Last weekend, I shared pictures from a quick stop by the O'shaughnessy dam and reservoir on the northwest edge of the Columbus metro area. Two days later, I visited another one of this great city's water sources, Hoover Reservoir, which stores over 20 billion gallons. That is the number two and ten zeros-20,000,000,000! Hoover is also a well birded site--in fact, it is part of the Big Walnut Important Bird Area, designated by Audubon Ohio as such.
So last Monday when I had the day off thanks to Martin Luther King, I decided to head over to the Hoover dam to see what was to be seen. To my surprise, plenty of interesting things were going on this cold, windy, and clear January day.
I started out by driving Megan's yellow Volvo wagon down the narrow asphalt access road to the bottom of the dam and parked the car in the empty lot. There were reports on the Ohio Birds e-mail list of mallards and a hooded merganser frequenting an open area just below the dam.
Sure enough, there they were. Plenty of mallards, and a pair of hooded mergansers. The male hooded has a bright white hood and can be seen in the upper left, in the water.
I also enjoyed watching the relatively common ring-billed gulls circle the artificial canyon created by the dam.
I was able to practice my panning technique on these gulls. I must say, I wasn't expecting much from these photos, but I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded them onto my computer. I was really fortunate to have such pleasing light.
And since blogger is giving me fits right now, I'm going to save part two, the waterfowl of Hoover Dam, for tomorrow.