Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tricolored Heron continues near Sandusky

As of Sunday, August 31, an adult Tricolored Heron continues in Medusa Marsh, west of Sandusky and southeast of Port Clinton. The bird was first discovered by Jen Brumfield a week ago and has been seen off and on since. This is a rare visitor to northwestern Ohio, not found every year. To locate the bird, go to the junction of Rt. 2 and Rt. 269 South, just on the south side of Sandusky Bay, and turn north toward Bay View. From the overpass over Rt. 2, if you look toward the northeast, you'll see a large open area of shallow water and exposed flats surrounded by marsh and phragmites. To view this area, you have to go north (downhill) about fifty yards to a wide spot where you can park, and then walk back uphill along the road shoulder toward the interchange to get high enough to see over the vegetation.

I was there this afternoon and the Tricolored Heron was out in the middle of the open area. It was not at all obvious and took some scanning to find; and although it would have been identifiable through binoculars, a telescope is very helpful here for getting decent looks. Other birds out on the flats included at least 20 Snowy Egrets, several Caspian Terns and Forster's Terns, one Bonaparte's Gull, two American Golden-Plovers, good numbers of Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeers, and Lesser Yellowlegs, a few dowitchers and "peeps" at great distance, many Blue-winged Teal, and a few Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. A couple of times, Bald Eagles made low passes over the area, causing many of the birds (including the Tricolored Heron) to get up and fly around before landing again.

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