So I took a little hike on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, thinking I’d have the place pretty much to myself. I was mistaken. The place wasn’t especially crowded, but there were cars in the parking lots, a few hikers and a few more cross-country skiers. Plenty of birds too. More on that later.
But first, pretty pictures!
About the chickadees and nuthatches. I noticed as I was walking from the Bolanz Road trailhead toward the beaver pond that the birds seemed to be following me. Which I thought was a tad odd — usually they scatter, especially goldfinches. But he chickadees were definitely following me. “Maybe they’re curious,” I thought. While returning from the pond, I noticed the birds were following me again. Then one swooped right out in front of my face. Then it did it again. Kind of freaked me out. They can’t be protecting a nest in winter, can they? I mentioned the chickadees to a woman on the trail and she says, “Oh, they think you’re feeding them. They’ll eat right out of your hand.” Memo to self: Next time bring bird seed. I initially identified the bird above as a chickadee, which if my too-big-to-be-field-portable field guide is correct, is actually a nuthatch. They’re similar in size and coloring and they often can be seen in the same places. I believe there were chickadees around as well.