Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year in Utley, Feb 29, 2012

A wonderful morning. Did laundry at the washateria in Webberville and while waiting went to the Little park where there were 200+ goldfinches working the elm blooms. Here I also had my first Barn Swallow of the season and a Ringed Kingfisher female.

Back home I checked the Chickadee box with the dental mirror quickly....3 Eggs! Take that Oberholser and Kincaid. A pair of Carolina Wrens insist on building a nest in one of my bookcases inside, but it just can't be as I close the doors at dark. The red Carolina Wasps are searching for spots to start colonies especially in my gourds and bird boxes....I allow most of them to take over if the birds don't want them because they are such good caterpillar hunters , already the "worm" infestation has begun and the trees are full of Red-winged Blackbirds and Chipping Sparrows gorging themselves on them.

Now here is one of my two highlights of this day....Is not this a most gorgeous animal? Yes it is a Copperhead but it never made an aggressive move toward me and I was so tempted to just pick and hold it,but recall, and always will, Chris M. and his temptations.
Actually this is the second of the day (remember this is still February). A slightly larger one was found earlier but I did not have the camera handy. I find these as I am clearing out dead wood from the drought to burn. I also uncovered the most beautiful Spotted Chorus Frog under a log but within the 3 minutes it took to go for the camera and return , it had vanished.

Sandhill Cranes have been coming over but I guess the geese are gone as I have not heard a single one in two days now, but have heard wigeons. . Picked up a Neotropic Cormorant for the yard "list" today as well. Everything is budding, everything is wonderful. Lots of Cave Swallows....It won't be long before the Chimney Swifts return....I have had them on the coast as early as March 6.
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