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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in rachelbirder's LiveJournal:

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    Monday, August 31st, 2020
    1:54 pm
    Nature Blog Network
    Monday, December 24th, 2012
    9:04 pm
    Friday, December 21st, 2012
    8:12 am
    Monday, December 17th, 2012
    12:57 am
    From Dec. 2012
    Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
    9:36 am
    9:31 am
    Friday, April 23rd, 2010
    9:50 am
    April birds, critters April 9-16
    Ever since the Yellow-throated Warblers returned, I've been trying to get a photo, but they've always stayed out of photo range even though one male sings along our creek . However, while sitting near the creek trying to observe the Eastern Phoebes nesting the barn, I heard a scolding "chip" and turned around to see him right behind me

    4-9-10, male Yellow-throated Warbler by our creek

    From April birds


    From April birds


    The male Eastern Phoebe came by also

    From April birds


    as well as a male Northern Cardinal

    From April birds


    I'd noticed Carolina Chickadees going in and out of the old Bluebird nest box by the barn, and when I turned back around the male was perched the fence in front of me

    From April birds


    He then hopped up on the nestbox to feed his mate

    From April birds


    Tuesday on the way to Lexington I stopped by the fish hatchery to check fish pools for migrants. I noticed two immature Bald Eagles circling above the oxbow river loop but before I could react they came straight toward me for a fly-over from the passenger side. I threw myself across the car, fumbling for the camera settings, but only got off one semi-focused shot

    4-10-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 2nd year Bald Eagle

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    before they did an about-face and started back to the river, feet pointing backwards

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    I could see a small flock of gulls in the distance diving into a fish pool, but every time I drove toward them they immediately flew away to a far corner of the property. While I was sitting there wondering what to do, a 1rst summer Ring-billed Gull appeared, heading right for me.
    It swept once around the car, apparently curious,

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    then joined the other gulls elsewhere.

    I noticed a Red-shouldered Hawk crossing the property in the distance

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    and stopped the car to take a photo of a male Red-winged Blackbird on a cattail

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    I was surprised when an American Coot suddenly emerged from behind the reeds

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    It didn't seem to mind the car and even got out to preen

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    I could see a small flock of tern-like gulls swarming and diving into the large fish pools near the hatchery entrance and while I was trying to decide what to do, several suddenly skimmed over the fence and swooped once around the car.

    4-10-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 1rst summer Bonaparte's Gull

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    One of them dove onto a fish right by the car but it was too close for my 400mm lens. Then they flew off to relax on an access road

    4-10-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 1rst summer, 1rst winter, and adult Bonaparte's Gulls

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    Then I went on to Lexington to attend the Keeneland Bluegrass Stakes races with my daughter. The Redbud Trees in her yard were spectacular

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    The next day DuBois and I hiked up on Warbler Ridge, but didn't see any warblers, although a female Eastern Towhee popped out of the brush to take a look at us

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    I also saw my first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the season

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    The next time we drove to the fish hatchery, Morehead ornamental Redbud Trees were also blooming

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    We had just driven onto the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery property when I noticed a Greater Yellowlegs wading in a drained pool

    4-12-10

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    It was alone, so I assumed the rest of the shore birds had gone on

    4-12-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Greater Yellowlegs

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    The flock of Blue-winged Teal we saw last time had flown north, except for one pair. The male was wallowing in an empty fish pool

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    Across the property from us an Osprey attacked a 2nd year Bald Eagle by the oxbow, forcing it to land, then a pair of adult Bald Eagles appeared and ran off the Osprey. By the time we arrived all had dispersed and a large carp with large puncture wounds lay gasping on the access road. Ten minutes later the 2nd year Bald Eagle burst over the tree tops above us pursued by the Osprey and again landed, on the far side of the oxbow.

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    We paused by a display tank to see one of the rare American Paddlefish being bred at the hatchery

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    Afterward we drove to Shallow Flats by Cave Run Lake where we saw a pair of Brown Thrashers digging in the leaves

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    then we wound up Forest Road 16 toward Lockegee Rock, the highest point in three counties

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    On the way, I heard a Black and White Warbler singing, so got out to take photos

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    We parked at the trail head and hiked up the trail through a sea of Redbud Tree flowers

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    until we reached the base of the rock

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    We pulled ourselves up the nearly vertical trail to the top, using handholds in the rock. I was sitting by the edge when a tiny bird shot up over the cliff and began foraging through the nearby brush, ignoring me

    4-12-10, top of Lockegee Rock, 1rst year female Blackburnian Warbler

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    From April 11, 2010 birds


    A male Fence Lizard rested on a pine root

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    No more migrants appeared, but the view of the Redbud trees from the top of the rock was spectacular

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    The next day I saw a Northern Watersnake hunting frogs at our pond

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    The day after that I heard a Scarlet Tanager singing in the woods on top of our mountain. I staked out his territory from last year

    4-14-10, Overstreet Ridge, near our pond, male Scarlet Tanager snagging moth

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    His meal looked almost too big for him!

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    but he got it to go down, leaving a moth wing dust mustache

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    Quite a beauty, despite the shadowy woods

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    His territorial song sounds "like a Robin on steroids."

    From April 11, 2010 birds


    A couple of days later I heard a Red-eyed Vireo back in the woods, and soon glimpsed him high overhead

    From April 11, 2010 birds
    Thursday, April 8th, 2010
    9:01 pm
    April birds around area
    April 1, I was slowly driving around the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery checking empty fish pools when I suddenly noticed a Killdeer staring at me through the passenger side window.

    From April birds


    I stopped the car and looked around for nests or chicks but didn't see anything. After a few minutes I tried to turn left, but the Killdeer immediately threw itself onto the ground in a feigned injury display.

