During the recent Ohio Ornithological Society annual gathering, based out of the Shawnee State Park Lodge, I joined an evening trip in search of Chuck-wills-widows. We left a bit late, and didn’t pick up any Chucks, however we did manage to document a first state record during our trip!
On our drive out out of the Lodge’s parking lot, we stopped to listen to an E. Whip-poor-will that had just been heard by another birder. While listening, leader Jim McCormac spun around and brought our attention to a stuttering cricket calling from the nearby mowed grassy area. While excitedly pulling out his smartphone to bring up a recording for comparison, Jim made it clear that “This might be the best find of our trip!” And it was!
Thanks to Jim’s keen ear, and his wealth of natural history knowledge of the regional flora and fauna, he recognized this cricket as a likely Southeastern Field Cricket — an insect whose nearest known populations are in southern West Virginia. I had brought my recording equipment along for the trip, to record any Chucks we might hear, and was able to grab this recording to document the find:
Jim shared the recording with Wil Hershberger and he concurred. You can read more about it, and learn more about the significance of this find and the the Southeastern Field Cricket, by hopping over to this post on Jim McCormac’s blog.