Date: 12/18/17 5:30 pm
From: Jeff Hansen <>
Subject: Swans of Rossville
I found 26 trumpeter swans on Carlson Rd southeast of Rossville. Dang
them are some big birds.

By Silver Lake I was scanning the countryside with the scope and I heard
what sounded like sandhill cranes.  I assumed it was not but should have
scanned the skies for them.  I only heard the sound once.

Nearer Topeka, I saw a kestrel or maybe a merlin with a small snake. 
That was a weird sight to see in the latter half of December.  At first
I was thinking it was carrying nesting material since it felt like spring.

Speaking of nesting, starlings are checking out nest boxes in my yard
and I trapped 3 in the last 2 days.

Red-breasted nuthatch showed up in the yard today.  it had been more
than a week since I'd seen it.

Sharp-shinned caught and ate a probably junco.  Saw pile of gray
feathers beneath her in the aromatic sumac shrub (a favorite among the
birds).  Interestingly a titmouse and a chickadee were hanging out in
the shrub with the sharpie.

I also learned today that when you get a large flock of birds like
starlings you should scan all the birds because you never know what
might be mixed in.  In this case 60 brown-headed cowbirds.

Jeff Hansen

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