UltraBird May 24, 25, 26, 2012
UltraWalk May 26, 2012!

Report Photos

UltraBird is the Best!

By Mary Anne Romito

Wow! What a great way to end a fablous spring migration of birding. Thank you to all the UltraBirders who came out to help with the UltraBird.

The best birds for this UltraBird were the new ones! We saw a female Mourning Warbler at South Quarry Picnic Area and a Gray-cheeked Thrush in the same parking lot. We had a Pine Warbler in Hinckley in the same area where we've had Magnolia Warbler in the past. We missed the Magnolia this year. But we had a singing White-throated Sparrow at Lagoon Picnic Area. Fantastic for late May!

But we had more birders come out to join us. That was the best part.

See UltraBird species list below.

See UltraWalk report below.



Kit Birch

Bill Deininger

Mary Lou Hura

Joanne Gorges

Terry Gorges

Penny O'Connor

Mike Pasek

Rayka Petkova

Ryan Pulis

Mary Anne Romito

Tom Romito

Eileen Zimlich


Ultrawalkers and Five-mile walkers:


Gayle Albers

Jennie DeChant

Mark Hofelich

Ellen Horton

Christopher, Sophia & Jonah Kuhar

Tom Romito

Stan Searles

Laura Amendolagine

Jason Wark


Park Ops and Emerald Necklace and support volunteers


Liz Clingman

Joanne Gorges

Terry Gorges

Mark Hofelich

Mary Lou Hura

Mike Pasek

Vicki Searles

Barry Wolfe


UltraBird  2012
Species: Hinckley Mill Stream Rocky River
Canada Goose X X X
Wood Duck X X X
Mallard X X X
Wild Turkey X
Double-crested Cormorant X
Great Blue Heron  X X X
Great Egret X  
Green Heron X X
Turkey Vulture X X X
Bald Eagle X
Red-shouldered Hawk X X
Red-tailed Hawk   X
Peregrine Falcon X
Killdeer X  
Spotted Sandpiper X X
Ring-billed Gull X X
Herring Gull X X
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove X X  
Black-billed Cuckoo   X
Chimney Swift X X
Ruby Throated Hummingbird X X
Belted Kingfisher X X X
Red-headed Woodpecker X
Red-bellied Woodpecker X X X
Downy Woodpecker X X X
Hairy Woodpecker X X
Northern Flicker X  
Pileated Woodpecker X  
Eastern Wood-Pewee X X X
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher X
Acadian Flycatcher X X X
Willow Flycatcher X X
Least Flycatcher X X
Eastern Phoebe X X X
Great Crested Flycatcher X X X
Eastern Kingbird X X X
White-eyed Vireo X
Yellow-throated Vireo X X X
Warbling Vireo X X X
Red-eyed Vireo X X X
Blue Jay X X X
American Crow X X
Tree Swallow X   X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow   X X
Cliff Swallow X
Barn Swallow X X X
Black-capped Chickadee X X X
Tufted Titmouse X X X
White-breasted Nuthatch X X X
Brown Creeper   X
Carolina Wren X X
House Wren X X X
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher X X X
Eastern Bluebird X X
Veery X X X
Gray-cheeked Thrush X
Wood Thrush X X X
American Robin X X X
Gray Catbird X X X
Northern Mockingbird X
European Starling X X X
Cedar Waxwing X X X
Blue-winged Warbler X X
Tennessee Warbler X
Yellow Warbler X X X
Yellow-throated Warbler   X
Pine Warbler X
Blackpoll Warbler X X X
Cerulean Warbler   X
American Redstart   X
Ovenbird X
Louisiana Waterthrush X  
Mourning Warbler X
Common Yellowthroat X X X
Hooded Warbler X X X
Scarlet Tanager X X X
Eastern Towhee X X X
Chipping Sparrow X X X
Field Sparrow X
Song Sparrow X X X
Swamp Sparrow X
White-throated Sparrow X
Northern Cardinal X X X
Rose-breasted Grosbeak X X X
Indigo Bunting X X X
Bobolink X
Red-winged Blackbird X X X
Common Grackle X X X
Brown-headed Cowbird X X X
Orchard Oriole X
Baltimore Oriole X X X
House Finch X X
American Goldfinch X X X
House Sparrow X X X
Total Species by reservation 73 70 76
Total Species for UltraBird 2012 95
# of Species in only one reservation 7 8 12
# of Species common to all three  45

Ultrawalk not for the faint of heart!

by Tom Romito, President, WCAS

As we were walking up Ridge Road in Hinckley Township, I said to my three fellow Ultrawalkers, “Do you know what that mist down in that valley off to our right is?”  They said they didn’t, and I replied,” That’s the East Branch of the Rocky River, and we’re walking to bring attention to residents here that we all need to keep it clean!”

I explained that we were on high ground, hence the name Ridge Road, and stormwater takes trash, waste, pesticides, and anything else in its path downhill into the river.  “We want people who live on the private parcels between Hinckley and North Royalton, to consider selling their land to Cleveland Metroparks instead of developers when they decide to divest themselves of their property.  That way their land can become part of the Emerald Necklace instead of more housing and shopping centers,” I said.

WCAS board member Stan Searles and Jason Wark and Laura Amendolagine, Cleveland Metropark Zoo employees, and I were braving the 31-mile course from Hinckley Reservation to Emerald Necklace Marina in Lakewood on May 26, 2012 to raise funds for WCAS.  This was sixth annual Ultrawalk, the inspiration of Stan Searles.

The Ultrawalk is a feat of endurance and not to be undertaken by the faint of heart.  I had been conditioning myself since January and had put 190 miles under my feet on training walks in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  I wanted to finish the Ultrawalk strong and wanted everyone to do so, as well!

Actually, we weren’t alone during the adventure.  Audubon member Vickie Searles leapfrogged ahead of them along the route in her vehicle to provide water, food items, and foot care.  Audubon member Terry Gorges positioned the WCAS banner at strategic locations to bring the Ultrawalk to the attention of passersby.  Twelve Audubon supporters joined the Ultrawalkers at Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Operations Headquarters in Fairview Park to walk the last five miles of the route.  Just as I wanted, we entered the marina that evening with our heads held high and a smile on our faces!

Pam Bobst, mayor of Rocky River, was on hand at Emerald Necklace Marina to greet the entire group when it completed the Ultrawalk at 5:30 p.m.  Joining her was Mike Patterson, scheduler for Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  Mike presented us with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for raising public awareness and expanding conservation efforts. 

During the months leading up to the Ultrawalk, we secured donations and pledges from friends, relatives, and associates for the miles we walked.  The intent of the proceeds from this year’s Ultrawalk is to defray the cost of publishing the final report of the five-year (2006-2010) breeding bird survey in the Rocky River IBA.


Hinckley Ultrabirders © Kit Birch

Mill Stream Ultrabirders © Penny O'Connor

Rocky River Ultrabirders © Penny O'Connor

UltraWalkers at 6 AM © Terry Gorges

UltraWalkers joined by 5 milers © Terry Gorges

At the finish
All ages joined in the fun © Page Stephens

Mayor Pam Bobst, Mike Patterson, Tom Romito © Penny O'Connor

Congressional Recognition
Congressional Recognition from Congressman Dennis Kucinich 5/26/2012

Rocky River Important Bird Area © Mary Anne Romito

Raccoon at Hinckley © Mary Anne Romito

Bald Eagle with chick in Rocky River IBA © Mary Anne Romito

False Indigo at Rocky River © Mary Anne Romito

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, 4310 Bush Ave, Cleveland, OH 44109 info@wcasohio.org