September coming to an end…

Well, nothing amazing in the (local) bird world today, but it was a nice afternoon out.  I saw a moderate sized flock (36) of American White Pelicans circling overhead.  I saw a flock of 80 of them a few days ago in the same place.  A nice bright male Summer Tanager turned up and then a nice bright male Cardinal decided to play the “anything you can do” game, and raised his crest to be as big and red as possible!  On the way home I (sadly) encountered a dead snake.  I know they’re not everyone’s favourite cup of tea, but I love reptiles (even the deadly ones) and I’m pretty confident that this was a Water Moccasin (AKA Cottonmouth).  I spent a long time online ID-ing it and reading up about snakes and learned that “pit-vipers” are so called because they have “pits” (holes) in the side of their heads to enable them to see in infra-red in the dark!  Snakes with night-vision goggles! who knew!  I always thought they were called “pit” vipers because they lived in pits (like tree-frog, grass-snake or mud-crab).  I just love Google!

What else?  Well, last month I really struggled to see many bird species.  I got to 50 in the end – just.  This month, I’ve encountered 82 species, so there’s been a definite increase in activity recently.  I don’t suppose I’ll find anything new tomorrow (what with September only having 30 days in it) so here’s hoping that everyone’s October will be bursting with avian goodies! 

Anyway, here are two nice bright, red, shiny birdies…


Male Summer Tanager



Male Cardinal



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