    From April birds


    I still didn't see a nest, but proceeded cautiously in another direction (I also back up for determined snakes). None of the fish pools had migrants and I was starting to leave when a flock of Blue-winged Teals landed in a pool by the chain link fence

    From April birds


    I wasn't very close, but didn't want to spook the flock by approaching them

    4-1-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, male Blue-winged Teals

    From April birds


    House Sparrows had been taking over the Tree Swallow nests hung along the fence and male swallows fought fiercely over the ones still left

    From April birds


    From April birds


    4-1-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, male Tree Swallow resting between fights

    From April birds


    I drove around Cave Run Lake to check out Shallow Flats, then followed Forest Service Road 16 over the mountains to Lockegee Rock. By then it was 85 degrees and when I reached the bottom of the rock

    From April birds


    I sat down to remove my shoes. I kept hearing a Pine Warbler singing nearby, then noticed that birds were flying up the side of the cliff and over the top. When I reached the top of Lockegee Rock a male Pine Warbler was singing in the Yellow Pines. I was wearing camouflage, including the camera lens, and he didn't seem to notice me.

    From April birds


    In fact, he even tried to land on my hat a couple of times, was startled when I moved, and landed nearby, seeming puzzled

    From April birds


    but decided to preen a bit

    From April birds


    From April birds


    Meanwhile, Golden-crowned Kinglets kept flowing up the cliff face from below, surrounding me, but mostly too close for my lens

    From April birds


    some too far away

    From April birds


    A basking female Fence Lizard didn't seem to notice me either

    From April birds


    The next day a male Louisiana Waterthrush began singing along our creek bank

    From April birds


    Two days later I visited the fish hatchery again..this time there there were shore birds

    4-4-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, migrating Lesser Yellowlegs in empty fish pool

    From April birds


    From April birds


    From April birds


    I drove on and saw a Turkey Vulture having lunch

    From April birds


    Back at the farm I had a few birds to watch

    4-6-10, Louisiana Waterthrush glimpsed through brush by our creek

    From April birds


    From April birds


    4-6-10, I got a blurred pic of a male Yellow-throated Warbler streaking past

    From April birds


    When I looked up from taking the photo, a Tufted Titmouse zipped close over my head, straight into the old nestbox by the creek. After a pause it zoomed straight out again and the other one did the same. They were so fast I aimed at the nest box and did photo bursts the instant I glimpsed one flashing over my head, then looked at the photos to find out they were carrying moss into the box

    From April birds


    From April birds


    From April birds


    4-6-10, Tufted Titmouse streaking back out of nest box

    From April birds


    A Purple Finch has come by several times

    4-8-10, male Purple Finch on my feeder this afternoon

    From April birds
    Sunday, March 21st, 2010
    10:56 pm
    Spring birds returning
    The rain stopped and the sky cleared so we've been climbing the mountain each night to watch American Woodcock aerial displays. Every time we go up there, one male displays right over our heads and drops to the grass very close to us..he even mated about 20 feet in front of us.
    We were finally able to get back camping for awhile in the screen tent by the horse pasture. Haven't heard any owls but been seeing plenty of meteors.
    When we woke this morning the Robin, Cardinal, and Carolina Chickadee songs were almost deafening

    Pine Warblers have been singing in the woods all week as well

    From fish hatchery


    and climbing around in the Yellow Pines snatching insects

    From fish hatchery


    Yesterday at Minor Clark Fish Hatchery all the overwintering ducks had vanished but one empty fish pool had a small flock of migrating adult and 1rst year Pectoral Sandpipers

    From fish hatchery


    sifting through the muck on the bottom for crustaceans

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    Two deer assumed comical shapes while bounding across a clearing

    From fish hatchery


    A flock of American Pipits was also wading in the bottom of the emptied pool, feeding in the muck.

    From fish hatchery



    One came up on the bank near the car

    From fish hatchery


    and began to preen

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    Some of the Tree Swallows were already feeding babies in nest boxes behind the fence. One male attacked me repeatedly when I tried to pass

    From fish hatchery


    and they all kept wary eyes on me

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    We climbed Poppy Mountain today and sat in the porch swing at the cabin at the very top watching Bluebirds courting, Eastern Phoebes defending territories, and a pair of Northern Mockingbirds building a nest in a Multiflora bush

    In two weeks migrating warblers will begin flowing through Kentucky in earnest.
    Thursday, March 18th, 2010
    4:08 pm
    Critters, spring duck fight, etc
    Pine Warblers are singing throughout the woods today, but couldn't get a close shot.


    March 17, 2010

    Recently we've been climbing to the top of our mountain at dusk, about a 20 minute brisk hike, and setting up our folding camp stools to watch the cute little American Woodcocks do their courtship aerial displays in the hayfield. The first night we surprised herds of Whitetail Deer on the mountaintop and got to watch them pouring over the fences in waves, but now they watch for us and avoid the area.

    Last night after we'd been watching the Woodcock displays awhile, suddenly one streaked past our head in close pursuit of another, creating a sort of sonic boom in our ears as they looped around us then sped off like fighter jets. One male repeatedly did his courtship flight right above us, wings twittering as he spiraled higher and higher, then descended with chirping sounds increasing in speed until he'd go silent, drop like a leaf to the ground nearby, then begin his nasal PEENT beeping sound. SO ADORABLE!

    The Woodcocks only display and beep for a tiny window of time, between 7:45 and 8:10 p.m., then suddenly go silent as though on signal and quietly leave the courting grounds. When we realized the show was over last night I turned to DuBois and quoted from his favorite movie, Quigley Down Under; "The Johnsons always did leave without saying good-bye."


