Conneaut Harbor

Hello loyal readers! Yesterday, there was an outing to Conneaut Harbor and Pymatuming through my local bird club, the 3RBC. So, I woke up at 6:30 and got into the car to head north. We arrived at the meeting place, the Pymatuming Spillway. However, we noticed that no one was there. We continued down the road and still couldn’t find anyone. That was when we saw signs for another spillway. So we went to there. Arriving there was saw the telltale group of people toting binoculars and knew we were in the right place. From there we drove the 25 minutes to Conneaut Harbor in Ohio. We parked on the beach there and got out to look for birds. Here is the view that greeted us.


The most noticeable bird were by far the ring-billed gulls. However, mixed into their massive flocks were about fifty herring gulls. These are always a good sight in this area. Also within the gulls were about ten caspian terns.

Caspian tern on lake shore
We continued to scan the shore till someone yelled “Buffbreasted sandpiper!!” Immediately everyone reaimed his scope to where his was. We got beautiful looks at the bird it was very close and not very shy. It was a lifer for me (and most people there).




Buffbreasted sandpiper
Also with the buffie were some sanderlings and a couple of semipalmated plovers.

semipalmated plover
After the excitement from the buffie died down we all settled down to watch the terns and the gulls. Also a small flock of cormorants flew over. Soon however, someone spotted a greater black-backed gull. This is a fairly rare bird for my area and a good one to see.

Greater black-backed gull
Besides these lovely birds not much else was seen at the harbor. My dad and I, having not thought to bring a packed lunch, decided to head to the local diner for some lunch. Much to my happiness, they served breakfast all day so I settled down to a nice large plate of French toast and a milkshake.
After that, we rejoined the group at Pymatuming where we saw a fall plumaged blackpoll warbler. We then headed to the next spot, a trail near the Pymatuming spillway. There we found a large number of great egrets along with three pied-billed grebes, and, much to everyone’s enjoyment, two juvenile bald eagles.

Shot of a far off juvenile bald eagle
We were also able to see this groundhog who had climbed a tree.

Also found were a cape may warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, black and white warbler, and more blackpoll warblers.
The next spot we went to just produced Canada geese and three more eagles but the pond we went to after that was quite productive. The first thing we saw was a lesser yellowlegs. Then the leader noticed a small flock of birds fly into the nearby cornfield. They turned out to be bobolinks in fall plumage. They were later joined by about 20 more. When we directed our attention back to the pond we saw that a northern shoveler had arrived.

Not very good photo of the shoveler
Later a pied-billed grebe and both blue and green winged teal join them. A few minutes after these lovely water birds arrived, my dad and I had to head home, tired but satisfied from a good day’s birding.

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