It’s time for the 6th annual bird photo highlights, 2020 edition!

Here’s bird highlights from 2015 , 2016 , 2017 , 2018 and 2019 if you’d like to take a look.

2020 was my first year living out in Clark County in west-central Ohio, having moved out of Franklin County / Columbus, Ohio, right in the middle of the state. I’m visiting many new locations and I’ll have to do a post or posts on that this year. Stay tuned.

Plus, if you’re a fan of my Peanut Gallery posts, check out the end of this post.

This is an American Avocet I saw last spring alongside a country road in Champaign County. Awesome shorebirds that can be seen on occasion during their migrations across Ohio. Luckily traffic was very light and I could stop in the road and get a good photo. The bill is rather unique!

Continuing with shorebirds- many of the following pictures were taken at the Darby Wetlands at Battelle-Darby Metro Park on the western edge of Frankin County.

Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
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Greater Yellowlegs
Pectoral Sandpipers
Long-Billed Dowitcher
American Golden Plover
Black-Crowned Night Heron (immature)

A Sanderling, one of three combing the beach at Buck Creek State Park. You could see them coming down the beach foraging for food, I took up a position in their path and snapped photos as they walked right by me.

This Piping Plover showed up for a couple of days on the beach at Buck Creek State Park in early September. This bird has all sorts of bling on the legs and ankles, marking it as having been banded before. It turned out by reading the banding marks that this bird had been hatched earlier in the year in Wilderness State Park in Michigan. One of its parents came up missing- possibly eaten by a Merlin- and so the eggs were incubated by the good people of and this young Plover was released into the wild on July 30th. Two months later it was in Ohio migrating south- a success story!

Now, to mix it up, some Wrens-

A Carolina Wren singing- a common year-round vocal Wren

A House Wren singing on its house

Speaking of House Wrens, these two courting birds were rolling in the leaves when I saw them

This is a Sedge Wren singing in the tall grass

A Marsh Wren in the Prairie View Area of Buck Creek State Park- a great spot for Wrens, I saw four different species of them that day (including the pic of the Sedge Wren).

A Winter Wren along the Simon Kenton Trail. Wrens are often curious birds and can be called in by ‘pishing’. This one was making little sounds at me.

How about some Woodpeckers? I’ll stick with the two most striking-looking species in Ohio-

This Pileated Woodpecker didn’t mind me much as it foraged on trees and rotting tree-stumps in Madison County. This is the biggest Woodpecker in North America.

These Red-Headed Woodpeckers at Lake Loramie State Park were stashing acorns in various trees. Gorgeous birds.

A few Flycatchers next-

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Wood Pewee
Least Flycatcher

Now, Vireos-

Warbling Vireo
Red-Eyed Vireo

Bell’s Vireos are getting more common in Ohio- I saw at least four last year. Their song is unique.

I saw a decent amount of Blue-Headed Vireos migrating last year.

Onto the Sparrows-

Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-Throated Sparrow

I caught this White-Crowned Sparrow in mid-song.

American Tree Sparrow
Dark-Eyed Junco
House Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

Now, the Warblers-

Yellow Warbler
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Yellow Warbler with food for young
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

This Cape May Warbler I saw at Stonelick State Park. There was a tree overhanging the lake there that had all sorts of Warblers passing through it. I could do a whole post on what I saw in that tree last September.

Common Yellowthroat
Palm Warbler
Black-Throated Green Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
American Redstart
Bay-Breasted Warbler

Here are three photos I took showing similar species together-

A Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs
A Herring and Ring-Billed Gull
A Black and Turkey Vulture

And some miscellaneous shots-

Two male Purple Martins resting on the ground at Kiser Lake State Park
A Hermit Thrush- have seen several overwintering
A male Scarlet Tanager displaying
A male Eastern Towhee
Friendly Mallards
A Great Blue Heron in a winter stream
A Brown Thrasher posing for me
A Yellow-Breasted Chat- saw a decent amount of them last year
Northern Pintail
Two Black Vultures eating the remains of a deer
A couple of immature Northern Cardinals
Gray Catbird
A Cedar Waxwing feasting on Honeysuckle berries
A Lesser Black-Backed Gull hung out at Buck Creek beach for a few months last year
A Ross’s Goose showed up along US Route 40 in Madison County- it’s still there

And a word about the Peanut Gallery- where I used to live, I had a patio full of birds and wildlife. Now, not so much. I’ve put up a small bird feeder and am slowly building up a following of critters, and more have been showing up this winter. So slowly but surely, I’m developing my new Peanut Gallery. It’s difficult to get good pictures due to circumstances of yard layout and viewing possibilities. But I’ll do my best!

Here’s a few images of visitors, which consist mainly of Starlings and House Sparrows (including some juvie birds fed by their parents). I did have a Robin hanging around for raisins, which I enjoyed. Slowly but surely, I’m seeing more species. It’s hard to get good photos of them though, especially the night creatures.

May 2021 bring a happy natural world to us all.