    Here are photos taken over the past two weeks

    3-4-10, Cuddeback cam; raccoon walking up trail, from back, 9:03 p.m.

    From fish hatchery


    3-5-10, Cuddeback cam; bobcat running up trail, back view, 5:28 p.m.

    From fish hatchery


    We visited the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery to see the overwintering ducks before they left. Double click on photos to see Google map locations

    3-7-10, pair of Hooded Mergansers on oxbow river loop

    From fish hatchery


    female Hooded Merganser

    From fish hatchery


    male Hooded Merganser

    From fish hatchery


    male and female Buffleheads, Giant Canada Goose

    From fish hatchery


    We arrived at the fish hatchery too late to avoid galloping joggers, arm-swinging power walkers, and birders churning up the roads as they raced cars from pond to pond. Once I saw they were stampeding the waterfowl in all directions, we just sat in the car and read the Sunday paper until the other people began to leave. Eventually a male Bufflehead landed in the pond by the car and began diving for fish.

    Soon a Bufflehead pair landed in the far end of the same pond and the newcomer male soon approached the first male, bobbing his head. While I was wondering what that meant the mystery was solved when the second male suddenly attacked the first male, who had been peacefully fishing.

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    3-7-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, male Bufflehead fleeing attacker

    From fish hatchery


    After repeated attacks, the first Bufflehead returned to the female

    From fish hatchery


    while the first male stretched his wings in relief

    From fish hatchery


    then began preening to get his feathers back in the order

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    Meanwhile, the newcomer male thought he'd repair his feather arrangement also

    From fish hatchery


    The first Bufflehead male came closer to the car hoping to avoid the second male

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    and resumed diving for fish

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    Strangely, several times the female Bufflehead approached the single male as though trying to start something, but her partner would see it and attack the innocent first male who was only trying to avoid conflict.

    From fish hatchery


    A male Belted Kingfisher landed briefly on the far side of the pond

    From fish hatchery


    then quickly flew away

    From fish hatchery


    On the way back to the car I could see more ducks on the river

    3-7-10, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery river loop, male and female Ring-necked Ducks, 1:58 p.m.

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    The next day we went up on Poppy Mountain

    3-8-10, male Red-winged Blackbird, 10:07 a.m.

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    There was a male and two female Buffleheads on a cattle pond

    From fish hatchery


    Later I went up to our pond, crawled through the muck to the old slab lean-to blind and took photos of Wood Ducks through the screen of brush

    3-10-10, male Wood Duck on top of our mnt

    From fish hatchery


    napping male Wood Duck keeps one eye open

    From fish hatchery


    female Wood Duck

    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    From fish hatchery


    3-10-10, bookend male Wood Ducks on our mnt pond, 1:38 p.m (to see Google map locations, double-click on any photo)

    From fish hatchery
    Sunday, February 21st, 2010
    11:05 pm
    Winter birds, critters
    We've been buried in snow and cold for the past month or so

    2-17-10, Snow on side deck railing. I scraped snow off heated bird bath

    From Feb. 2010


    but today it hit 50 degrees! Some birds since January

    1-18-10, Brown Creeper in our woods

    From Jan 2010


    1-30-10, female Dark-eyed Junco in snow

    From Jan 2010


    1-31-10, Golden-crowned Kinglet glimpsed in the woods

    From Jan 2010


    2-17-10, Icicles from roof around bird feeders, 7:44 a.m. (I broke them down)

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, Carolina Chickadee drinking from icicle

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, male Dark-eyed Junco under side deck

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, Tufted Titmouse on bird bath heater cord

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, Adorable Carolina Wren doing splits

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, 1rst winter White-throated Sparrow

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, Song Sparrow on broken icicle by deck

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10 male Goldfinch already gearing up for fall breeding season

    From Feb. 2010


    2-17-10, male Dark-eyed Junco in snow

    From Feb. 2010


    The Non-typical Cuddeback capture trail cam I bought last Feb. began quitting whenever it rained. I sent it back twice for repairs but it continued to leak. When I called the company they said it wasn't waterproof and that I should bring it inside every time it rains and dry it out every few days. Their ad says they are weatherproof, but we had no choice since the next IR cam I ordered didn't work either.

    Off-topic, but here are few shots from the Cuddeback when it last worked

    1-11-10, female coyote near our pond, 7:36 p.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-13-10, male Red Fox near our pond, 4:37 a.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-23-10, Female Gray Fox top of our mnt, 3:10 a.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-9-10, young deer near logging trail on our mnt, Cuddeback trail cam, 11:22 a.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-13-10, bobcat near our pond, 12:26 a.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-9-10, doe on logging trail 11:30 a.m.

    From Jan 2010


    1-15-10, opossum near pond bank, 6:27 p.m.

    From Jan 2010
    Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
    4:26 pm
    New Year's weekend Dallas camping and birding trip
    We decided on Monday to drive to Dallas, so after work on Wed. we drove all night and set up our tent at 2:30 p.m. in freezing rain next to Joe Pool Lake, Cedar Hill State Park. DuBois crawled into the tent for a nap, then we attended a cool New Year's Eve swing dance/buffet nearby. When we returned around 1 a.m., the Blue Moon was shining in a clear sky. It was so bright, not to mention only 20 degrees, that we pulled the cover over the screen tent.

    The next morning we had trouble keeping on our feet since the road was a sheet of ice in front of the bath house but a flock of Chickadees and Tufted Titmice came by and I was able to get photos of a couple of hangers-on

    1-1-10, Cedar Hill State Park, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 11:26 a.m.

