A Travellerspoint blog

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

semi-overcast 69 °F

Today my mom and I flew into Cleveland, Ohio because over these three days (Sunday - Tuesday), I will be visiting Oberlin and Cincinnati Conservatory.

Before I tell more about today, though, here are some photos from a recent productive Oak Park Bird Survey:

Male HOUSE FINCH:
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GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET:
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HERMIT THRUSH:
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FOX SPARROW:
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Leucistic (partially-albino) male AMERICAN ROBIN:
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So today was our travel day. We chose this week to tour the two colleges because I am on break from choir (Voice of Chicago) for this week.

Since we arrived in the morning and had nothing scheduled but to check into the bed and breakfast that evening (not to mention that it was BEAUTIFUL outside today), my mom and I decided to go birding in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The birding was fairly productive, but my enjoyment level was considerably reduced today due to a sore throat & head cold.

BLUE JAY:
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The mossy rock formations adjoining the loop trail which we took were stunning:
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WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
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By far the highlight of the day was watching a pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS. The male has a red moustache while the females' is black.
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A stop at a place called Beaver Marsh afterward was pretty but mostly unproductive. Here is a female MALLARD:
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It was a good day of birding. I am not sure when I will post next because it is unclear whether I will get to do any more birding tomorrow or before I leave the next day. Anyway, May migration madness keeps getting closer and closer!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:14 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Day 5 & East Coast Wrap-Up

rain 40 °F

Tonight my mom and I are flying home from New York City. Is is a very cold, windy, and rainy day here so we are basically hopping from cafe to cafe, meeting friends and grabbing bites to eat. So a perfect day for a recap post of this trip!

We accomplished everything we set out to do - which was to tour Curtis, Juilliard, & Manhattan School of Music here on the east coast. It was neat to compare them and I definitely have solid opinions about all three.

Yesterday, as well as having two fantastic voice lessons with highly-acclaimed voice teachers Maitland Peters and Marlena Malas, my mom and I also toured the Manhattan School of Music.
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After seeing a Janacek opera called "Vixen Sharp Ears" there in the evening, it was the end of a nice full day.

So not exactly my favorite way to spend spring break as overall it was rather hectic and stressful for me, but I definitely now have solid impressions of these three colleges. And the birding in Central Park was great!

Stay tuned - I have many exciting musical performances as well as birding opportunities lined up for this spring! I absolutely cannot wait for "May Migrant Madness" - it is my favorite time of the year!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 11:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 4: From Juilliard to Central Park Birding

semi-overcast 59 °F

Since yesterday was mainly just a rainy travel day, I do not have anything to post from it. Today, though, my mom and I took a tour of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, I went birding in Central Park, and later we saw a vocal performance at Juilliard.

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At Central Park, I quickly came upon this seeming face-off between a nonnative Red-eyed Slider turtle and a male Mallard:
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Male BUFFLEHEAD, my absolute favorite type of duck!
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I definitely know what this ferocious reptile lurking in the water is, but does anyone else?
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Pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS:
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NORTHERN FLICKER:
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Although not containing the great diversity of warblers and migrants for which it is known in May, "The Ramble" was alive with birds such as many WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, including this one:
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FOX SPARROW:
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Beautiful TUFTED TITMOUSE preening:
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EASTERN PHOEBE which then performed a nose-dive as part of one if its many extravagant fly-catching maneuvers:
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WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
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BROWN CREEPER:
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The "best" bird of the day was probably this roosting BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON I found, as one birder alerted me they hadn't been seen in Central Park yet this year!
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After an interesting chamber concert of contemporary classical vocal music at Juilliard, we walked back to our hotel via the Lincoln Center:
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And our hotel is literally a few feet away from Soup Nazi! (From Seinfeld)
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Bird-of-the-day goes to my favorite BUFFLEHEAD with runner-up to the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON! It was a fantastic day, and tomorrow I am excited for one sample voice lesson each with a teacher from Juilliard and a teacher from Manhattan School of Music!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 18:35 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Day 2: More Phili

all seasons in one day 62 °F

Today my family spent our day in Philadelphia.

After receiving a very generous tour of the Curtis Institute of Music which proved to once again be fabulous, my family and I went to see the Liberty Bell.
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Philadelphia really is a great city. Not only did I get a great impression from the extremely-selective Curtis Institute of Music, but I could truly picture myself living in this city as I almost feel like I'm at home already.

After bidding farewell to my dad and my sister, who are currently flying back home to Chicago because of my dad's symphony orchestra concerts, my mom and I met with one of my best friends Sebastian Beaghen for philly cheesestakes! Not only were they delicious but it was great to see him!
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So another fantastic day! Maybe some birds tomorrow, but I can't promise anything! Remember, this is technically a travel blog! :)

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 17:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 1: The College Visits Begin

semi-overcast 45 °F

As I am a junior in high school, my family and I took advantage of this spring break to start visiting prospective colleges.

What I really think of college visits:
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:)

Anyway, after flying in, we had a good day which centered around getting a tour of the Curtis Institute of Music. It's a fantastic school!! The family had a good day even though Pearl is recovering from a fever.
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We also got to meet my second cousin Nicole for the first time which was awesome because she is super nice and we had never met her before!

More to come tomorrow! Hopefully some birds!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 929 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 18:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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