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Oak Openings Breeding Season Updates

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Category: Rarebird Alerts
Forum Name: Greater Toledo Ohio Area
Forum Description: For reporting rare birds in NW Ohio
Printed Date: 18 Jul 2018 at 3:30pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.05 -

Topic: Oak Openings Breeding Season Updates
Posted By: Matt Anderson
Subject: Oak Openings Breeding Season Updates
Date Posted: 03 Jun 2017 at 9:19pm

This morning was about as good as it gets in the Oak Openings. Among the 93 species and one great hybrid were a great variety of warblers. Here are the highlights, all found in or adjacent to Oak Openings Preserve Metropark:


Broad-winged hawk

Barred owl (4)

Eastern whip-poor-will (10)

White-eyed vireo (3)

Red-breasted nuthatch – Wilkins Road just south of Reed Road

Blue-winged warbler (4)

Lawrence’s warblerterritorial male on private property

Nashville warbler – singing male at Horse Rider Center, Jeffers Road

Chestnut-sided warbler (4)

Pine warbler (6)

Prairie warbler – singing male just east of intersection of Girdham and Reed Roads

Black-and-white warbler – singing male at Lou Campbell Tall Grass Prairie

Kentucky warbler – singing male along Route 64 east of Jeffers (across from entrance to Camp Courageous

Mourning warbler – same location as Kentucky warbler

Hooded warbler (8)

Yellow-breasted chat (2)

Summer tanager (9 singing males!)

Henslow’s sparrow (2) – field nw of intersection of Girdham and Reed Roads

Blue grosbeak (2) – singing males just north of intersection of Girdham and Reed and near entrance to Horse Rider Center

Posted By: Matt Kemp
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2017 at 2:27pm
Of note from a walk on the Secor Metropark bike path yesterday (all singing males, presumably on territory):
2 N. Parula
7 Am. Redstart
9 Acadian Flycatcher
3 Hooded Warbler
2 Veery
3 Yellow-throated Vireo

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 04 Jun 2017 at 3:37pm

Highlights this morning from Secor Metropark and spots nearby are listed below. It’s worth noting that Metropark officers have become much stricter recently about pulling to the side of the road at Secor. Be careful.


Including the couple of Northern parulas found by Matt Kemp yesterday at Secor, that makes 17 species of warblers (plus the Lawrence’s warbler hybrid) in the Oak Openings the past two days. Not bad for June! The Lawrence’s, Nashville, Cerulean, and Prairie are breeding season firsts since I started doing these censuses in 2013.


  • Wilson’s snipe – Irwin Prairie
  • Pileated woodpecker (2) – Secor Metropark
  • Acadian flycatcher (14) – Secor Metropark
  • Alder flycatcher – Whitehouse-Spencer Road just south of Old State Line Road
  • Cliff swallow – Angola Road just east of Raab Road
  • Blue-winged warbler (3)
  • Yellow-throated warbler – Irwin Road just south of Wolfinger Road
  • Cerulean warbler – just east of Tupelo Drive about 100 yards south of stream that crosses road
  • Black-and-white warbler – same spot as Cerulean
  • Hooded warbler (4) – Secor Metropark
  • Summer tanager (2) – Irwin Road between Bancroft and Wolfinger, Bancroft Street just east of entrance to Secor Metropark (singing on TV antenna!)
  • Vesper sparrow (3) – mud lane extension of Degenfelder Road
  • Grasshopper sparrow (4) – mud lane extension of Degenfelder Road
  • Dickcissel – Miller Road, just west of Secor Metropark (singing and making buzz note calls from high atop a tree – took off to the north)

Posted By: mhainen
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2017 at 3:07pm
Last Wednesday I had three Northern Parula's along Girdham road north of Sager.  Found by song and confirmed with some high tree top shots for ID purposes only.  Also had FOY year Black-billed Cuckoo at tornado alley.  Three Blue Grosbeaks along Girdham at north end of open prairie.  Nice pictures of one.  