    From Christmas 2009


    From Christmas 2009


    1-1-10, Bewick's Wren

    From Christmas 2009


    From Christmas 2009


    There was another Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the brush near the lake bank

    From Christmas 2009


    We visited old friends and family in the area that afternoon and the next morning there was another Ruby-crowned Kinglet cutey in the brush near the campsite. I was disappointed that the only birds were saw were the same ones I see around our house in Morehead. But I could see American Coots far out on the lake

    From Christmas 2009


    We drove 50 miles to the Ft Worth Nature Center and Refuge marshland hoping to see the many species we saw there in February five years ago. We could see flocks of Double-crested Cormorants and various duck species flying overhead as we drove across the city, but when we arrived, aside from a Marsh Wren,

    From Christmas 2009


    we saw no birds while out on the boardwalk except some distant ducks on the river and a Great Egret flapping past.

    From Christmas 2009


    We took a trail into the woods that paralleled the marsh and I cut down to the bank and hid in the brush. In a minute a flock of Green-winged Teals flew in and landed nearby. I could just glimpse them through the tangle of branches

    From Christmas 2009


    1-2-09, Ft. Worth Nature Center marshland, male Green-winged Teal

    From Christmas 2009


    females

    From Christmas 2009


    pair of Green-winged Teals

    From Christmas 2009


    Suddenly DuBois' cell phone began blasting rock music (he'd waited for me on the trail above), then he began talking! The entire flock exploded out of the water was gone in seconds. I laughed and once again suggested he keep his phone on "vibrate" and move away from the area to answer his phone

    So we sat down on a bench on the woodland trail and watched the Chickadee flocks sweep past with their hangers-on.

    Another Ruby-crowned Kinglet-it came so close I could have tossed a leaf on it

    From Christmas 2009


    female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

    From Christmas 2009



    as we came around a bend we saw a 1rst winter Eastern Phoebe

    From Christmas 2009


    then drove to the information center where we saw a female Red-winged Blackbird

    From Christmas 2009


    1-2-09, Barred Owl, Ft. Worth Nature Center display

    From Christmas 2009


    then drove to the Black-tailed Prairie Dog town. They gave cries that sounded like Red-shouldered Hawks

    From Christmas 2009


    As we left there were two American Bison bulls grazing in the prairie area

    From Christmas 2009


    From Christmas 2009


    By then it was 5 pm so we drove all night and got home at 12:30 p.m.
    Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
    9:59 pm
    Minor Clark Fish Hatchery birds Nov. 22-Nov. 28
    I took 3000 photos of wintering ducks last trip to the Cave Run Lake area-most of which were unusable except for a few for ID purposes. The ISO balance/auto focus/shutter speed/ in my Canon EOS 40D couldn't handle distant ducks with sun against me. Been reading great reviews on the capabilities of the new Canon EOS 7D, so decided to get one after Christmas when prices fall.

    Here are some of the O.K. or passable photos

    11-22-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Swamp Sparrow

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    A week ago I happened on a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers feasting on wild grapes. They didn't seem to notice me peering at them through the trees

    11-26-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, female Pileated Woodpecker

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    11-26-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, male Pileated Woodpecker

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    I glanced up to see what resembled a climbing groundhog

    11-26-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, very fat Eastern Fox Squirrel

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    When I looked back, a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers was moving all around me

    11-26-09, Minor Clark fish Hatchery, 1rst yr. female Yellow-rumped Warbler

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    We checked one of the fish breeding pools that still had water and found a flock of Buffleheads

    11-26-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 1rst winter male, female, breeding male Buffleheads

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    We then drove over to Shallow Flats at Cave Run Lake

    11-26-09, 2 female Greater Scaups, male Gadwall

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    11-26-09, Shallow flats at Cave Run Lake, 2 male Gadwalls

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    11-26-09, male Gadwalls

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    Two days later we returned to Minor Clark Fish Hatchery and found a flock of mixed ducks on the filled fish breeding pool. But just then a hawk flew over

    11-28-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    which stampeded the ducks right at us

    11-28-09, Fish Hatchery, Mallards, Buffleheads, startled by juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    The flock of Buffleheads landed on another fish pool

    11-28-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 1rst winter male, female Buffleheads

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    1rst winter male Buffleheads

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    I glimpsed a flock of ducks out on the lagoon but when I approached the trees and brush along the shore I spooked a duck off the bank out into the river. I peeked through the brush to see what it was

    11-28-09, Fish Hatchery lagoon, male Hooded Merganser, trying to see what startled it

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    Soon it joined its flock out on the water

    11-28-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery lagoon, male and female Hooded Mergansers

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    I circled the lagoon and encountered some Field Sparrows foraging through a thicket

    11-28-09

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    One popped out of the leaves close to me

    From 11-22-09-11-28, fish hatchery birds


    I can hardly wait to return to the fish hatchery with the Canon EOS 7D to see how it handles distance and tricky lighting. Waiting until after Christmas will be hard, but I want a better price so I can afford a new exterior flash also, since my old one broke.
    Saturday, November 21st, 2009
    9:08 pm
    Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Belted Kingfisher, White Ibis
    I tested my new Cabella Ameristep one-man chair blind at Minor Clark Fish Hatchery today; jammed it into brush on the bank of the lagoon in dense morning fog and set up my tripod.

    When the fog lifted a male Belted Kingfisher landed on a snag in front of me with his catch

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Which he quickly swallowed

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Just then a Winter Wren popped up by my foot where the blind hung over the bank. It surveyed the inside, commenting the whole time, then disappeared.

    But they were the only birds that came close-whenever a flock of small birds came up the bank through the bushes, they'd squeak in fright and flee at the sight of the blind.

