Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sheridan South Side Park

We pride ourselves in not being "Chasers", that is a birder who chases after the odd or rare bird that pops up on some bird report. Chasers will be off on a minute's notice to drive half-way across the state for a new bird for their Life List. Often times it turns out to be a sort of circus with everybody showing up for the freak show. Yet here we were yesterday morning after reading a rare bird report for Polk County of a Horned Grebe being reported at the Sheridan South Side Park & Fish Pond, packing up the van to find the bird. It was cold and foggy, so we took our time taking the back road route through Perrydale, and Balston, stopping at a pond at Perrydale Road and Tucker Road, to check out the birds there.  Here is that bird list. By the time we got to the South Side Park it was 11:00, and the fog had lifted, but it was still cold. But we were in luck, as we pulled up to park at the edge of the pond, I spotted our target species, the Horned Grebe, busy diving a matter of yards away. We were out of the van and photographing and counting birds as fast as we could. There were no other birders there, only some fishermen that barley gave us a glance.  Twenty minutes is all we could stand the cold, and Jeanette was back in the van boiling water for some hot chocolate!  With our new electric heater going we were soon very comfortable and enjoying our lunch in the van. Here is our bird list with photos. We continue to love birding using our Cascade Campers van.  It's so nice to be able stop for a meal anytime or place.   

Horned Grebe


  1. Making good use of that van. What powers an electric heater?

  2. It's a 12 volt heater, powered by the 12 volt house battery. It's actually meant for use as a windshield defroster. It's rated at 150 watts, so doesn't draw down the battery too fast. Doesn't put out a lot of heat, but the van is pretty small, so seems to be a good balance.