Wednesday, March 25, 2015


 Just to give you an idea of what you might encounter at this year's Bird Watching as a Mediation retreat on May 1-3, here is the post after last year's retreat....

A few themes emerged from the Birdwatching as Meditation retreat, May 2-4, but most prominent were the differences between Seeking and Discovering. Each has it's time and place to be sure...but I think we agreed that beyond the goal-oriented approach to encountering wildlife, or life in general, we enjoyed just placing ourselves in a "state of seeking," or acceptance, to let Life's gifts and discoveries unfold.

Pink Lady's Slipper
 "We sought and we found. We wandered and discovered...Pink Lady's Slippers, a Field Sparrow's Nest, a Baltimore Oriole, Warblers, Columbine, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, good food, good conversation, lovely and wonderful precious encounters with nature."  - D. W. 

Saturday's cool temperatures and wind during the day made it less than stellar birding...but on the night hike we heard a clear and very close song from the upper prairie of the Chuck-wills-widow...a rather rare night jar species in Ohio...with most populations being only in Adams Co!  
 "Thank you for a marvelous weekend filled with bird sightings (many firsts!).  Your guidance has helped open wide the door to local birding." - D. M.
Male Rose-breasted grosbeaks
Sunday was filled with lots of discoveries and gifts of beauty. We heard or saw 52 bird species...over half of the 97 species at the last Prairie Pond Woods end-of-year one weekend!  And while it is nice to hike the woods, strain the ears and get "warbler neck," we also enjoyed watching the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at the feeder, while having our scrambled eggs, fruit & yogurt and toast on the deck!
"The beauty here is astonishing! The land recovers when given love and stewardship. The diversity of the flora and fauna - the birds! - make this a most holy place. I spend my days and weeks when away figuring how soon I can come back." - S. C.
Showy Orchis by the creek
Below is a list of the bird species, a few more photos...and one last quote from a guest. 
"I am always blessed to be at Prairie Pond Woods.  It refreshes my spirit and soul.  I leave with a treasure in my heart."
Wild Columbine on Dolomote slump rock

Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Broad-winged hawk
Red-shouldered hawk
Wild Turkey
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Cray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green
Yellow-throated Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black & White Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch Preening
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

And of course our companion throughout the retreat, Cyon