Bath Preserve, Portage Lakes

Around 8:30pm, Bath Nature Preserve
Thunderstorms all afternoon, cleared
New moon that night

Cumulus Treeline

The Bug Collector

Swallows flying overhead as we kick up insects in the weeds and grass. We captured several grasshoppers, and Paul let them all go. I tried to take one home to draw, but Paul said “He has to go home,” pulled open the box and it jumped back into the grass. We spent the rest of the night lying in the weeds, throwing rocks into the pond and listening to frogs. Paul said we were “Throwing rocks that make magic stars.”

There are seven species from the family HIRUNDINIDAE in Ohio, and what we saw last night could have been any one of them:

Purple Martin Progne subis
Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota
Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica


Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis (in the driveway drinking in puddles after the rainstorm)


Around 10:00am, East Reservoir, Portage Lakes
Cool and overcast, low 60sF, sprinkling of rain.

Species: Lots of cormorants. More than I’d ever remembered seeing in Portage Lakes. Blue Herons, Canada geese, some mallard ducks, gulls. Couldn’t catch any panfish on night crawlers. Shocked. Huge flathead catfish caught recently on a bass worm. In the photo, the fat guy is holding the thing up by the gill plates and it looks as big as him. He’d kept it out of the water for a few hours, tried to let it go, and it washed up dead on the bank the next day. No purple martins in my Aunt’s martin houses. Saw swallow-shaped birds flying nearby. Could have been barn swallows – seemed to have a brown/tan body.

Life Vest

Positive IDs:
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus
Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias
Canada Goose Branta Canadensis
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
American Goldfinch Spinus tristis (male/female mating pair at the birdfeeder)


About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
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