Correction:  It was a White-throated Sparrow that was so close, not white crowned.

Also, another aspect of being camouflaged in the timber I forgot to mention. Squirrels!!  They are so curious to investigate what they can't see but know isn't right.  They come in right above your head and bark.  One even perched directly above me and defecated pellets on me on at a time!!

From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Miller, Terry
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 7:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Smithville lake area

Yesterday  I took a personal day and went turkey hunting.  It was a very needed day out in the woods but no turkey for the dinner table....  I had a big tom about 55 yards away but didn't come in the rest of the way.  At one set up at the point on a finger of trees I had a half dozen or more Bobolink's singing their hearts out directly above my head...way cool!!  A little while later a Northern Harrier flew over and I glassed her she looked at my decoy and then swooped down further on at the crest of the hill and a gobbler reacted l that I didn't realize was there!

Being concealed (total camouflage) for long hours in the timber is a different type of birding that gives so many close encounters.  Here are a few other species I saw during the day:

Sharp-shinned hawk
Barred Owl
N. Oriole
Orchard Oriole
E. Towhee
Brown Thrasher
White-crowned Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Yellow throated Vireo
N. Parula
Blue-winged Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Swainson's Thrush
American Crow attacking Red-tailed Hawk in flight
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue Grosbeak
and several others....

It was a great day to be out and away from all the craziness of life and the world today!

It was also a good preparation to anticipate our 6th Annual Vertebrate Pentathlon this Saturday.  It ought to be a unique day with students as cold temperatures and rain are forecasted.  Birds might be awesome but the reptiles will be basically non-existent.  All in all though, Mike Niles and I always get pumped up for this day and it will be a great day full of surprises and great memories.....

Enjoy the fall-out if you are in the zone...

Terry L. Miller
Kearney High School
Ecology/College Zoology/Genetics/Botany/Astronomy Teacher
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