    A flock of Pied-billed Grebe on the lagoon

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    but they kept their distance

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    A mink came bounding across the water lilies opposite the lagoon from me

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    By now turtles were climbing up on the snag

    Midland Painted Turtle, Red-eared Slider

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    I'd read on the birdky list serve that someone had seen a juvenile White Ibis at the fish hatchery, but I couldn't find it last time we were there.
    Eventually it appeared across the lagoon from me

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    but I circled around to get closer

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    When a mixed flock of birds came past, and I thought this one was a Black-capped Chickadee because of the dark rufous sides and smaller proportioned head, but the head is too round and not enough white in cheek so must be a Carolina Chickadee after all.

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Before 1999, Black-capped Chickadees were almost unknown in Kentucky, but now they sometimes appear at my feeder in winter, their large size contrasting with the tinier Carolinas.

    Nov. 16, 2006

    Black-capped Chickadee
    Sunday, November 15th, 2009
    7:48 pm
    November bird sightings
    Nov. 1 we visited the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery and saw a 2nd year Bald Eagle sitting on top of a dead tree

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    checking out the Licking River Lagoon where the hatchery breeds Muskellunge game fish. Trees were already going bare

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    I walked around the the lagoon and spotted a cute female Ruby-crowned Kinglet combing the underbrush for insects

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Small flocks of Juvenile Bluebirds were moving through the trees

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    We resumed camping in our screen tent after a long rainy spell and heard a Barred and Screech Owl, but also the jaguar(?) bawling and two loud coughs from behind the house. When we checked the Cuddeback Cam the next morning, Nov. 2, something had messed it up so it took empty photos all night, every 30 seconds. But it did catch the bobcat confronting a 6-point buck.

    I sent the cam in for repairs, and this time I'm buying a bear protection cam cage.

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    DuBois heard that a neighbor's dog had been attacked by a big black cat that had "torn half its head off." I became worried about my own dogs and called Jeff to get the details. He said his dog was barking one morning so he turned it loose, but a "black panther" with a "three-foot tail" stuck its head around the barn, swiped the dog across the face, and walked into the woods without a backward glance. The dog required over $300 worth of stitches, but he said the cat had done it in self-defense.

    Nevertheless, yesterday I heard a local deputy say that if he ever sees it, he'll shoot it in "self defense."
    Jeff said he'd put three game cams out to get a photo, but I say good luck with THAT.

    Nov. 7 we visited the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery and saw a female Greater Scaup in one of the fish breeding pools

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    A juvenile Cedar Waxwing was back in the tangle of branches by the lagoon

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    adult Cedar Waxwing

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    The next night, 11-8-09, we saw a male Hooded Merganser on a Poppy Mnt pond

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    The next morning when we drove there again the brush was full of birds

    11-9-09, Poppy Mnt, 1rst fall White-throated Sparrow

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    11-9-09, Poppy Mnt, Field Sparrow

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    11-9-09, Poppy Mnt, male Dark-eyed Junco

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    11-9-09, Poppy Mnt, male Eastern Towhee

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    11-9-09, Poppy Mnt, juvenile Red-tailed Hawk dropping off dead tree

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    We stopped by the fish hatchery on Friday the 13th before work.
    A Pied-billed Grebe was swimming far out on the lagoon

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    The female Greater Scaup had been joined by a male Bufflehead, but they also kept their distance

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Frustrated, I crept up and took photos through the brush

    11-13-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot on log

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Love those green feet

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Just then a Song Sparrow came by my hiding place and did a double take-unsure what it was seeing..

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Nov. 14 we saw a wild Turkey hen on Poppy Mnt with her grown poults

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    The poults began walking away, stretching their wings

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Finally, they were ready to launch

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    A Song Sparrow dove into a thicket, but at the chirruping sound of the camera's auto focus, up popped the sparrow..it even answered me back!

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    The next day, Nov. 15, we returned to the fish hatchery where I pushed through brush on the shore of the lagoon until I could see the Pied-billed Grebe out on the water

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    I moved to where I could peep through the tangle at the log, now covered with Midland Painted Turtles, where the American Coot and grebe had been sunning last time.
    Eventually, the grebe cruised over

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    Didn't look like much chance of getting a spot on the log

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    A Red-tailed Hawk wheeled high overhead as I returned to the car

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery


    That evening we went up on Poppy Mnt, looking in vain for the Hooded Merganser. The woods have lost most of their leaves now

    From 11-1-09, fish hatchery
    Saturday, October 24th, 2009
    8:09 pm
    LIFER, migrants, coyote, critters, fall leaves,Oct 18-25
    Oct 18 we dropped by the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery looking for shore bird migrants, as usual.

    There were no new shore birds, but a Turkey Vulture was catching some rays in a dead tree

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    When I heard an approaching flock of wintering Yellow-rumped Warblers near the fish hatchery lagoon, I stood still and waited

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    and was soon surrounded by female warblers

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    1rst fall female

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    eating berries

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    I glimpsed other birds in the brush

    10-18-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Swamp Sparrow

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    a 1rst year White-crowned Sparrow

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    When I checked the online birdky bird list and read that some people were reporting migrating Dunlins I wondered why I'd never seen one.
    We stopped by the fish hatchery again next day on the way to Mt Sterling Court days.
    Some shore birds were still hanging around

    10-19-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    The fish hatchery staff had emptied most of the fish breeding pools and stranded turtles were seen crawling everywhere

    10-19-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, female Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    wearing a "if you think YOU'RE having a bad day.." expression

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    Midland Painted Turtle

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    We were just leaving to go on to Mt Sterling Court Days when a flock of shore birds circled down and landed in a nearby empty pool.
    I couldn't believe my eyes-Dunlins!...LIFERS!!

