Date: 10/10/18 7:50 pm
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: birds
Nice generic subject line eh? Sometimes I don't know what to put and my
mind is elsewhere...

Went out to city lake in Siloam Springs today. As always, it was
difficult to leave. The longer you watch, the more you'll see. Slowly
walking away, headed back to the van... and, wait, there's another bird.

I had at least 1 sedge wren calling and a lot of the ordinary birds I
usually see. Saw a great blue heron in the distance that had me looking
and taking pictures. Sometime last year, I think, I saw a report
somewhere of a gray heron and people going back and forth discussing the
differences... like the thighs on a great blue are a reddish color and
the gray heron has more of a gray. I know it's wishful thinking but,
sometimes I'll see a great blue with more of a gray colored leg...
probably just young. Just the same, anytime it doesn't look the way I'd
expect, I start to look and look and look.  HA. All that to say, I saw
one like that today. From where I was, the upper legs almost looked
white. the pictures I got are lousy, it was a good ways off, but I think
it was just the lighting. When that sun gets at just the right angle, it
really changes the colors of things on me. Can be frustrating but also
makes things interesting sometimes. :)
There was one great egret at the lake... that is until later on when I
heard some croaking overhead. I looked up to see 3 herons and about 33
great egrets. A few more herons flew over, here and there... eventually
some more egrets flew over but I never know if any were the ones that
had already flown over and perhaps just turned back to come check out
the lake.
Either way, 34 great egrets is a high count for me anywhere.  Saw at
least 2 bald eagles among a LOT of circling vultures... one wasn't quite
all the way grown. Had white on the head and tail but was still mottled
like a young one. Had a red-tailed and a swainson's hawk... a couple
that looked like accipiters way overhead... and one DARK hawk I probably
need to look at the pictures of. This was black, from what I could see.
Had the look of a turkey vulture with a lighter trailing edge to the wings.

counting the unknowns, had about 30 species there including a
scissor-tailed flycatcher. Saw one of those at Aldi a little later.
Heard a pair of great horned owls hooting back and forth on the north
side of the lake despite the sound of rapid gunfire over there. Don't
know if they were on the mountain bike trail but, I'm thinking they may
have been. :(  I was quite surprised to hear the owls from the same
direction as all that gunfire.

No hummingbirds were seen but there was still some jewel weed among
other plants that could support some if there are any around.  Found a
nice tiny trumpetish kind of red flower. I don't know if it's the native
trumpet honeysuckle or a different plant. I didn't see a ton of leaves
on it. Couldn't get too close because it was in a really wet area. I
loved seeing it though as I don't see that kind of plant often. got a
picture so I can try and be sure on the ID. The swamp milkweed there is
really dropping seeds right now.

I don't get to go birdwatching as often as I'd like so I'm quite happy
when I have places like that to go that are nearby... I can find a spot
there and just stand there for quite some time soaking it in. I need to
go off exploring some trails a bit more but, sometimes I'll just stay in
one place and enjoy. I can't wait til they have a blind there where I
can also just sit down and relax. :)
wishing I had more time but making the best of what I have...  :)
And, picked up two new bird feeders at tractor supply today. More money
than I wanted to spend but I'm mostly happy with the ones I found(didn't
like the ones at lowes, walmart, or atwoods) as it had the features I
wanted... and, from today til a few days from now, all feeders and
houses are 20% off so, that worked out real well.
Keep looking up....... and down... and left and right...  (and don't
forget, right behind you)

Daniel Mason

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