Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve - 25 May 2024

We drove to Cleveland yesterday to drop off art pieces for Robin's show next week at the Morgan Conservatory. We stayed at The Hotel Indigo just a few miles away and enjoyed nice dinners at the House of Blues Tavern and Flannery's Irish Pub just around the block. A highlight of the drive was going down 8th Avenue near the baseball stadium; it is a one-lane street that is literally an alley w/ almost no clearance on either side of the car. Fun!

This morning I dropped Robin off for a weekend Marbling Workshop at the Morgan and decided to head over to Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. Skies were slightly overcast, and humid despite temps in the mid 70's.

At the entrance gate I came upon several Gray Catbirds that posed nicely in the understory of the trees and boardwalk area.

American Goldfinches were foraging along the path and took preference to the woodland daisies.

No sooner did they fly off that more Gray Catbirds appeared!

The perimeter loop trail was covered in the Cottonwood down that was falling everywhere. This "snowfall" in late May allowed me to practice some flight photography.

The trees were alive with the loud singing of Yellow Warblers, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds and Willow Flycatchers. The loud "Free-bee" of an Alder Flycatcher caught my attention, and despite chasing the bird along the edge of the lakeshore it would no appear through the willows. So I had to turn my camera toward the more cooperative Song Sparrows that foraged low enough to the ground to photograph.

The loud call of an American Redstart alerted me to a sub-adult male starting to molt into its black adult feathering.

Nearby the first of many Willow Flycatchers appeared, calling out their loud "Fitz-bew" call.

After few more pics of the American Redstart

I continued on. As the first Baltimore Oriole whistles began to be heard I spotted a nearby individual foraging next to the ground. Caterpillars were on its mind (and bill).

Black Swallowtail butterflies were making appearances, as well. This one perched in the snow (cottonwood down). 

More Song Sparrows appeared along the Perimeter Loop along the east and north ends.

At some point the Yellow Warblers would also make appearances. I wasn't disappointed.

At roughly the 0.7 Mile Mark the Monarch Trail appeared and turned left inward toward the woods and away from the Perimeter Trail. I took it and quickly came upon a "yellow" oriole flying away from me. This juvenile male Orchard Oriole flew down the path ahead of me but landed close enough for some long distance photos with the 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 lens.

I was then drawn to the loud "Pee-a-weee" call of an Eastern Wood-Pewee. A couple of dead trees drew my eyes and soon so did the bird.

After walking ~1.5 miles I found myself back at the entrance. A few birders mentioned seeing a Mourning Warbler and Wilson's Warbler nearby, and since it was still well before noon, I decided to make another loop around the Perimeter Loop. 

Listening for birds brought the usual suspects, but I did hear the Wilson's Warbler overhead; it never showed. A nearby Silver-spotted Skipper landed close enough for a few quick pics and I continued on.

I could not relocate the Alder Flycatcher, but wandered past the Willow Flycatcher. I'd hear a couple of Least Flycatchers, but miss Acadian Flycatcher that would have given me an Empidonax grand-slam. 

A pair of Baltimore Orioles got my attention 

as did the American Redstart that was still foraging in the same area as before.

Much of the 2nd circuit would be relatively uneventful. I did spot a Northern Flicker land on the breakwall and pose long enough for a few images.

A Great-crested Flycatcher fluttered by me as I walked and offered a few long-distance pics.

A Hairy Woodpecker then flew in and foraged near the ground. I managed a couple pics when it popped into the open and just as it flew off.

Another Song Sparrow.

Another Willow Flycatcher in its namesake tree.

I'd return to the car and head back to the Morgan to spend the afternoon working on images and archiving old blog posts.

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Cuyahoga, Ohio, US
May 25, 2024 9:44 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.5 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:     Cloudy, humid, 76F
35 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  13
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)  1
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  4
Double-crested Cormorant (Nannopterum auritum)  4
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  1
Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  4
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  2
Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)  1
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)  6
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)  1
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)  1
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  2
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  4
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  13
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  2
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  5
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)  1
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)  1
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  5
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  15
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  2
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  4
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  1
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  8
Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  5

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (