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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2008,17:45   

I'm a bit late in reporting on this, but last Sunday I ran the Olsburg BBS (Breeding Bird Survey) route, (38-318 in the BBS database), and ended up with 69 species. This is a bit lower than in recent years; I found 77 species in 2003 and again last year.

I wanted to run it the weekend before, but the Black Vermilion River was out of its banks and a chunk of the road, about 200 ft across, was under water. So I had to wait until it dried out.

There were a couple of highlights. I added one species when I found a singing male Scarlet Tanager on Shannon Creek Road. Despite the lateness of the season, the Shannon Creek Bald Eagles were still there, thankfully. I also saw (and heard) a Song Sparrow. That was the second time I have found that species on the route; I found two Song Sparrows in 2006 in the same general area of that route. I also saw a hen Greater Prairie-chicken and 8 young-uns crossing the road at one stop. And before you ask, no, I don't have any idea why the chickens crossed the road... I had a record number of Dickcissels (111, previous high was 91 in 2006), and a record number of Cliff Swallows (131, previous high was 96, also in 2006). A lovely male Dickcissel is pictured below.

Misses included Loggerhead Shrike (not seen on this route since 2002), Red-headed Woodpecker, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Bell's Vireo.

The most interesting aspect of this year's count was a bird I hoped to see. On my scouting run up there on Saturday, I found a road-killed male Bobolink, near the Black Vermilion Marsh. It was very flat, and embedded with gravel, so I didn't bother to bring it back to KSU for the collection, but it was definitely a Bobolink. Unfortunately I found no Bobolinks there, or along the rest of the route, on Sunday...

I think that these wet years along the Blue River allow some more northerly birds like Bobolinks and Song Sparrows to trickle down here from Nebraska.



--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
  2219 replies since Jan. 24 2008,14:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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