Date: 10/29/18 2:21 pm From: Joseph C. Neal <joeneal...> Subject: FRANKLINâ€™S GULLS OVER MAYSVILLE, DRIFTING IN THE BLUE
Franklin’s Gulls (at least 145 and probably many more) extended across a broad front over about 4-miles north of Maysville this afternoon. Magnificent blue sky with graceful prairie gulls floating over former Beatie Prairie. Wind had shifted to the south. They seemed to be enjoying the updrafts.
David Chapman (visiting from Colorado), David Oakley, and I spent around 4 or so hours in a big slow loop around Maysville. Gulls drifting in the blue were a highlight for me, but there was a lot of other interesting stuff, including:
American Goldfinches foraging on Sawtooth Sunflowers, now covered with ripe seed heads. Saw just one Pine Siskin with them. Sawtooth Sunflowers once covered huge areas of low wet prairie fields. This must have provided a lot of food for seedeaters.
A female Brewer’s Blackbird, among European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds, near a dairy. FOS for me. Clock-clock-clock says Brewer’s as it flies off.
We saw at least 3 Northern Harriers. Two were males. One of these males was perched in a field eating something worm-like. Hawk very intent on its meal. We got out of the car to take pictures, hidden by our blind of Giant Ragweed.
Bald Eagle – 4 adults, 1 subadult. Several black hawks, “black warriors,” one for sure a Harlan’s Hawks. All distant looks.
Lots of Savannah Sparrows. Very few White-crowned Sparrows. No Harris’s Sparrows. We checked several fields hoping for Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs, but didn’t see any.
Loggerhead Shrike – 3. A shrike had hung 11 black crickets along one barbed wire fence.
Anyone who'd like to see David Chapman -- old friends and new friends alike -- are welcome to join us Tuesday (tomorrow) at Apple Blossom, near Veteran's Park (Lake Fayetteville), starting at Happy Hour, 4:30.