I needed an outing after watching the Chiefs debacle this afternoon, so I drove over to the West Zell Tract at Pershing SP. I arrived shortly after 3:30 and walked down towards the south end to look at the latest dirt work NRCS has been doing on an enhanced wetland restoration project. Guess it's a good time to do it with the very dry conditions. Look forward to good things in the future! Saw another 4ft+ Blue Racer, but this one was dead as something had killed and fed on it.
   I was watching three Northern Harriers flying over the open grassy area farther down when six Short-eared Owls came up. I enjoyed watching them interact with each other and the Harriers, and also checking me out. Several times one seemed to challenge me, flying directly at me before pulling up and going over, often vocalizing as it/they went. Always fun when that happens! Then six Trumpeter Swans flew close by. I had started to walk out when I looked back and saw more birds in the air. I backtracked for a better look and counted 16 Harriers flying at one time. Most of them were in one big swarm together. There may have been more as it was getting dim and hard to see anything below the skyline. Coyotes howled briefly at 5:05. Time to go, before too dark to see the way. Was certainly more fun than the Football Game!!

Get Out There!
Steve Kinder
Chillicothe, Livingston Co.
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