It’s that time of year again, looking back upon the best photos from last year. I’ve been doing this a while- here’s photo highlights from 2015 , 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020 and 2021 if you’d like to take a look.
Much of my photos are taken in west-central Ohio, as I live in Clark County.
I focus on birds, but include other nature photos in the mix. For instance, the above featured photo shows a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth checking out a swamp thistle at Pearls Fen, a great place to see all sorts of interesting natural things.
Here are three White-Tailed Deer in Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield. They posed nicely for me.
Statue meets goose.
This goat managed to get into a cornfield along a backroad. I see a decent amount of goats around.
A Mourning Cloak Butterfly- I don’t see as many of these as I used to.
In keeping with non-bird subjects, this Skink was seen scrambling along the boardwalk at Cedar Bog. You can see Skinks in rocky areas southern Ohio- Cedar Bog has a good crop, too.
The most common mammal I see on my park ramblings- a Squirrel. Grays, Fox and Red Squirrels abound.
I see a good amount of Chipmunks, too.
I hear Tree Frogs in season , but rarely see them. Here’s one in a hole in an American Sycamore Tree.
A Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel at Buck Creek State Park. They remind me of miniature Prairie Gophers and live in similar fashion. Here’s a blog post from almost a decade ago about them.
Muskrats on a cold winter day.
Tall Ironweed, a late summer and autumn wildflower- one of my favorites. I did a blog post about it years ago.
Wild Columbine- a lovely wildflower I’ve seen in a few parks in the area.
Butter And Eggs, an interesting wildflower that grows in waste areas along roads and bike paths.
Star Of Bethlehem. I see them growing in certain areas during the month of May.
A group of birders at Buck Creek in the autumn.
One of the few photos I can’t remember exactly where I took it…
Sunset over Lake Logan in the summer. One of my favorite landscape photos from last year.
Now, on to birds! I’ll start with my probable favorites, Warblers.
Perhaps my best warbler photo of 2022, taken at Magee Marsh along Lake Erie last September, a male Black-Throated Blue Warbler.
A Yellow Warbler in the spring. They are very active in early May as they start nesting.
A Blue-Winged Warbler I saw at Little Darby Preserve. This is by far my best photo of this species. They have a beautiful lemon yellow color and a small black mask.
A Prairie Warbler singing on territory in the spring. They have a unique song of rising notes.
An Orange-Crowned Warbler singing during spring migration. I don’t often get a good look at this species, so this was a lucky photo.
A Yellow-Rumped Warbler in the autumn. I like these birds, they are hardy and will sometimes winter over if there are enough Poison Ivy berries to eat (most Warblers don’t eat such things).
A Palm Warbler in the autumn.
A Tennessee Warbler in the autumn- a numerous species that can be seen at eye level in the weeds.
A Black And White Warbler, the Nuthatch of the Warbler world!
Moving onto other birds-
A Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher hovering near a Cedar Tree looking for small insects. Small and energetic birds you can see in the summer.
A Red-Headed Woodpecker at its nest feeding young.
Two young Purple Martins hang out not far from their nest colony.
Cliff Swallows, another colony nesting bird.
A Northern Flicker probably searching for ants. All woodpeckers can be seen on the ground, but the Flicker is most often seen there.
A Wood Thrush.
This Great Blue Heron had a large Catfish at Buck Creek State Park’s reservoir.
A male Red-Winged Blackbird on territory. These birds are infamously aggressive to intruders.
I saw this Yellow-Throated Vireo nesting at Old Reid Park in an American Sycamore Tree. The nest is compact and round.
A curious Blue-Headed Vireo. A good amount of them can be seen and heard during late autumn migration.
A Bell’s Vireo sings its distinctive song along the Simon Kenton Trail in the area of Tremont City. These birds are most often seen along bike paths in thickets, and their numbers are growing. I’ve blogged about them before.
One of those neat shots showing two different but related species- a Black and a Turkey Vulture at Old Reid Park. You can find a lot of them there in the autumn.
