Monday, January 13, 2014

The Everlasting Longest Twitch Presents...A LIFER!

Hello kids! Well here we are in a new year and another exciting adventure of "Loopy and The Doodles Go Birding!" We start off today's trip with a visit to  Edgewater Park, our 25th tick on the Lake Erie Birding Trail. Oh my...hang onto to your hats!

 Here we are...freezing our respective parts off.
You know, living along the lake shore in the summer with that nice cool breeze...ah.
Living along the lake shore in January with a wind from the north blowing over the ice on the lake?
Not so "ah."

 Nope, not lifers.
Silly Ring-billed Gulls...
 Red-breasted Mergansers sailing past...there are thousands out there!
Not lifers.

 Mute Swans...the one on the right is screaming silently.
His tushy is frozen.
Also not lifers.
  Flying away with hurt feelings.
Sorry guys, you're just not that special today.
 NOT the first lighthouse seen on Lake Erie...
Patience kiddies...
 Our second park on our Days Twitch...and number 26!

Only 58 more sites to visit along the trail! East 72nd Street and Gordon Park are famous among Cleveland birders in January. Not only a great place to fish, but a fantastic place to find lost and misguided gulls and watery type birds. Glaucous, Thayer's, Iceland and other rare, bland, gray and white gulls are regulars here(I meant that in a nice way.) This area is directly across from a power plant and its warm water discharge keeps the water free of ice. There are plenty of fish, mostly shad, to feed the hungry mobs. And today we had a special visitor from far away!

 These are two of our Peregrine Falcon friends that enjoy harassing ducks and gulls.
As you can tell by the cropping, The Doodles STILL hasn't bought me a 500mm lens.
And as for Santy Claws...well...

 Definitely a rare one!
Jim McCormac paid a visit to our lake shore from Columbus.
Jim works for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, blogs and is the author of an upcoming book on the Lake Erie Birding Trail
Stay tuned for that!

 Nope, not rare or a lifer.
Just one of those Herring Gull.
I think the fish is saying "Oh No! Mr. Bill!"
Get it?
The Gull has a bill...
...and he's eating him.
Or no.

 And here he is!
The Life bird for Me and The Doodles!
Great shot, huh?
 Now I'm not sure what the hand sign meant.
Was it the second park we visited...a victory sign for the lifer...
or was it a hint about potty time...
 Another great shot!
Wow, why haven't I received a call from National Geographic yet?

 Who'd have thought that a site across from a power plant, along a busy freeway near the heart of downtown Cleveland would host so many great birds?
The trees in the distance are in Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, formally known as Dike 14.
It's actually a landfill from dredging the Cuyahoga River.
Great place for warblies!
 Okay, fine.
Here's the lifer.
Know who he is yet?
He likes to dive for his meals...and occasionally hop across water...

 It's a Black-legged Kittiwake!
A little bit out of his territory.

Thanks again for visiting!
I hope you'll come back!
I promise to behave next time...ha...not.

 *no kitties were awakened during the filming of this blog...


  1. Winter birding may be cold but there are lots of birds to see even here. You tell a good story with lots of suspense and have a great conclusion !

  2. Lovely. It is always exciting to add another to the list...although I do not maintain a list...I know which ones I have yet to see. Great photos and fun way to draw out the suspense.

    1. Thank you. It's always ask any birder what birds they've seen, and they always know, list or no list.

  3. Your adventures are utterly hilarious! (I especially like the "v-for-potty" sign. :-) I was totally in suspense waiting to see who the lifer was, and you got such a charming shot! Things are a little more tame around here, but since I figured out last month how to squirrel proof a bird feeder, we have been seeing a lot more of our friendly local species, who are always delightful visitors.

    1. Thanks for visiting Patricia!
      Now you know, the only REAL squirrel proof bird feeder is one placed on a deserted island. And even then, one will manage to swim across the sea to find it!

  4. Wowee, your photographs are getting better, and better and better. Fantastic images.

    1. Thanks Bob! Maybe one of these days I'll read the manual...nah.

  5. Nice post - I have walked on the shores of this great lake in the winter - and I know what you mean about the temperature!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. Thanks Stewart.
      This is a long drive from your home!

  6. Congrats on that Lifer Bird-boy and Doodles! Couldn't happen to nicer people.