Monday, November 5, 2007

NASWC Bird Walk

Yesterday morning 5 of us found 30 species for the November NASWC bird walk. The morning started cool but by mid morning it was actually a little bit warm. I can't wait for the cold front tonight! Here are the highlights from the walk:
  • Wilson's Snipe were present in the creek bed and offered decent looks.
  • A pair (male and female) of Belted Kingfishers made constant noise and finally sat on a wire over the creek and offered great views.
  • A Northern Flicker was heard all morning but never seen.
  • We got a brief but good look at a Brown Thrasher, the first I've seen this season. And this is a bird I only see a few times a year in the neighborhood, so we were very fortunate to see one on the walk.
  • There were 20-30 extremely active Yellow-rumped Warblers on the flood plain property, the most I've seen this fall.
  • The House Finch below did not mind us getting pretty darn close and me taking this picture.
Once we were back at the Meadowheath parking lot, 3 of us were hanging around scanning the creek bed when we saw a Blotched Water Snake that was trying to swallow an extremely large bass. We thought the fish was too big for that snake to swallow, and we couldn't stop watching. But 45 minutes later, snake had done it! I posted some pictures here. Be warned, they're not for the faint of heart!

Edit: Sheri makes a good point in the comments. This snake is nonvenomous. I've read that this family of snakes will bite if you try to catch one, but the bite is not dangerous. There could well be venomous Cottonmouths on the creek, but I have not seen one yet.


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Twylite said...

Wow!!! Those are REALLY great pictures! Thank you for posting about the snakes and letting everyone know that not all water snakes are "water moccassins" :) It's also interesting to note that there are bass in that creekbed! Hopefully we'll see you on the Christmas Bird Walk in December!

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks for the comments Lisa and Sheri! And good point, Sheri, about the snake not being a water moccasin. I should have mentioned that it's nonvenomous.