A group of Black Vultures are apparently foraging where someone dropped food for ducks and seagulls at a local park. This had me scratching my head, seeing that typical vulture food is road kill!
A Cedar Waxwing about to enjoy a cherry.
A couple Eastern Meadowlarks at Huffman Prairie.
A raft of American Coot on Buck Creek reservoir.
A Yellow-Breasted Chat. They sound almost like a jungle bird with their strong and varied song.
Eurasian Collared Doves can be found near the grain silos in South Charleston. Their partial black collars and larger size set them apart from Mourning Doves.
This Red-Tailed Hawk was calling constantly along the Simon Kenton Trail. Another hawk was in the same area.
A male Scarlet Tanager at Davey Woods Nature Preserve.
A female Baltimore Oriole feeds her young.
A pair of Sandhill Cranes at the Darby Wetlands.
A group of Horned Grebes visit Madison Lake on their autumn migration.
A Wilson’s Snipe (hard to see!) at Howard Marsh.
An American White Pelican flies over Lake Logan in the Hocking Hills area.
A Spotted Sandpiper.
A Marsh Wren at Maumee Bay State Park.
In March I spotted a flock of migrating Common Redpolls at Buck Creek SP. You don’t see them in Ohio every day!
Now for some sparrows-
This Song Sparrow has several insects to feed its young.
A Dark-Eyed Junco, common enough in Ohio during the winter.
An American Tree Swallow eats Goldenrod seeds. They are also common in Ohio during the winter.
A Field Sparrow sings.
An immature White-Crowned Sparrow during autumn migration.
A White-Throated Sparrow, common to see during migrations and in the winter.
A Swamp Sparrow. You can find them in wet areas.
A Lincoln’s Sparrow passing through Ohio on migration.
One of several Fox Sparrows I saw last year. Normally I have a hard time getting good photos of them.
And now a few photos of the peanut gallery- birds I see around home. There are less birds showing up on a daily basis to my feeder due to competition from other feeders- good for the birds!
A Crow eating peanuts during the bitterly cold polar vortex storm that hit before Christmas. It was ten below zero that first day of the storm here with a couple inches of blowing snow. The wind chill was over thirty below. It looks like the feathers around the crow’s eyes are freezing. Luckily birds are hearty creatures as long as they have enough food to keep them warm.
A male House Finch.
A Common Grackle.
This Blue Jay is storing a peanut by hiding it in the grass. Sometimes they tap a leaf over their hidden food.
A male Northern Cardinal.
A White-Throated Sparrow. When it gets very cold or snow covers the ground, the birds that don’t usually come to the feeder show up like this bird, White-Crowns, Tree Sparrows and Juncos.
And now, to wrap up-
A nice rainbow- if you look closely you can see a double image of it.
Someone decorated a wild tree in the middle of nowhere at Buck Creek!
Last but not least- I found this Black Swallowtail Butterfly in very cold weather, brought it into my car, where it warmed up and wanted out. I left it in a bush. Butterflies are free!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos of 2022! I enjoyed taking them 🙂
Just glorious! What a treat; thank you so much. I love all of these, especially the birds, but I’ve never seen a tree frog and gave spent hours looking for one, so hats off for that amazing photo!
Happy New Year, Tracy! Thank you for all this joy!
Thank you and Happy New Year Kitty! I too have looked for Tree Frogs for years, finally with success!
I appreciate all your posts and your conversational writing style!
Many thanks Russ!
Very nice review and fantastic series of birds. 👍
Thank you Italia e Finlandia!
Tracy, love the pictures. Very thankful I found your blog many moons ago. Have a wonderful and healthy 2023!
Many thanks John! Have a great 2023!
A wonderful selection of photographs. No wonder that you enjoyed taking them. I certainly enjoyed looking at them. I hope that you have as much photographic pleasure in 2023.
Many thanks Tootlepedal! Have a wonderful New Year!