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    The next day we returned to the fish hatchery, arriving just as a doe and fawn came strolling out between the pools

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    We were checking empty fish pools for shore birds when a flock of American Pipits swept past the car with barely a pause. I got one pic that was sort in focus

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    One pond had several juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    which were hanging out with a juvenile Killdeer

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    Every time we approached a Pied-billed Grebe it would dive, surfacing as far from us as possible

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    A Northern Watersnake was lying full length across the road pretending to be a wavy stick

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    I nudged it gently with my foot to encourage it to move out of our way, but the whole snake body moved as though it were a rigid stick, maintaining the charade. I was so tickled that I laughed and we backed the car to the next intersecting access road.

    We then hiked to the top of Lockegee Rock, but there were no more birds. The trees were just beginning to turn color

    10-20-09, Cave Run Lake as seen from top of Lockegee Rock

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    On Oct 25 we set out for Natural Bridge at Red River Gorge, stopping by Minor Clark Fish Hatchery to check pools for migrants.
    The fog was just starting to lift when I noticed a canine trotting down an intersecting access road. When it saw us, it broke into a characteristic coyote lope so we drove faster until we were going 26 mph trying to close the gap. When we entered the fog the coyote turned off the road, darted across an empty pool and vanished into the woods

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    Most of the fish pools had been emptied by now making it difficult to locate any shore birds

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    and whenever we came across a pool that had any birds they spooked and flew away into the distance. The dead tree was filled with the usual sunning Turkey Vultures however

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    so we drove on to Natural Bridge State Park and climbed to the top of the mountain to walk on the bridge.

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    Sept 30, 2007, when I still used a Canon Powershot S2 IS point-and-shoot we sat on Natural Bridge arch and took photos of migrating birds passing up the flyway

    Male Black-throated Green Warbler

    From 9-30-07, Natural Bridge Camping Trip


    Philadelphia Vireo

    From 9-30-07, Natural Bridge Camping Trip


    male Pine Warbler

    From 9-30-07, Natural Bridge Camping Trip


    Tiaga Swainson's Thrush

    From 9-30-07, Natural Bridge Camping Trip


    but it was so late in the season we only saw one migrating bird fly over as we sat on the edge of the bridge, and I didn't get a photo

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    We hiked the trails without seeing any birds then returned to Cave Run Lake and hiked up to Lockegee Rock again.
    Trees were mostly at peak color this week

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    but not a bird in sight. People are still reporting migrants on birdky network, but mostly at sloughs south and west of us, near the TN border. I've not seen any Dark-eyed Juncos or Pine Siskins yet but others are reporting them.
    Guess we'll have to go visit Florida now to see our summer birds-always a good idea anyway..

    We had to return our new Cuddeback infrared game camera, but our old flash Cuddeback came up with Red Fox, Gray Fox and a bobcat this week

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee


    Even a flock of wild turkeys!

    From 10-18-09thru10-20, fish hatchery, Lockegee
    Friday, October 16th, 2009
    6:54 pm
    Migrating birds, past 3 weeks, LIFER
    It's been rainy, and we've been out of town alot, but Sept 27 we visited the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery where I hit the jackpot-

    Juvenile Stilt Sandpiper, 8:43 a.m.-LIFER!!

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    There were several other migrating shore birds as well

    juvenile Baird's Sandpiper, 9:23 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Juvenile Baird's Sandpiper and molting adult White-rumped Sandpiper

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Two nonbreeding adult and a juvenile Least Sandpiper, 9:26 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Distant pair of Pied-billed Grebes on lagoon

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Distant adult Bald Eagle, circling with dueling Red-shouldered Hawks

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Adult Western Palm Warbler, in trees beside fish hatchery lagoon.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    First fall female Bay-breasted Warbler, 11:00 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    A few days later, on our farm
    10-1-09, woods near the creek, juvenile Eastern Phoebe

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Oct 11, we returned to the fish hatchery

    Semipalmated Plover in early morning fog

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    10-11-09, fog lifting from Minor Clark Fish Hatchery

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Great Egret, 10:28 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Juvenile intermediate Tundra Peregrine Falcon

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Distant Pied-billed Grebe, 10:43 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    1rst fall Cedar Waxwing, 11:35 a.m.

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    First fall female Yellow-rumped Warbler

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    Afterward we climbed to the top of Lockeegee Rock where I lay down and waited until this female Ruby-crowned Kinglet came by, 1:39 p.m

    From 9-27 to 10-11-09 fall migrants


    But the weather returned to rain and we've been out of town so much since (a family reunion in Ft Wayne Oct 3-4, work in Lexington and Louisville as extras in the Disney Secretariat movie over two weeks), I think the migration may be over
    Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
    8:42 pm
    Migrating birds, critters, past month
    We've been visiting Minor Clark Fish Hatchery every weekend since migration started. Last fall shorebirds only paused a there day or so before hurrying south, but this year they've been taking their time...hopefully, a good weather sign.

    One day I noticed a flock of Black Terns in various stages of molt, swarming like gulls high above the largest fish breeding pools.

    8-22-09, 9:52 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    While I was looking around, the whole flock skimmed low over the fence, then from pool to pool, diving directly on fish, or climbing up to 20 ft, hovering briefly, then diving.
    Sometimes they flashed past me within a few yards, but getting a close-up photo proved daunting as they moved at blurring speed, darting like dragonflies. Then as suddenly as they appeared, they vanished again.

    I looked around at the other birds at the hatchery; Giant Canada Geese hang around all year

    From Fall Migrants


    Also saw a juvenile Eastern Phoebe

    From Fall Migrants


    a 1st year Cedar Waxwing

    From Fall Migrants


    a molting adult White-eyed Vireo

    From Fall Migrants


    a juvenile Eastern Wood-Pewee

    From Fall Migrants


    a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    as well as shore birds I'd already photographed.

