Sunday, December 16, 2012

Browns Fan for A Day

There are weekends when birding has to take a back seat for other activities, quite literally on some occasions. Last weekend Jean and I spotted birds as best we could while travelling west on the I90 in her brother's van. We were on our way to Cleveland, Ohio to see the Browns play the Chiefs on the Sunday and binoculars were brought along to assist in identifying birds worthy of a closer look. Before reaching our destination, we ticked the species you would think one would see along a highway corridor. I was not surprised to find Red-tailed Hawks, American Crows and Rock Pigeons in all three states but the Wild Turkey in Hamburg, New York and Great Blue Heron flying over the highway, somewhere near Girard, Pennsylvania, helped fill my ornithological gazing needs. More surprising was that this trip was the start of the Pennsylvania list. It's a state we've only ever passed through so as of December 8, 2013, my Pennsylvania list has three species on it. It's a work in progress.

We arrived in Cleveland around mid-day and we stopped to take in the sights along the waterfront. Most importantly, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

An interesting sign in the parking garage of the Great Lakes Science Centre (Center)

Before entering the Hall of Fame and lamenting on Rush's absence, I spotted a pair of Mallards on the water.

After our fill of rock history, we headed over to the West Side Market. En route, we observed our best bird of the weekend. Swiftly soaring over the downtown core was a Peregrine Falcon.

It was a quick view but still a tick. I did a little Internet research after returning home and discovered that falcons have nested on the historic Terminal Tower.

Though I was dressed like I was about to take part in a Christmas Bird Count, there was not much chance of birding on the Sunday. It was time for some football and supporting the Seahawks was set aside for just one day.

Courtesy of Melissa Hampson

Within 12 seconds, the Chiefs scored on their first play of the game and the Dawg Pound (including my brother-in-law and his wife) was silenced for a short time. Between plays, I looked to the skies for any birds but nothing exciting appeared. The excitement remained on the field. After Phil Dawson's 300th career field goal and Travis Benjamin's 93 yard punt return for a touch down (longest in Browns' history), it was pretty well over for Kansas City. The final score was 30 to 7.

It was a great weekend. A new state list was started, species were added to the Ohio list, the Browns won, and we had some pretty good tour guides show us the sights of a city I certainly would like to return to some day. And not just for another chicken-bacon-cheddar crepe. There's still the aquarium to see and the Great Lakes Science Center but more importantly, a return visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is required. Yes, my birding and non-birding followers. It has happened. The Canadian rock trio that has been eligible since 1998 was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Now that I have calmed down, it's time to return my undivided attention to the 2012 Ontario list and I'm hoping the St. Catharines CBC has some hidden gems.

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