Nov 25 2012

Occasional Fisher

Published by at 6:30 am under Migration,Schenley Park,Water and Shore

Belted kingfishers don't nest in Schenley Park but they do visit during migration.  Panther Hollow stream and lake are their favorite haunts.

Visiting kingfishers shuttle up and down the valley to find favorable fishing spots.  They perch above the man-made lake and stare at the cloudy water.  The fish are hard to see.  If they don't catch a meal at the lake the birds head down Junction Hollow to the Monongahela River.

Junction Hollow must be amazing to kingfishers because it's a waterless valley.  Four Mile Run was there but it's buried beneath the playing fields and bike trail.  Those amenities are making the best of an unnatural situation.

The Run was buried long ago but any hope of daylighting it was dashed in 1989 when Sol Gross bought 28 acres of Junction Hollow and further buried the valley under construction debris generated by his demolition company.  The City stopped his dumping and everyone ended up in court, but the damage was done.  The creek is so far underground now that it's way too expensive to remove the debris.  Hence the fields.

Kingfishers come and go through Schenley Park in the fall.  Gregory Diskin found this female at the lake on September 30, then saw none until last week.

When the lake freezes this bird will leave for a site with open water.  Until then, keep your ears open for the rattling call of an occasional fisher.

(photo by Gregory Diskin)


p.s.  Want to see a kingfisher soon?  Check Duck Hollow where Nine Mile Run empties into the Monongahela River.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Occasional Fisher”

  1. Kerrion 25 Nov 2012 at 8:25 am

    Oh what a BEAUTY!

  2. John P. Englishon 25 Nov 2012 at 10:53 am

    Even before I got to the p.s. I was going to post that I often see them at Duck Hollow. Beautiful birds that can hover over the river when spying a tasty morsel.

  3. Nellie Curranon 25 Nov 2012 at 11:02 am

    You can still see Kingfishers in the back chanel at Washington’s Landing. And last week while rowing we saw a Great Blue Heron on the Allegheny River.

  4. Tammy Deemeron 26 Nov 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Never knew that about Four Mile Run. What a stinky thing. I’m glad it was stopped, but why is the criminal still free? I hate buried streams. So wrong!

  5. Kate St. Johnon 26 Nov 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Four Mile Run was buried in a pipe a long time before Sol Gross buried it further. When the City stopped him, he sued them for taking away the use of his land. The suit went on for many, many years. At one point damages were set at an astronomical $6.5 million but that was overturned. Eventually it settled somehow. Now the City owns the land.

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