Date: 12/18/17 5:30 pm From: Jeff Hansen <jeff.hansen.sd...> 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.