    The next day, on the way to Louisville for the KY State Fair, we stopped early by the fish hatchery again in hopes of a better photo of a Black Tern.

    8-23-09, Early morning fog at Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 8:15 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    I was able to get one passable photo when the tern flock swooped around me

    8-23-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, nonbreeding Black Tern, 8:40 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    When we returned that Saturday I followed a warbler along the lagoon

    9-5-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, female Yellow Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    The juvenile Broad-winged Hawk hiding in tree

    From Fall Migrants


    juvenile Least Sandpiper

    From Fall Migrants


    C'mon outta there!

    From Fall Migrants


    Gotcha!

    From Fall Migrants


    9-5-09 Semipalmated Plover

    From Fall Migrants


    9-5-09 juvenile Semipalmated Plover using "vibrating foot" to find food

    From Fall Migrants


    9-5-09 Adult Pectoral Sandpiper getting lunch

    From Fall Migrants


    9-5-09 juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpipers..LIFERS! (At least, I don't remember seeing them before)

    From Fall Migrants


    juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper bathing

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    The next weekend we stopped by the fish hatchery again

    9-13-09, fish hatchery, Turkey Vultures, 9:32 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    Does and fawn

    From Fall Migrants


    nonbreeding male Magnolia Warbler in bushes beside fish hatchery lagoon

    From Fall Migrants


    1st winter female Magnolia Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    9-15-09, Cuddeback cam by our pond, young Bobcat, 4:47 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    I began hanging out along the warbler creek crossings on our farm

    9-17-09, woods by our creek, female Black-throated Green Warbler, 1:45 p.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    9-18-09, our tulip tree, male Blackburnian Warbler, 9:49 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    9-18-09, walnut tree behind house, 1st fall male Scarlet Tanager, 9:51 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    9-18-09, our tulip poplar, male Yellow-throated Vireo (probably 1st fall), 10:17 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    Our last visit to the fish hatchery got another LIFER for me (I think)

    9-19-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Baird's Sandpiper, 8:42 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    Solitary Sandpiper with breakfast

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    American Pipit strolling on the bank of a fish breeding pond-I'd never seen one before in Kentucky!

    From Fall Migrants


    Hey! I'm WALkin here!

    From Fall Migrants


    Savannah Sparrow, who seemed to be posing for me

    From Fall Migrants


    juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper

    From Fall Migrants


    adult and juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    9-19-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Solitary Sandpiper, 11:12 a.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    Back at our house, I kept an eye out for fall activity-

    9-22-09, squirrel in our walnut tree

    From Fall Migrants


    I stake out the warbler crossings by the creek, but soaked my clothes and took a bath in water with a glug of tea tree oil to prevent insect bites. I listen for the noisy approach of mixed flocks of Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice because the warblers travel with them while in the area.
    This time, the flock came from the woods across the creek and didn't notice me next to the Horse Weed, which they love.

    9-22-09, male Magnolia Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    1st fall male Magnolia Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    9-22-09, TN Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    male TN Warbler

    From Fall Migrants


    From Fall Migrants


    The flock of warblers moved on and I looked up

    9-22-09, juvenile Eastern Phoebe, 1:28 p.m.

    From Fall Migrants


    Further down the creek I noticed bird movements in the branches

    9-22-09, juvenile Red-eyed Vireo, 1:55 p.m.

    From Fall Migrants
    Friday, August 21st, 2009
    1:54 pm
    Migrating birds, critters, past 3 wks
    When fall migration started, we decided to drop by Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, near Cave Run Lake, once a week to check out the fish breeding pools

    7-26-09, 9:54 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    The Giant Canada Geese goslings were almost adults by then

    7-26-09, 10:09 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    I saw a white tern flitting over the four largest breeding ponds and while walking that way encountered a large crawdad in the road

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Bingo! Our first migrant..a Forster's Tern! Last saw these guys on the Florida beaches this past New Year's weekend.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    A dive-bombing Barn Swallow did its best to discourage the tern

    From late summer birds, 2009


    but it wasn't enough to prevent the tern helping itself to some refreshment, courtesy of the hatchery

    From late summer birds, 2009


    From late summer birds, 2009


    Other creatures besides birds take advantage of the fish hatchery habitat

    7-26-09, Licking River lagoon, Midland Painted Turtle

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-26-09, Licking River Lagoon, used for Muskellunge fish breeding

    From late summer birds, 2009


    A wild turkey hen vanished into the brush on the bank

    From late summer birds, 2009


    When hiking around a large property always helpful to have a spouse willing to double as camera assistant/equipment sherpa. Though not a birder, he has better eyesight than I have (former airline pilot) and often spots migrating species for me.
    I made his camo outfit out of material left over from making my own

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-26-09, fish hatchery lagoon, juvenile Eastern Wood Peewee

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Two juvenile Broad-winged Hawks kept evading me, so we used the car as a blind to even get this close

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-26-09, empty fish breeding pond, migrating Least Sandpiper, 12:40 p.m. Not as close as the pics I got during spring migration

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Juvenile Great Blue Heron

    From late summer birds, 2009


    The same evening I saw a hapless Song Sparrow feeding a giant Cowbird chick

    7-26-09, Tulip Poplar by deck, 5:15 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-26-09, our farm, juvenile male White-breasted Nuthatch, not yet able to grasp wire firmly

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Another favorite birding spot is the 1400 acre Poppy Mnt property where we go almost daily to swim. A mixed herd of mules, donkeys, ponies, and horses wanders the back 500 acre section.

