoir. Along one of the cattail islands out in the center of Nimisila were a pair of American Coot, side by side. Unfortunately, they were too far out to discern whether or not they had any young, (hey buddy, can I borrow your boat?) Nimisila also had 1 Alder Flycatcher, giving us 7 species of flycatcher for the area. The old campground had 1 Prothonotary Warbler and 1 Yellow-throated Warbler, but strangely absent were any Pine Warbler, as this has been a very reliable place for them in the past due to the tall white pines. We added 6 more Purple Martin using the nesting gourds near the Camp Y-NOAH horse stables. Near the airport at the MAPS museum we had 2 Savannah Sparrow. Together we finished with 74 species, 895 total birds and 8 hours and 15 minutes of time afield.
Well, that's a wrap! Combined, 83 Volunteers (the same amount as last year), covered the entire County of Summit! Some were solo in their endeavors while some areas had as many as 17 willing and able birders. We combined for 506 hours and 25 minutes of time afield, a new census high, besting the previous record of 489 hours in 2010! The fruits of our labor yielded 134 different species of birds, also a new high for the census, besting the previous high of 131 species in 2013! In all, 35,294 total birds were counted in the county, also a new census high, beating the 2010 record of 35,073!
New highs were set for Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Redhead, Hooded Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Spotted Sandpiper, Ring-billed Gull, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Orchard Oriole, and even the lowly House Sparrow - proving "city-censusing" is just as crucial as counting in the Cuyahoga Valley! We also tied the high for Magnolia Warbler and Dark-eyed Junco, and a species new to the census, Northern Waterthrush, was added as well as the first record of the hybrid "Lawrence's" Warbler! So give yourself a high five, an "atta boy", or the proverbial pat on the back! Or, what the heck, carve yourself out your very own "Dedication Award" from a sturdy piece of oak (preferably felled by natural causes!) You've earned it and deserve it!!!
Consider this census of Summit County as one big birdwatching field trip that we ALL went on and now we're all meeting up here, in the 2016 Summary. If we told people that we were all going birdwatching in one county in Northeast Ohio during June and the birds we would get would run the gamut of water-loving birds such as American Black Duck, Redhead, Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey and Bald Eagle. Marsh birds like American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, American Coot and Marsh Wren. Much sought after birds such as American Woodcock, Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Red-headed Woodpecker, Peregrine Falcon, Alder Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Purple Martin, Brown Thrasher and Northern Mockingbird. Birds of the deep, mature woods like Acadian Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Veery and Wood Thrush. Species of the even deeper north woods and hemlock ravines like Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Dark-eyed Junco and Purple Finch. Seventeen species of warblers, including Louisiana Waterthrush, Northern Waterthrush, Cerulean, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Prairie and Yellow-breasted Chat, plus the rare hybrid, "Lawrence's" Warbler. Grassland and prairie nesters such as American Kestrel, Horned Lark, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. And, for good measure, where else are you going to find over 2,500 House Sparrow and almost 3,000 European Starling? Because remember kids, in the words of the legendary Roger Tory Peterson, "Starlings are birds, too." If you told other birders of these finds, with such a variety from such diverse habitats, they would ask where this amazing wildlife refuge or bird sanctuary is. It's all here, right at your front door, in June, in Summit County, Ohio!
Sadly, as the county changes it's just a microcosm of change within North America and beyond. For every increase in some species such as Double-crested Cormorant, Osprey, Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon there are continued disheartening losses in numbers of Common Nighthawk, American Kestrel, Blue-winged Warbler and Field Sparrow, among others. Carolina Wren and Northern Cardinal numbers follow the ebb and flow of mild winter versus harsh winter, but what of the recent change in Black-capped Chickadee versus Tufted Titmouse numbers? Are chickadee numbers decreasing and titmouse numbers increasing? It appears that way. Is there something more to it? Time will tell on these and many other questions, but hopefully we have 'time'. Now, you may all go back to birding whenever and wherever the heck you want!
Thank you ALL for your commitment!
Douglas W. & Michelle Vogus
Greater Akron Audubon Society's
Breeding Bird Census
Greater Akron Audubon Society