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Kelleys Island
Feathers and Foliages Festival
September 29, 2001


It turned out to be the best fall weekend ever for this event, sunny with no rain in the forecast. Festival participants began arriving Friday evening.  Jan and Lori drove in from Cincinnati and chose a shaded camp site at the Kelleys Island State Park camp grounds.  They got to work setting up camp right away so that they would have plenty of time to enjoy the entire weekend and all of the events.
 

The bird banding station at Long Point opened up well before dawn.  Besides Tom Bartlett and his crew of banding volunteers we had many onlookers eager to help. This thrush didn't expect to see anyone quite this early! 

 

Lori is here helping out very early too. This was one of the thrushes caught in the mist net before sun up. Lori is releasing it after it got weighed.  All birds are banded, checked for fat content, measures and weighed. Some even have a chance to pose for pictures.


The 8:15 am bird walk at the North Pond Nature Preserve was led by Jim McCormac, a research botanist with ODNR. He had quite a crowd to lead with more than 35 birders looking for fall migrants. Carolina Wrens were singing and Nashville, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Wilson's Warblers were seen along the boardwalk. 


Cedar Waxwings were seen and heard everywhere as well as Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Juncos, and White-throated Sparrows. Thrushes seemed to be all over the island that weekend and seen and heard on the walk were Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes.  When the bird activity was dead Jim was able to point out the varieties of flora along the trail.

The boardwalk winds through the woods leading to a tower at North Pond.  Since the pond is fed from the lake this fall the pond was nearly dry and over grown with vegetation just ripe for Sharp-tailed Sparrows but none were to be found. When there is water in the pond this is a great location to view Green heron, Blue-winged Teal and Wood Ducks.



Kevin Metcalf, a Trailside Naturalist at the Cleveland Metro Parks manned our Hawk Watch at the Glacial Grooves, the highest point on the north side of Kelleys Island.  With an east wind all of the odds were against us for most of the morning.  We did see a resident hawk or two and many Blue Jays and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
After lunch the wind shifted out of the north and we viewed Sharp-shinned Hawks and Bald Eagles.  The grooves made of limestone are 430 feet long, 15 feet deep and 35 feet wide and are a magnificent result of glacial scouring 18,000 years ago. During your visit to Kelleys Island be sure to walk around the grooves. There are informative plaques surrounding the walkway that tell the story of the glacial age and be sure to look for a fossil imbedded in the limestone.


Sunday, the day after the official Hawk Watch visitors from Cleveland had more favorable winds tallying up to 65 birds flying over the grooves in 2two and one half hours which included 1 Osprey, 8 Bald Eagles, 7 Northern Harriers, 33 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 Coopers Hawks, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 14 American Kestrels, 6 Merlin, and 2 Peregrine Falcons.


L. D. was on the island for the annual Kayak Poker Paddle earlier in the month and decided to return and spend his birthday at our Feathers and Foliage Festival.  He joined us at the grooves on Saturday but along with the others had better luck on Sunday.


The annual fall bird banding at Long Point goes on all morning and into the early afternoon.  Tom said it was the best fall banding ever on the island.  During 93 net hours among 10 nets we banded 139 individual birds from 23 species. High tallies included 33 Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, and 31 Gray-cheeked, Swainson's, and Hermit Thrushes.




While taking this Gray Catbird out of the mist net you have a good luck at the chestnut under tail coverts which is not normally seen.




Out of the net and into the cloth bag to be carried to the banding table this mimid is quite striking with its black cap and all gray body.






More than 200 visitors joined us at the Long Point banding site. Tom was able to point out distinguishing field marks of each bird as the people crowded around the banding table to see the whole process. Many helped to release the birds after they have been weighed, which is the last step in the banding process.



Documentation is very important too.  For each bird banded, the band number is recorded as well as the species, estimated age, fat, wing cord length and weight.  All of this information is recorded and then maintained in a database for easier looked up if a banded bird is recaptured..


Craig Morton, our State Park Manager, led the 1:00pm Tree Identification Walk. This year he took us into the quarry below the Glacial Grooves to view the growth that had established itself after the area was abandoned from quarrying.  More than 45 people joined him on this sunny afternoon.


Craig showed us a diagram of the old quarry operation which included pictures and maps of all the old structures that existed during that time.  This material was initially put together by Kurt Boeker, a former Kelleys Island School teacher.

In a way the Tree ID Walk was more successful than the Hawk Watch.  While we were below the grooves, Craig's talk was interrupted several times. We had a great look at an Osprey flying over us and two Bald Eagles performed their mating ritual.  They locked talons and tumbled down over us!  What an amazing site that was and it was wonderful to have this rare opportunity to watch.

Painted  Lady Common Darner

This years festival was a wonderful success, having great weather and a good turn out. And the birds turned out for us too, we had 95 species in all. The trees had started their colors and we even had some butterflies and dragonflies to view. 