    8-14-09, Poppy Mnt top, horse herd, 7:39 p.m. Red Poppy Mnt barn seen on distant hill

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-28-09, Poppy Mnt, stair-step horses in a row, drinking from "pay lake." 4:20 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    We often see deer as well

    From late summer birds, 2009


    7-30-09, Poppy Mnt pay lake, fledgling Green Herons, 4:29 p.m. I previously posted photos of them, and they left the Willow tree a few days after this photo

    From late summer birds, 2009


    A quick drive-around at the fish hatchery one evening netted us a serendipity

    8-1-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, adult Bald Eagle, 5:10 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-1-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, Spotted Sandpiper, 5:27 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Our pond cam was still picking up the Wood Ducks at that time (they're gone now)

    8-5-09, Cuddeback game cam, male and female juvenile Wood Ducks and mother, 3:20 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-5-09, male and female juvenile Wood Ducks, 3:22 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    On another fish hatchery trip we drive slowly past emptied fish breeding pools to see if any migrating shore birds were feeding in the muck

    8-16-09, Lesser Yellowlegs, 9:16 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-16-09, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, 9:27 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-16-09, Least Sandpiper, 9:31 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-16-09, juvenile Sanderlings, 9:37 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Juvenile Least Sandpiper, 9:40 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-16-09, another view of Licking River lagoon used for Muskellunge fish breeding, 10:09 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Another distant shot of the juvenile Broad-winged Hawk, 10:12 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Migrating Great Egret, landing , 10:22 a.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-16-09, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, juvenile Osprey working the fish pools

    From late summer birds, 2009


    From late summer birds, 2009


    The next evening we went swimming on Poppy Mnt and on the way back I noticed a

    8-17-09, flock of turkey hens, poults, crossing road far ahead of us

    From late summer birds, 2009


    8-17-09, Poppy Mnt, Dad Barn Swallow feeding son, 7:28 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    The past few nights coming back from swimming we encountered what appear to be yearling twin deer. They ignore the car or approach, curious about the camera shutter sounds. The little doe will then spook, buck and run like crazy in a circle, then return to her brother(?). Once he even lay down near the car and she came and stood by him.

    It's been too dark for the Canon 40D to get a clear photo, however. Time for a Canon EOS 50D, or at least to replace the broken flash extender

    8-18-09, Poppy Mnt hayfield, yearling spike buck, 8:19 p.m.

    From late summer birds, 2009


    doe

    From late summer birds, 2009


    Despite seeing migrating shore birds at the fish hatchery, we've yet to see any migrating birds locally and most of the locals have left. When we're swimming on Poppy Mnt the surrounding woods are eerily silent..no fledgling cries, or wailing Red-tailed Hawks. Of course the hay fields are full of Goldfinches and Barn Swallows, but song birds have mostly disappeared.
    Monday, August 17th, 2009
    11:48 am
    Possible jaguar calls, coughs outside tent
    I've been googling jaguars since this January 25th when I saw 4 1/4" wide by 4" long tracks with a 36" stride in the snow near our pond. I bought a game cam but in Feb, tracks came up to the edge of the cam triggering point

    2-25-09, Picazo Farm pond, possible jaguar tracks, showing 27 1/2" stride

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    then went around the pond where I found a large fur-wrapped scat surrounded by huge tracks in the grass,

    2-25-09, Picazo Farm pond, possible jaguar scat, showing 5 inch length

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    and deep scratches on a dead tree a few yards away,

    3-4-09, Picazo Farm pond, scratched tree, four scratch grooves 4 inches wide. Rank, skunky odor in bushes in front of tree

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    I began finding territorial scrapes in the trail,

    3-2-09, Picazo Farm logging road, suspected jaguar scrape

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    and no matter when I went up on the logging road on top of the hill, I'd find fresh tracks in the mud.

    2-27-09, Near end of Picazo Farm logging road, suspected jaguar tracks

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    2-28-09, near end of Picazo Farm logging road, suspected jaguar fresh track, lengthened second toe indicating a right front foot

    From Big Foot tracks, scat


    I even found the huge, round tracks behind our horse shed. At that same time the dogs began going crazy every night, so we bought a 20 million candle SportSpot spotlight.

    But about then, the tracks stopped appearing and dogs became quiet at night so I assumed it was off to inspect the rest of its 2-150 square mile territory, since it was almost mature.

    I found no record of any man-eating jaguars; in fact jaguars routinely use the same trails as people, only attacking livestock when jungles are burned and nothing else is available.

    When we heard all those weird sounds on Aug 8th, I googled audio clips but the only one that matched sounds we heard was the last half of the National Geographic audio clip I already posted-that of a wild jaguar patrolling its territory. The zoo clips didn't match.

    We began taking a recorder out to the tent with us every night but heard nothing. But this Saturday night, soon after we got to the tent at 11:15 p.m., I heard a slow, rumbling growl, or purr, like a motor idling very slowly. The sound seemed to vibrate my bones. I tried in vain to waken DuBois.

    About 30 minutes later there was a booming, explosive cough that shook the tent, and even startled DuBois awake. I shoved him and hissed "Jaguar!!" so he scrambled to hit "record" but there was only one more cough, then silence. He promptly went back to sleep.

    At 3 a.m. there was another rumbling growl, or purr, this time from the direction of our front yard. It was like a motor on idle, and tickled my bones.

    I knew from all the jaguar websites I'd visited that they usually cough and grunt instead of roar, but I've not yet found a sound clip of a cough. My only hope is that the thing will finally walk in front one of the game cams I have around my pond.

    When I first saw the tracks I emailed photos to everyone involved with big cats to ask for an ID, but nobody answered. I also called to see if any cattle had been killed in a suspicious manner, but none had been reported.
    I told authorities about the jaguar in May, but by then I was feeling protective of "my" jaguar, and now I actually miss it when I don't see its tracks around.

    Those territorial calls and scent markings might be intended for us, since we're the ones who encroach on "his" territory.
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