Posted By: Brandoni13
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2017 at 8:04pm
Had a casual bike ride around the Mallard Lake area, including a portion of old Reed road. A parula was calling on the northeast corner of Wilkins and OO Pkwy. I recall a couple years ago there was one parula calling in the lodge parking lot well into June. Haven't heard one there yet this year. Other notables included yellow-throated vireo (behind the lodge), and an immature male orchard oriole and yellow breasted chat on the east side of old Wilkins road in Tornado Alley.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2017 at 3:35am
This evening, Tornado Alley hosted a really late Olive-sided flycatcher.

Posted By: Brandoni13
Date Posted: 09 Jun 2017 at 6:42pm
Scouted for next weeks count this morning. Stops including Oak Openings Preserve, Secor, Camp Miakonda, Wildwood, and the Maumee State Forest. 72 species in all. Some highlights are listed below:

Turkey (Oak Openings Parkway west of nature center)
Yellow-billed cuckoo (Mallard Lake, bridge on north side)
Belted Kingfisher (Miakonda and Whitehouse Spencer at 20...weird)
Acadian flycatcher (plenty at Secor, a couple in OO, and one at Wildwood)
Bank Swallow (observed about a dozen at Whitehouse Spencer and 20)
Veery (64 at Camp Courageous)
Northern mockingbird (CR C between 3 and 4)
Blue-winged warbler
Hooded warbler (only one calling at Secor, two at Springbrook)
American Redstart
Yellow-throated warbler (continuing in Nature Center parking area)
Yellow-breasted chat (horse barn and Sager by the airport)
Grasshopper sparrow (airport field)
Henslows sparrow (2, calling from north and south end of field at Girdham and Reed)
Lark sparrow (north of horse barn among other spots)
Vesper sparrow (new spot for me, farm field on southwest corner of Raab and Angola)
Summer tanager (Girdham and Reed as well as the nature center parking lot)
Scarlet tanager
Eastern meadowlark (many calling near the airport)
Orchard oriole (one immature male near the horse barn)

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2017 at 1:00am
Another summer rarity in Oak Openings Preserve Metropark this evening...Sharp-shinned hawk. It was in the woods directly behind (east of) the Girdham Road dunes, flying back and forth over the bike trail. I'm guessing that it's nesting somewhere nearby. There are only a handful of local breeding records.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2017 at 3:54pm

Most of my time this morning was spent in the Maumee State Forest. Here are the highlights:


  • Red-shouldered hawk – Fulton Co Road 4 between B and C
  • Pileated woodpecker (2) – C & 2, Manore between 64 and Archbold-Whitehouse Road
  • White-eyed vireo (5) – several near C & 2
  • Veery (9) – most near C & 2
  • Blue-winged warbler (2) – C & 2
  • Chestnut-sided warbler (8) – mostly near C & 2
  • Pine warbler (2) – near Kentucky warbler spot (see below)
  • Prairie warbler – Manore Road north of 64. It’s back again.
  • American Redstart – Kentucky warbler spot
  • Kentucky warbler – C around 1/3 of a mile east of 2 (Park at entrance to sandy service road/ATV trail with cable across entrance on north side of road, walk back a couple of hundred yards to the northeast until you get to a wet spot on either side of the ATV trail.)
  • Hooded warbler (2)
  • Yellow-breasted chat – C & 2

Posted By: lmauro
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 1:07pm
I had a very vocal yellow breasted chat at the Tall Grass prairie early yesterday am right on old Wilkins.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 3:33pm

This morning, I took a quick drive though Blue Creek, then I walked the length of Tornado Alley (TA) from Jeffers Road to Oak River Lane. This whole stretch is such a good birding area. Maybe nowhere in the state is as productive for Red-headed woodpeckers. Another Mourning warbler and Blue grosbeak were the best birds. Yellow-breasted chats have moved into this habitat in force.


  • Hooded merganser – Blue Creek
  • Ring-necked pheasant – Blue creek
  • Red-headed woodpecker (32!) – all in TA
  • Alder flycatcher (2) – TA, field at end of Ostrich Lane
  • White-eyed vireo (2) – field north of Horse Rider Center on Jeffers
  • Blue-winged warbler (2) – TA, field at end of Ostrich Lane
  • Chestnut-sided warbler (2) – TA (cumulative total of singing males up to 17)
  • Pine warbler (3) – TA
  • Mourning warbler – TA, midway between Jeffers and Old Wilkins (singing persistently, great views)
  • Yellow-breasted chat (9!) – TA (7), field at end of Ostrich Lane (2)
  • Hooded warbler
  • Summer tanager – TA (cumulative total of singing males up to 14 now)
  • Blue grosbeak – same spot as Mourning (also singing persistently)

 I was told by another birder that there was a Blue grosbeak near the Horse Rider Center at about the same time I was listening/watching the bird noted above. It seems likely that there are at least three singing males in OOPM (including the 1 or 2 that have been reported at Reed and Girdham).

