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I was surprised to flush an American Woodcock this morning while poking around in a swampy area at the privately owned wetland NW of town. It is the area I have called the Thompson River Wetland, though the sign at the entrance now says Ellis Duck Ranch. There is an unmaintained, and currently unmowed, county road that runs along the west side of the main pool. The AMWO flew up from an area of thick Willows, Buttonbush, sedges, and such. Not the habitat I would expect to find one! Maybe it was cooler in there? had a variety of other birds in there including Prothonotary Warbler, Warbling Vireo, House Wren, Yellow-billed Cuckoo,Orchard Oriole, and a probable Willow Flycatcher that was not vocalizing. There was also a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, which I never expect but sometimes find in that habitat. Had a possible Night Heron fly out at another place, but disappeared into the jungle before I could get a good look at it. In the more open water I saw 27 GB Herons, 1 Great Egret, and 1 Green Heron. Some mudflats have developed, but only had Killdeer with couple of young ones. Have to keep an eye on it for other shorebirds returning.

Later, Steve Kinder
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