February 7, 2016

Elyria
Sunny
39°F
 
Outdoors

Portrait of a Sandhill Crane. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

With its loud, resonating, metallic cry you can often hear the Sandhill Crane before you see it, and it is certainly a sight to see! The Alaska Department of Fish and Game describes it as Alaska's largest game bird. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

These Mallards are just waking from an afternoon nap in the warm autumn sun at Sandy Ridge. The water is colored by the reflections of the leaves in the water and the late afternoon sun. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

While I photographed, these two pulled up a lot of what appeared to be grass. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Back lighting again. This buck chased this herd of does across the East pond at Sandy Ridge Reservation. Once in the bush he chased the largest doe back into the water, before cornering her and exiting stage right. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Upside down Gray Squirrel eating Norway Maple seeds. Norway Maple seeds mature in the Fall and they must now be just right, because there were at least a half dozen Gray Squirrels--certainly connoisseurs of nut and seed ripeness- working them Saturday morning. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Once rare, hawks and other birds of prey have adapted to urban settings. This young Red Tailed Hawk devours a squirrel in an Eastern Heights back yard. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mute Swan is something of a misnomer. They are not silent--they are just not as vocal as other Swans.Their voice is startlingly small--often a thin, tinny whistle that would seem more appropriate to a much smaller bird. The male-the Cob- on the left, can be distinguished from the female-the Pen-by the larger black knob on the beak.Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Group of Bird Watchers seem waist deep in goldenrod at Sandy Ridge on a bright sunny September morning chilly nights bring more and more waterfowl into the area. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Plovers were once a prominent game species, but have not been on the game list for many years. Market hunting and now loss of their favored shoreline habitat have cut their numbers greatly. These were photographed working the shoreline at Sandy Ridge. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Egret fishing in timber reflections with ducks. This egret was one of several fishing the shallow waters at Sandy Ridge Monday morning. The ducks appear to be a mix of Wigeon and female Ruddy Ducks. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

A Donald Drake looks a little bedraggled in his fall travel plumage, but it is safer-- less noticeable to hawks and other predators. Photographed at Sandy Ridge, North Ridgeville, Ohio. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

August 2011 Lorain Lakeview Park. Lifeguard at work with triathlon swimmers who panicked on big water. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

When I first saw these young Black Ducks perhaps 5 weeks ago they were half this size and their mother had them firmly in tow. She, in fact, was no more than three feet away from them when this photo was taken. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Mayfly hatch at Marina Internationl Lorain Ohio on Sunday morning. This Mayfly had just emerged form former skeleton and was resting in the sun on a Cola machine on the dock. It was a wonderful morning to be alive. Photo by Dr. Tom Mahl.

Native Elyrian, Byron Scarbrough was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the outdoors A native Elyrian, Byron was raised in the Sportsman tradition with a love of the great outdoors and respect for land. An avid angler, he's fished from the Canadian Arctic to Florida's Coastal Islands and everywhere else he could in between. A certified Whitetail Clinic Instructor, he's harvested multiples of nearly every legal game species in Ohio. He is a graduate of OSU School of Journalism and has written several books in the area of military history. He is a clay busting, mountain biking, lap swimming, geo-caching, horse riding, fish catching, line running, canoe paddling, trail hiking, arrow slinging, pine cone eating, wilderness camping fool, who will do almost anything to avoid working in a cubicle.

A sobering message for drone pilots

We had a lot of reader response to our mention of UAS/UAVs (drones) last week, but none more important than one from my old friend and Avon Lake native Chris Conn, who flies a MedEvac helicopter for University Hospitals. Chris is a fellow Eagle Scout and was my tent-mate at the Scout World Jamboree in Read More…

If there’s a drone under your tree, read on

Did Santa leave a drone beneath your tree? If you got a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System, also know as a “drone”) for Christmas you might be a little confused by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ruling about having it registered. So as a fellow enthusiast, allow me to clear things up. If your drone weighs Read More…

Beaver trapping starts Dec. 26

beaver

Ohio’s beaver trapping season opens statewide Dec. 26. Every year Buckeye beaver trappers make hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively, with this year’s I-Grade dried pelts bringing about $9 each on average, and twice as much for a really big one. Traditionally, Northern Ohio is a terrific place for beaver, with its many rivers and Read More…

Fog plays spoiler for hunters, anglers

As El Nino continues to grace us with unseasonably warm weather, lake fishing continues to be red-hot, and anglers in boats and on the shore continue to bring in many good-sized walleye, both day and night. Foggy conditions at the end of last week hampered visibility, reminding boaters to take it slow and wear their life vests. Water temperatures may be warmer than usual, but Read More…

Thinking of walleye en route to deer camp

First things first. The amazing Lake Erie night bite continues, as good as it’s ever been in the opinion of many anglers. Boats are coming back from the east side of Cleveland to west of the islands with the live wells just full and 10-to-11-plus pound walleyes being reported somewhere every day. With surveys bringing Read More…