Posted By: mhainen
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 3:52pm
We had a male Northern Parula in plain view at Secor Metropark this morning south and west of Meadowview Parking lot.  We secured some nice pictures.  Cerulean was there earlier.  Redstarts and Hooded were very vocal.


Posted By: mhainen
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2017 at 3:54pm
We had a mature and imature male Blue Grosbeak's at the cemetery on Girdham road this morning at 8 AM.  2 Grasshopper Sparrows along Sager road within 30 feet.


Posted By: Paul Chad
Date Posted: 12 Jun 2017 at 6:32pm
Does anybody else wonder as I do if:  the May we just had locally, with winds constantly out of the north (kept farther-north breeders down here?) and a few days of strong winds out of the south (to bring up more southerly species?) has contributed to the plentiful local rare breeders being found?
Great Birding, folks!

Paul Chad
Bowling Green

Posted By: Brandoni13
Date Posted: 15 Jun 2017 at 3:55pm
This was work today to get to 63. Things were certainly pretty quiet. Not on the checklist, but I also heard a broad-winged on Reed west of Whitehouse-Spencer." rel="nofollow -

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2017 at 9:21pm

This morning the birding south of Secor Metropark, west of Sylvania, and in Secor Metropark provided some nice stuff including a new Blue grosbeak site and a whole mess of Dickcissels…


  • White-eyed vireo (4) – all south of Secor Metropark
  • Cliff swallow (3) – Pacesetter Park
  • Veery (4) – Secor Metropark and Eber south of Angola
  • Blue-winged warbler – Their numbers are dwindling in Kitty Todd and other wild areas south of Secor
  • Northern parula (2) – singing males at Secor
  • Summer tanager – Kitty Todd at Eber and Old Stateline Road
  • Lark sparrow – singing male at a non-traditional spot along Whitehouse-Spencer Road just north of Garden Road
  • Henslow’s sparrow (2) – good year for this rarity; these were along 20-A just west of Eber
  • Grasshopper sparrow (2) – same site as Henslow’s
  • Blue grosbeak – first-year singing male at Sylvan Prairie (a few hundred yards south of southmost parking lot off Brint Road)
  • Dickcissel (17) – 13 (including 2 females) in a single field along Mitchaw Road on the north side of the running track at Timberstone School; 3 at Sylvan Prairie; 1 in a small weedy field along Angola Road just east of Raab Road.


Birds still missing from the list this breeding season include Black-billed cuckoo, Blue-headed vireo, Brown creeper, Golden-crowned kinglet, and Golden-winged warbler. If you have knowledge of the whereabouts of any of these species, please let me know!

Posted By: harpy
Date Posted: 18 Jun 2017 at 1:37am
No new species to add to this thread but a couple items worth noting.  On the Oak Openings bird count today, Michael Fesh and I did relocate the Kentucky Warbler on County Road C between roads 1 and 2.  It was very close to the road.  Horse Rider Center Blue Grosbeak was singing early also.

A couple of numbers worth mentioning - we found 18 (!) Northern Mockingbirds, and no, we didn't backtrack roads and double count.  lol.  This surely must be a 1 day high count for our area.

Also, 27 Brown thrashers was remarkable, while not a record (Campbell had 75 one day back in 1936).  35 were found at Magee one day in '72 as well, but I bet this is a high count for recent times.

