Date: 10/10/17 5:18 pm
From: Herschel Raney <herschel.raney...>
Subject: Fayetteville
Stayed east of the city this week on a hillock, I would call it, above
Lake Sequoyah. I had a window through the trees down to the lake and I
could see a single Great Egret several times, walking in the shallow
waters. A Great Blue groaned distantly as well.

A local Red-shouldered Hawk visited. And many "Red-shouldered" Jays.
Soaring Turkey Vultures cutting through the trees, riding the lifts.
Quite a few Black Vultures, also riding the harder winds with those
blunter wings, those less lifting primaries. And a single high soaring
Northern Harrier, the Marsh Hawk of my early birding years. A female,
cutting with Turkey Vultures. If you want to test your winging skills,
well, trying flying with Turkey Vultures. She held her own, drifting off
westward down the ridge.

In the trees many White-breasted Nuthatches. One even came and perched
on the rail of the deck in the cabin I was in. Also at least five or six
Hairy Woodpeckers. More than I see in my area all year.

Crow gangs. Crows in the fog. Crows calling into the shadowy morning
trees, talking of things far more important than I can know.

At the Botanical garden a calling House Wren. Calling with odd sounds
that made me stop and smile. I always stop and smile when I hear a bird
noise that I don't know. I thought it was a House Wren and then it came
up as a House Wren. The world was ordered.

And each day what seems to be a local flock of Canada Geese called as
they went over my deck. One morning the flock was flying east to west
cocking just at the right angle for the rising sun to show on their

And then this last morning in the fog, those Specklebellies in the mist,
coming over close, emerging for just a glimpse as they winged oddly
northeast. Easily one of the loveliest sounds in our local nature: the
passing southward White-fronted Goose. They make me want to lay down on
the wet ground and wait for more.

Herschel Raney

Conway AR
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