August 19, 2015 - Dan is on hiatus this week, so I am stepping in for the latest edition of Birds and Brews. With the OSU Football sea...

Birds and Brews - M*ch*g*n Still Sucks - by Chris

August 19, 2015 -

Dan is on hiatus this week, so I am stepping in for the latest edition of Birds and Brews. With the OSU Football season set to kick off in 19 days, 6 hours, 40 minutes and 12 seconds (but who's counting) discussing something as distasteful as That State Up North is a challenge. But, there are two good things from the Mitten State...

Growing up in an OSU family in Columbus, OH I was taught that there is nothing good about that state up there. That I should avoid anyone and anything that hails from there. Recently I have had two experiences that prove that good things can come from even the very worst of places.

The first was during the Biggest Week in American Birding. Jeremy, Alex, Sarah, and I were all working on a "Big Day" in Lucas County to boost Jeremy and Alex's Ohio lists for the year, and to celebrate my birthday. A message came in via Facebook, "Kirtland's Warbler at Oak Openings!" A lifer for all of us. We hopped in the car and were off! To this day it still makes Alex uncomfortable to talk about that journey. He swears we almost died two or three times. I was driving, and I don't remember that at all. Regardless, we made it to the park unscathed. We followed the crowd to the spot where the bird was being seen and quickly got bins and cameras on it. Though the warbler stayed mainly deep in the tree, hidden by leaves, it would occasionally make an appearance in the open allowing for some great photo opportunities. Lifer!

This was an amazing sight in Ohio for two reasons. Though taken off of the "vulnerable to extinction" IUCN's List of Threatened Species, the Kirtland's Warbler remains as "near threatened". This is primarily due to lack of breeding habitat. And though they have been seen to recently expand into Wisconsin, their primary breeding ground is in the northeastern Lower Peninsula of the state we hate. To see this rare bird in Ohio was a thrill!

The second, and perhaps final, good thing from up there I discovered while my wife and I were having a drink with the neighbors at Kings Table in Beavercreek, OH. This bar is known locally for it's expansive beer selection and amazing tater tots (everyone loves tater tots!). As one that enjoys a good porter or stout, I was intrigued by a beer called "Reserve Special Black Ale" by Dark Horse Brewing Company. It was described to me as, "drinks like a porter and finishes like a stout." Perfect!

The beer was smooth. It was rich without being heavy or "thick", with a lot of chocolate flavor. Wanting to know more I asked the bartender where it was from. You can't imagine the heartbreak I felt when she replied, "M*ch*gan". I will enjoy this beer again, but I will only drink it in O-H-I-O!

Go Buckeyes!

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  1. Whitefish Point on Lake Superior could be a compelling third reason for you.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Mark! Will check it out!

    2. Piping plovers nest there. Jaegers and other pelagics turn up there during fall migration. Check out Whitefish Point Bird Observatory’s waterbird blog:

      BTW, you guys have a great blog! Love the TBS I’ve read so far, plan to work my way back through your archive.

      Oh yeah… Go Bucks!


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