23 Species Banded
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VIREOS AND ALLIES
   Red-eyed Vireo
THRUSHES
 
14  Gray-cheeked Thrush
   3  Swainson's Thrush
 14  Hermit Thrush
   3  American Robin
MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS
   2  Gray Catbird
WRENS
  
1  Winter Wren
   1  House Wren
KINGLETS
  16  Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  17  Golden-crowned Kinglet
CHICKADEES, TITS
   1   Black-capped Chickadee
SISKINS, CROSSBILLS AND ALLIES
 
  1   American Goldfinch
NEW WORLD WARBLERS
  
  Nashville Warbler
  36  Yellow-rumped Warbler
    1  Palm Warbler
    1  Blackpoll Warbler
    1  American Redstart
BUNTINGS, SPARROWS,
TANAGERS, ALLIES
   
Swamp Sparrow
    1  White-crowned Sparrow
   10  White-throated Sparrow
     2  Dark-eyed Junco
     1  Field Sparrow
     7  Northern Cardinal

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 95 Species Seen
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GREBES
      1  Horned Grebe
CORMORANTS
 1510  Double-crested Cormorant
DUCKS, SWANS, GEESE
     95  Canada Goose
       2  Wood Duck
     36  Mallard
HERONS, EGRETS AND BITTERNS
     23  Great Blue Heron
       1  Great Egret
NEW WORLD VULTURES
     27  Turkey Vulture
OSPREY
       1  Osprey
HAWKS, EAGLES AND KITES
     13  Bald Eagle
       7  Northern Harrier
     40  Sharp-shinned Hawk
       2  Cooper's Hawk
       8  Red-tailed Hawk
FALCONS AND CARACARAS
      15  American Kestrel
        8  Merlin
        3  Peregrine Falcon
PHEASANTS, GROUSE, QUAIL
AND TURKEYS
        1  Ring-necked Pheasant
PLOVERS AND LAPWINGS
        1  Black-bellied Plover
        6  Killdeer
GULLS AND TERNS
      85  Ring-billed Gull
        3  Great Black-backed Gull
     125  Herring Gull
     131  Bonaparte's Gull
        2  Caspian Tern
PIGEONS AND DOVES
        4  Rock Dove
      22  Mourning Dove
OWLS
        3  Eastern Screech-Owl
SWIFTS
       34  Chimney Swift
KINGFISHERS
         2  Belted Kingfisher
WOODPECKERS
         3  Red-bellied Woodpecker
         8  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
         9  Downy Woodpecker
       43  Northern Flicker
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS
         3  Eastern Wood-Pewee
         1  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
         2  Least Flycatcher
         3  Eastern Phoebe
CROWS AND JAYS
      207  Blue Jay
       47  American Crow
VIREOS AND ALLIES
        9  Blue-headed Vireo
        7  Red-eyed Vireo
        1  Warbling Vireo
WAXWINGS AND
SILKY-FLYCATCHERS
     315  Cedar Waxwing
THRUSHES
       51  Gray-cheeked Thrush
       36  Swainson's Thrush
       41  Hermit Thrush
     331  American Robin
MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS
        8  Gray Catbird
STARLINGS
     265  European Starling
NUTHATCHES
        8  Red-breasted Nuthatch
        3  White-breasted Nuthatch
CREEPERS
       16  Brown Creeper
WRENS
       13  Carolina Wren
       12  Winter Wren
         3  House Wren
SWALLOWS
       11  Tree Swallow
         1  Barn Swallow
KINGLETS
     248  Ruby-crowned Kinglet
     158  Golden-crowned Kinglet
CHICKADEES, TITS
       55  Black-capped Chickadee
LARKS
       10  Horned Lark
OLD WORLD SPARROWS
         3  House Sparrow
WAGTAILS AND PIPITS
       12  American Pipit
SISKINS, CROSSBILLS AND
ALLIES
       37  American Goldfinch
       14  Purple Finch
       66  House Finch
NEW WORLD WARBLERS
       12  Nashville Warbler
         3  Magnolia Warbler
       18  Cape May Warbler
         8  Black-throated Blue Warbler
      530  Yellow-rumped Warbler
         5  Black-throated Green Warbler
         9  Palm Warbler
       20  Blackpoll Warbler
         6  American Redstart
         6  Common Yellowthroat
         3  Wilson's Warbler
BUNTINGS, SPARROWS,
TANAGERS, ALLIES
        12  Song Sparrow
          1  Lincoln's Sparrow
          4  Swamp Sparrow
        14  White-crowned Sparrow
        97  White-throated Sparrow
        65  Dark-eyed Junco
          6  Chipping Sparrow
          1  Field Sparrow
          1  Eastern Towhee
          1  Scarlet Tanager
          1  Rose-breasted Grosbeak
        42  Northern Cardinal
          1  Indigo Bunting
BLACKBIRDS, GRACKLES,
ORIOLES
        43  Red-winged Blackbird
      125  Common Grackle
          2  Rusty Blackbird
          5  Brown-headed Cowbird


Last updated on Monday, October 31, 2005