Meanwhile phone calls were going out to as many local birders as possible while a Columbus birder posted the find on the Ohio Birds website. When I arrived at the site, there were no birders there, so I got out my spotting scope and began looking through the many Canada Geese, Mallards and Sandhill Cranes. Within a couple minutes, the birders from Kidron who had found the birds, drove up and soon located the three Whimbrels. They were a long ways out across the field, partially hidden by vegetation.
Several other birders arrived and about that time the Whimbrels took flight and made several circles around the area before landing in the field, where we had much better looks at these impressive birds with the long, decurved bills. They called loudly while in flight. A few minutes later they took off again and this time made one sweep around the area before heading straight north. Just after they left a storm hit the area - it seemed likely the Whimbrels wanted to get off ahead of the wind and rain.
After the storm passed, a number of us drove around the area looking for places where the birds might have stopped, but to no avail. That’s the way it goes when migrant birds stop in our area - it can be minutes or hours, or if we’re lucky, a day or more.
There are only a few sightings of Whimbrels each year in Ohio. Usually these records come from near Lake Erie but there are also a few records from our area. The second highest number of Whimbrels ever seen in the state was May 26, 1984 when 101 were counted at Funk. I wish I could have seen that amazing sight.
Sedge Wrens have also been heard at Funk, along Route 95, as well as near the observation tower. As I write this column May 29, at least 25 Dickcissels have recently been reported across our area. It will be interesting to see if some of them stay around.
On May 23, three of us spent the morning at Mohican State Park. As always, it was a lot of fun, with close looks at some of the resident warblers, as well as Blue-headed Vireos (which we couldn’t find on the May 19 Big Day). One of the highlights was a singing male Summer Tanager that cooperated by perching out in the open where we had nice looks at the bird. I was reminded of the years when we had a pair of Summer Tanagers nesting in the trees around our house. These days we consider ourselves lucky to find one anywhere in the area.
Published: May 28, 2012