On December 30th, Katie Barnes and I set out to twitch two ABA rarities, Kelp Gull and Brambling, before trying to get her additional year birds. More on the Kelp Gull later. We arrived at Allardale Park in Medina County, Ohio to find 30 or so birders staking out the feeder station for the Brambling. We waited, waited, and waited some more. The bird finally showed itself in the top of a Sweetgum after an hour of waiting, but only gave brief looks before flying off. While we waited for it to return, we enjoyed excellent views of Mourning Dove, House Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and a variety of other birds visiting the feeders.
After a short, cold wait, the Brambling returned to the feeder station, but this time stuck around for a couple of minutes, giving the crowd the desired look and providing a decent photo opportunity. It was well worth the wait! Here are two of my best digiscoped shots of the bird.
Observing this bird without ticking anyone off is somewhat of a challenge, so here’s a map of where to park (red pin), where to stand (yellow pin), and the feeder station the bird visits (blue pin). Click on each pin for more information.
Let me know if you have any info to add to the map. I hope this helps clear up some confusion about seeing the bird as there have been many posts to the Ohio Birds listserv about it.