Date: 1/13/18 6:06 pm From: G & J Fenton Friesen <friesen.fenton...> Subject: East of Newton
I did a few outings east of town today. To start, In Harvey County I visited about 7 places listening for Eastern Screech-owls and dipped at each. Not sure what is up there. Other places:
Walton Cemetery. (HV). This is an ebird hotspot but today it was an ebird coldspot. Not a single bird; even the sunflower patch by the dirt mound held nothing. I entered a big zero for that list. I noted a grave for a man whose middle name was "Work." Equally odd. I imagine he did not bird much.
Osage Nature Trail (HV). Sort of birdy with a number of Fox Sparrows (FOSP). Even a Spotted Towhee (SPTO) to add to the year list. Nothing out of the ordinary.
HV County East Park: Mostly frozen over but Mallards (MALL) and Common Goldeneye (COGO) and Common Mergansers (COME) along with thousands of geese. No eagles today.
My wife joined me driving east in the PM with a goal of finding Short-eared Owls (SEOW). As we got into Butler County we started seeing Rough-legged Hawks (RLHA). By the time we reached Cassoday (BU) they outnumbered Red-tailed Hawks (RTHA) 2 to 1. The Cassody City park yielded 4 species of woodpeckers (Butler County), Fox Lake held Canada Geese (CANG) and European Starlings (EUST) and Teter Rock (Greenwood County) held one lone Eastern Meadowlark (EAME). We started west for home at sunset and just east of the Teterville exit off Greenwood County road 300 a single Short-eared Owl (SEOW) flew across the road with its odd and irregular wing beats. Several more stops for screech owls failed to find any and I remain amazed that I've seen Snowy Owl (SNOW), Barred Owl (BADO) and Short-eared Owl (SEOW) this year but not Great Horned or Eastern Screech.