Around this time of year annually, birdwatchers in North America have their yearly “Christmas counts,” in which a tally of every different species of bird locally observed is recorded, counted, and the year’s sightings are recalled.
Bruce Glick photo of the September 2009 Ohio visitor, Oenanthe oenanthe.
In the Columbus Dispatch, reporter Jim Fry gives an overview, and notes this recent special sighting:
The rare bird that drew the most attention was a Northern wheatear, seen on a Holmes County farm in September — only the third recorded sighting of the species in Ohio.
The bird’s breeding range is from Greenland through Scandinavia and Russia into Alaska and the Yukon. It spends winter from France and Greece to China.
The family at the farm kept a log of people who came to see the wayward bird. The wheatear was there just four days, Sept. 12-15, and drew at least 580 visitors from Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
Roger Tory Peterson’s keys to identifying the Northern wheatear. Credit Houghton Mifflin Books.