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April 2009


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Dave Bartkey <[log in to unmask]>
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Dave Bartkey <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 24 Apr 2009 13:29:06 -0600
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Hi everyone,

  As I was asking my boss this morning if he'd mind if I played hookey from work, I observed many birds foraging in a dirt patch within a grass island outside of his window. My boss told me to have fun and when I went out to my car, I grabbed my binos and scanned through the flock. All were Chipping Sparrows except for one, a Lark Sparrow! After viewing the bird for several minutes, I decided to walk at Cannon River Wilderness Park, west side, and I had three different Louisiana Waterthrushes calling on territory there, as well as one Red-shouldered Hawk, probably another nester.


  Other FOY's today were:

White-throated Sparrows (many)

Orange-crowned Warbler (4)

House Wren (1)

Clay-colored Sparrows (2)

Lincoln's Sparrow (1)


  Also, while walking, I came across a very small snake on the trail. It was about 10-12 inches long, and it was a dark brown with dark gray or black stripes along the body and it wasn't moving. I figured someone must have stepped on it, but I picked it up. It just dangled there, and when I turned my hand back and forth, I noticed the snake's head remained pointed at me! It was alive and playing dead! Anyway, I placed my hand under the head and the snake started moving and flicking its tongue. I turned the snake over and the belly was a bright scarlet red. Brown Snakes that I have encountered have white bellies. Anyone out there have any ideas? On a reptile note, I also heard tree frogs singing in two locations today as well.


Good birding (& reptiling!)


Dave Bartkey

Faribault, MN

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