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I led people last two mornings up to the blind to see the Greater Praire Chickens at The Nature Conservacy's Dunn Ranch. High counts for the wknd were 11 Males and 6 Females. This is down from last year and considerably lower than two years ago. Don't know why the big decline here, probably multiple factors, but is pretty disturbing. Saturday a Northern Harrier came in, swooped on the Lek, and scared off all the hens. Last wknd a Great Horned Owl was hanging around, and I heard from one of the other guides that it had attacked the Chickens on Friday but didn't get any. 
     
    Larry Lade observed a total of 12 SE Owls last Friday eve -4/4/08- around 6p.m. at Dunn, just before there was a large controlled burn on the West side of the area. 
   
   Sat after viewing the GPRC Larry and I did some birding along the roads around the area. Some of the birds found:
    Red-headed Woodpecker
   N. Flicker - many
   Eastern Phoebe - a pair under almost every bridge
   Am. Kestral - many
   Loggerhead Shrike - 3 
  N. Mockingbird 
  Woodcock 
  Trre Swallow
   Great Blue Heron - always seems strange watching them fly across open Prarie 
  Louisiana Waterthrush
   Brown Thrasher
   Eastern Towhee -several
   Tree, Field, Vesper, Fox, Harris's, Song, and Swamp Sparrow, many DE Junco
   also many Robins, Blackbirds,and Killdeer in the bean stubble fields. Oh yes Brown-headed Cowbirds all over, and E. and W. Meadowlarks singing all around.
   
   Today after the trip to the blind I did some walking around the area - keeping a long distance away from the Booming Ground of course. Some of the birds today:
    
  Upland Sandpiper - 6 - 7  Sorry Larry, I told you they would probably show up today!  
  Smith's Longspur - several small groups, total of maybe 60 birds 
   Savanah Sparrows - several 
  Kingfisher - across from parking lot by very small stream - was one there last year too
   Another LH Shrike and another Mockingbird
   Wilson's Snipe - one in a fluddle top of high open ridge middle of field of soybean stubble, also heard Winnowing flight of one that flew up from small cattail pond.
   Woodcock?  Swore I heard one Peenting at 10:15 a.m. Couldn't find it or anything else - Starling, Mimid or anything else that could have been imitating it??  Pretty sure wasn't a frog/toad either. 
   
   
  Did not find any Henslow's Sparrows up there yet. 
   
  Later, Steve Kinder 
  Chillicothe, Livingston Co.
   [log in to unmask]
   

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