Skip to main content

Stay on the Roads!

The Black Rail has at Charlie's Pond has certainly been attracting interest; not unexpected given that it is one of North America's most iconic symbols of secretive, hard to see birds. There are places to go in North America where one has good shots at hearing, if not seeing them, but Ohio is most definitely not on that list.

Therefore it isn't surprising that so many people would make the pilgrimage down to Pickaway County when word of the Circleville-area rails got out. And nearly everyone has done the right thing and stayed on the roads and off private property.

But apparently not everyone, and on the outside chance that anyone reading this blog might know of someone who might feel the need to try more aggressive tactics to pursue the rails, such as wading into the marshes, I am posting this. It's important to note that in this situation, all of the land on both sides of Radcliff Road, and the other area roads for that matter, are private property and no one should enter any of these lands. The birds can be seen/heard well enough from the roads. Also, there is an old adage for wilderness travelers: "Leave no Trace". We should try that here as well, by parking in areas where ruts won't be made by car tires, and also where birders won't block or otherwise interfere with other drivers.

The landowner on the south side of Radcliff, who has put a big chunk of his property into the Conservation Reserve Program, deserves an award in my opinion. His actions have been entirely voluntary and have made a big positive difference in regards to wildlife conservation. The last thing we as birders would want to do is risk alienating someone who has made such a positive impact.

Thanks to everyone for playing by the rules and enjoying the rails from the roadways.


Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Snowy owl photography tactics - and things NOT to do

A gorgeous juvenile female snowy owl briefly catches your narrator with its piercing gaze. It's doing its Linda Blair/Exorcist trick - twisting its head 180 degrees to look straight behind. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae - double our number - which allows them such flexibility.

These visitors from the high arctic have irrupted big time into Ohio and adjacent regions, with new birds coming to light nearly every day. Probably 80 or so have thus far been reported in the state, and some of them have stuck around favored spots and become local celebrities.

I went to visit one of these birds this morning - the animal above, which was found last Friday by Doug Overacker and Julie Karlson at C.J. Brown Reservoir near Springfield. In the four days since its discovery, many people have visited as is nearly always the case when one of these white wonders appears near a large population center or is otherwise very accessible.

And as is always the case, people want to photograph the owls. And th…