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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marsh hawk/Harrier

Despite the gloomy rainy weather, I was able to watch a beautiful marsh hawk, one of my favorite birds, in the bottoms on 196th street and Pilgrim Road. I always enjoy watching them and have often seen a male and female skimming the slight undulations of the hills. They use the winds to hover and remain in one area until their antics scare up some prey. Today it was a lone female.They are easy to keep in your binoculars as they remain in the same area. Plow down sillion
The slight snow the other day reminded me that the snow brings an opportunity to be able to track animals whose presence would otherwise go undetected. Especially when the streams are frozen or partially frozen, mink and foxes will often use the ice as a path of least resistance to travel their regular routes. When the ice remains for a length of time, the path of their wanderings can be seen, several paths looking like a graph. It is interesting to see over time and sometimes you can find the scene of a kill marked by blood or feathers that would be invisible in another season.
It has been since march that I have seen any evidence of mink, on of the least observed mammals.When the snow remains, I will once again see their bounding tracks. It will be a most welcome sight.
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