Monday, June 8, 2015

Gorey reptiles: a few sights seen during a USGS bird survey

During the breeding season volunteers such as Bishop travel 25 mile stretches to survey species and quantities of birds. This morning we left Alma at 4:15 a.m. to the Rodney, Michigan area and watched as Bishop stopped every half-mile for three minutes to identify and record each bird he heard.
One of the first noises heard was a deer. It was very odd, guttural and definitely not form a bird. Though the going was slow, today was good practice and learning for identifying bird calls.
My camera was indisposed today, so credit for the lovely iPhone photography goes to Krista.
We saw a number of snappers making questionable decisions in their road-side nest locations. One was dead with a crushed shell.

We feared this garter snake was injured.

On closer inspection it seems to be pushing something out purposefully. Dr. Rowe, a herpetologist at Alma, said it's too early for babies so maybe these are left overs from a meal? 
Today was primarily hearing and not seeing birds. But I learned what a cedar waxwing looks like and I tried befriending a chicken.

Krista and I also made some tiny friends today while Bishop was knee deep in bird calls.

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