Ohio’s Top Ten Craziest Vagrants
In an attempt to completely rip off the ABA Blog I decided to do an Ohio edition of the 10 craziest vagrants in OHIO. Since I did an Ohio Big Year last year I saw or tried to see every one of these birds. Feel free to object or add some if you’d like by following the blog and commenting below.
10. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Franklin County)
These birds were reported by the home owner and James Muller quickly went to go investigate. James was delighted that the home owner was correct and a flock of birders went to see the whistling ducks in the short period they were present.
Seen by: Jeremy, Sarah, Jacob, Alex
9. Franklin’s Gull Invasion (State-wide)
While Ohio does get a few Franklin Gulls annually we don’t get masses of them like we did this year. Seems like franklin gulls were reported in most counties and usually seen with multiplies being reported at any one time.
Seen by: Chris, Jeremy, Sarah, Alex, Jacob, Eric
8. Black-headed Gull (Cuyahoga County)
This bird happens from time to time along Lake Erie in the northern part of our state. There was a one day wonder in the spring at Maumee Bay SP and everyone thought that would be it until one in December showed up in the Cleveland area first seen at Headlands Beach SP it was then relocated at Wendy Park on Whiskey Island near the old coast guard station. The bird spent a while there and was seen my many observers.
Seen by: Chris, Alex, Eric
7. Western Tanager (Cuyahoga County)
This one took place at the same location as the #8. Wendy Park on Whiskey Island. Found by Jen Brumfield this bird caused quite the excitement. A beautiful male Western Tanager is nothing to shake a stick at. Unfortunately for most the bird only stayed a couple hours and was only seen by a few birders.
Seen by: No one 🙁 (But we got a different one in 2016!)
6. King Eider (Cuyahoga County)
A female King Eider found by David Weaver and an Amish group stayed viewable from Sim’s Park for over a month. Lots of people battled the wind and cold to get a good scope look at this bird.
Seen by: Chris, Eric, Alex, Jeremy, Jacob, Sarah
5. Bohemian Waxwing (Lake County)
Five Bohemian Waxwings graced Lake Erie Bluffs for a couple of days in March. It was later found out that this same group was photographed weeks earlier and misidentified as Cedar Waxwings. Andy Avram relocated and correctly ID’d the birds.
Seen by: Chris, Jeremy, Jacob, Alex
4. Swainson’s Hawk (Holmes County)
This juvenile dark morph spent days delighting birders and photographer by hawking grasshoppers out of a field. This is the first photographic record of this species in the state to my knowledge. This species is most often seen as a flyover on a hawk watch.
Seen by: Chris, Jeremy, Alex
3. Western Flycatcher sp. (Trumbull County)
A Pacific-slope or Cordilleran Flycatcher was found by homeowner Bill Thompson. The ID of this bird was never nailed down, but either or would be a first state record. I know many listers are wishing this thing would get lumped in the future. I think any first state record makes it high onto the list.
Seen by: Alex
2. Brambling (Medina County)
This ABA mega is still present and has been very reliable at a feeder on private property. This bird has been drawing crowds ever since the word of it has gotten out. This is a second state record and the first being in 1987 almost 30 years ago about 5 miles from this location.
Seen by: Eric, Chris, Alex, Jeremy, Sarah, Jacob
1. Kelp Gull (Summit County)
This is not only an Ohio mega but an ABA mega and a possible first state record if the committee votes to except it. This bird played a game of cat and mouse for several birders being present at Springfield Lake sometimes and not others. Those lucky enough to view it were very pleased. Great find by Ben Morrison.
Seen by: Jacob, Jeremy, Sarah, Alex, Eric
There you have it. 10 crazy megas for Ohio in 2015. 2015 started off kind of slow but by the end of the year it seemed like a mega was being reported every week. Fun times! Let us know in the comments which birds that you think should have made the list. Excited to see what 2016 will look like. #BirdOn