Birding along Sandy Lake

Sandy Lake is a kettle lake in Portage County, Ohio, a few miles southeast of Kent.  Those who own property along the shores of Sandy Lake have access to a beach, which borders its northern edge, and to a well-maintained trail that winds through woodlands and past meadows southeast, south and west of the lake.

On this chilly, gray morning, I hiked around the lake and, of course, took my binoculars.  Eighteen double-crested cormorants dove for fish on the calm waters, an osprey circled overhead and great blue herons stalked the marshy shallows; a few spotted sandpipers foraged on the beaches and swallows (tree, northern rough-winged, barn and purple martins) were abundant, hunting insects above the lake or resting in trees or on nest boxes along the shore.  Despite the weather, the woods and meadows were alive with songbirds (representing at lease forty species by my count); highlights included a large number of yellow-rumped warblers, a few palm warblers, a Baltimore oriole, a rose-breasted grosbeak and a Swainson's thrush.  Joining the avian residents and visitors were a few white-tailed deer, black tree squirrels and numerous eastern chipmunks.

Since we will be spending a week at Sandy Lake, more local excursions will surely follow and I intend to visit several other nature preserves in Portage County.  Both eBird and readers of this blog will be kept informed of my sightings.