Friday, February 1, 2019
First Feb Find
The first month of the 5MR birding challenge is history I didn't earn one single point on the bar graph challenge for my one HotSpot however I def filled in some grey bars on my own bar graph for this spot. June and Aug are the only grey spots on this Hotspot where no checklists have been submitted..so IF I'm here then I will def work on getting those weeks filled in! I submitted 9 checklists this month for my Hotspot, and 37 checklists for January.
It is very hard to create Hotspots on private land...so that didn't happen...there is one more public space and I hope to check that out later during the migration....
My month ended with 55 species. I'm satisfied with that 60.4 of the species reported in my county for January (91) (thank you Jen) since my radius includes 90% privately owned tracts of pine timber, 5% Ag fields, and homes. The one public space is the one hotspot, shown above and a Golf Course I did a drive by and saw nothing to report.
The most exciting bird for me was a Merlin I flushed out of heavy cover he had some prey down and I heard it thrashing in the edge then it was airborne quickly away from me, I noted mostly Grey overall with a band of white on the tail edge a small bird of prey. Not rare but a county bird for me!
..and a very curious Immature (Lineatus) Red Shouldered Hawk...
He is pretending to be an owl turning his head 180 degrees and looking over his back...If I hadn't seen the large chestnut bars on the outer wings on this bird when he flew I may have thought it was an imm. red-tailed. I didn't get a photo or video of his wing patches but check out this photo online to see what I'm referring to, also the same chestnut coloration on the top portion of the tail feathers.
He was sooo lovely.
Here's a Carolina Chickadee, they can hang upside down like a nuthatch watch as he is busy getting that small tweezer beak of his into the pod of the sweet gum tree...Goldfinch also enjoy the sweet gum seeds.
So now onto February...my first Feb new species was seen today in the southwestern section of my radius, Wild Turkey!
There was a flock of about 12, by the time I pulled over got my camera on and the window open they had nearly disappeared into the forest...but I snagged a couple shots...and a little video
We have had one of the rainiest winters I ever recall...standing water is everywhere...I have seen Wood Duck use these vernal pools before so I always slow down to check them out..nothing in this one but the reflections were cool...I just hope it's all gone by skeeter season.
A shout out to Maggie, my sister's dog. She was diagnosed with Lymphoma. We don'tknow the reason why Maggie has cancer, as she was a rescue and already up in age by the time she came into our family. I can say Round Up or any other herbicide is a cancer causing agent, they spray our food and our dogs food with it too...think about where it goes each time it rains... once I did use it to kill the English Ivy, a few yrs back... I imagine these vernal pools have traces of Round Up in them. I always worry about using the flea drops on my dogs and I don't know if that can cause cancer, probably it can. She is responding well to some natural treatments and one chemo treatment per month...
We love you Maggie and we're hoping for a miracle...would y'all join us in putting out a wish for Maggie?
Every day is a new Adventure.