Posted in Birds, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Metzger Marsh State Wildlife Area

Metzger Marsh is a 558 acre marsh bordered by Lake Erie, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and a canal used by private watercraft. It is a site ideal for fishing and bird watching. It's located between Maumee Bay State Park and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. We ended a vacation day in northwest Ohio with a post dinner drive out to Metzger Marsh. From the entrance on Bono Road, we passed a parking lot and a boat launch. An access road - Metzger Marsh State Road, parallels the marsh Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Maumee Bay State Park: The Boardwalk

Because Maumee Bay State Park is the site of one of our state's lodge and conference centers, it offers a number of recreational opportunities. But as a nature lover, one of my favorite activities there was walking the 2-mile boardwalk through a wetland bordering Lake Erie. We visited in May while staying in the lodge. Our strolls along the boardwalk were relaxing and peaceful. They were also an opportunity to do some birdwatching and to see other wildlife like deer. We began the boardwalk Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Bob and I have hiked many trails in the nature preserves and parks of Ohio. However the state of Ohio also has designated "State Wildlife Areas" that are under the management of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. These are important areas for hunting and fishing in Ohio, but they aren't usually geared toward hiking and most of them lack trails. However some of these State Wildlife Areas do have trails, especially those that are good sites for birding. In our last post I discussed a visit Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Past events

Beginning Birder at the “Biggest Week in American Birding”

I am an aspiring birder; actually, I seem to be perpetually stuck at the "beginning birder" level. I enjoy and recognize the birds that frequent my backyard feeding station. And when hiking, I enjoy listening to birdsong and calls... but I rarely catch sight of those singing birds. Most of the time they seem to be perched high above me and hidden by the tree's foliage. However in Ohio there is an annual birding event called, The Biggest Week in American Birding, and this year I decided to give it Read more ➜
Posted in Birds

Return of the Osprey to Hoover Reservoir

The osprey have returned to the northern edge of Hoover reservoir. Osprey are brown and white birds of prey measuring two feet (61 cm) tall with a wingspan of almost six feet (183 cm). They build nests near water and feed on fish. Like almost all of our other wildlife, ospreys disappeared from Ohio in the early 1900s. According to an article by John Switzer in the Columbus Dispatch the reintroduction of ospreys in modern times occurred when a breeding pair migrated into the state of Read more ➜
Posted in Birds

Heron Rookeries (Heronries) in Ohio

Last weekend Bob and I went to Pickerington Ponds to see if the Great Blue Herons had resumed nesting there. Great Blue Herons like to have their nests grouped together, so it is sort of like they're living in an apartment complex. If no more nests will fit in a particular tree, then herons will nest in the tree next door. This grouping of nests is called a heron rookery or sometimes a heronry, and herons are said to be colonial nesters. This tree had four nests so far, but not all Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Park visit

The Wild Turkey

This past Saturday I stopped by Blendon Woods Metro Park in central Ohio. While going on a walk there I watched a large flock of turkeys slowly move from one side of the trail to the other. The females were the most shy, and they scooted across the trail lickety-split. The males, however, took their time, often pausing in the middle of the trail as if to say, "I'm big and tough, and if anything you should be intimidated by me." Consequently the photos below are all males, what with them posing Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Nature, Park review

Hoover Meadows

Hoover Reservoir supplies the city of Columbus with its drinking water. At eight different sites around the reservoir is the Hoover Reservoir Park. It is a great recreational resource for residents and tourists, and it is important sanctuary for birds as well. Today I'm going to focus on one of the lesser known sites of this park: Hoover Meadows. Hoover Meadows is 74.77 acres. Although a sign marks its entrance, the place looks fairly nondescript from the road. A row of conifers divides Read more ➜
Posted in Birds

Sam, the Screech Owl, Gets Animated

I met Sam while participating in the Hocking Hills Annual Winter Hike. A naturalist with the state of Ohio was holding him on his arm as the crowd walked past. I took several photos of Sam while he was turning his head every which way as he looked over the crowd. I decided to combine these images into one animated image that shows off his amazing head-turning skills. Check out the image below. In case you are curious, the four images below were combined with the owl head at the top Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve

We'd visited every (non-permit) park and preserve in Hocking county except one - Kessler Swamp. This weekend on the way home from a hike at Conkles Hollow, we stopped there. The parking lot for the preserve in a pull-off off of Hideaway Hills Road. A very short path leads you to an observation platform overlooking the swamp. The preserve is a 20-acre site consisting mostly of the swamp which is fed by Durbin Run, a tributary of Rush Creek. When we visited we noted mostly waterfowl Read more ➜