-Greg L.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 19 Jun 2017 at 4:20am
Today, I covered areas south of Swanton, portions of the Maumee State Forest, and the countryside of southeastern Fulton and northeastern Henry Counties. The species list from these sections is almost always more mundane than other areas covered in the Oak Openings region. Not today. A largish bird feeding in a sizable lawn at 3261 Fulton County Road F caught my attention as I zipped by around 6:45am. I flipped the car into reverse and had to do a double take when I realized it was beautiful adult Yellow-crowned night-heron. It could hardly have been in a more unexpected location, feeding in a large lawn like so many others in the area. I watched and photographed it (with my cell phone) for 15-20 minutes, nervous the whole time that the homeowner would confront me for sitting in my car halfway down his long driveway. A Cooper’s hawk eventually dive-bombed the heron and chased it into the tree line on the west side of the property. Wow. 

The other particularly noteworthy report from today is a pretty amazing count of 25 Northern mockingbirds – no doubt a local single day record. Greg Links found 18 in the same general area yesterday. Why mockingbirds find these rural, open areas so attractive is beyond me.


  • Yellow-crowned night-heron – 3261 Fulton County Road F (maybe a first county record?)
  • Northern mockingbird (25) – in 22 different spots (2 together in 3 locations)
  • Black-and-white warbler – female in our Whitehouse back yard

Posted By: dbohio
Date Posted: 19 Jun 2017 at 9:46pm
Sure is an unusual year

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 24 Jun 2017 at 1:59am
Found a family group of at least 4 Red-breasted nuthatches tonight - spruce stand southeast of the intersection of Wilkins and Reed Roads (Oak Openings Preserve Metropark)

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 24 Jun 2017 at 3:43pm

The birds noted below are from the Wabash-Cannonball bike trail (Eber Road to Route 64) and  Monclova Road from Route 64 east to Wilkins Road. The addition of Black-throated green warbler and Louisiana waterthrush brings the warbler total for June to 19 species plus Lawrence’s warbler.


  • Acadian flycatcher (5)
  • White-eyed vireo
  • Veery (8) – the bike trail between Whitehouse-Spencer Road and 295 is always especially productive
  • Black-throated green warbler – singing male at the bike trail bridge over Swan Creek (between Girdham Road and Route 64)
  • Louisiana waterthrush – where the stream crosses the bike trail between Wilkins and Girdham Roads
  • Lark sparrow (5) – Christmas tree farm on Obee Road

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2017 at 3:34pm

The censuses are winding down and bird activity is slowing a bit too. Many of the areas covered in the waning days of breeding season are not as likely to produce unusual species. Here are the highlights of the past three days:


  • Broad-winged hawk (3) – singles at Sager and Girdham, 295 and 20-A (both July 1), and Reed and 295 (July 2)
  • Red-breasted nuthatch – pair along Manore Road, ¼ mile south of Reed
  • Pine warbler (4) – scattered locations; raises total to 18 singing males
  • Hooded warbler (4) – scattered locations; raises total to 22 singing males
  • Summer tanager – pine stand ¾ mi west of Sager and Girdham (July 1); total up to a record 19 singing males
  • Dickcissel – singing male at Jeffers and Waterville-Neapolis Road (July 1); total of 22 singing males on census doubles previous high

Posted By: Matt Kemp
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2017 at 7:41pm
Blue-headed Vireo and Black-billed Cuckoo (two species I haven't seen mentioned in Matt's reports yet) were both along the Springbrook Lake trail this morning, as were Hooded and Pine Warblers.   
-Matt Kemp

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2017 at 2:38am
Good finds, Matt. Those two species have indeed eluded me so far. And so has Yellow-billed cuckoo!

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2017 at 7:07pm
Gorgeous weather and a few good birds this morning...

* Blue-headed vireo (2) - singing male along the Springbook Lake Trail in Oak Openings Preserve Metropark (found yesterday by Matt Kemp) and another about 150 yards into the woods following the trail that goes west from Girdham through the clearcut meadow between Monclova and Sager Roads
* Brown creeper - in a very large pine stand following the trail noted above about 1/2 mile west of Girdham
* Blue grosbeak - singing first year male on the wires at the large field west of the airport (right at 20-A and Wilkins Road); hard to know if this is yet another new grosbeak or a wandering bird that has already been seen elsewhere

Posted By: StuartKem
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2017 at 9:13am
Originally posted by Matt Andersone Matt Andersone wrote:

Good finds, Matt. Those two species" rel="nofollow - have used vigrx plus indeed eluded me so far. And so has Yellow-billed cuckoo!

Thanks for the updates!

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