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Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 2, 2010 1-3pm Sunny, partly cloud 80` very humid Fisherville Audubon, Exeter RI

I have been birding for four years or so now and have not once seen an Ovenbird. This common warbler has eluded me and my family which is odd for most birders report this species as a "common woodland species". But today this would change. The Fisherville Audubon had it's usual variety of avian noises echoing through the trees. Fisherville is a small Audubon located in the heart of the Rhode Island. The Audubon has an intimate pond, a waterfall, thick woods and a meadow with a tiny graveyard in the center. My brother and I were ahead of most of our family (thank god for that) for as we turned the bend I instantly noticed the distinct rattling noise that leaves make when a bird or mammal treads on them and like always I look for the culprit - it was not hard to find. There it was, the bird I had been hunting for all these years, the Ovenbird! Oh how elegant he was with that striking rufous crown, beautifully streaked breast and a dark brown back - what a pretty little creature. The Ovenbird was 12 or so feet from where I was standing. He was foraging through the leaf litter (with a Black-Capped Chickadee) hoping for a tasty bug to snack on. There were many species of birds and other fauna spread out through the walk including a Beautiful Eastern Bluebird perched on a nest box presumably owned by two of the many Tree Swallows nesting there. Another cool sighting happened just a few minutes after the Bluebird. This time though, it was something completely different: in this case a Snake. "Snake! Snake!" my brother called. We ran to the spot. There it was a 4 ft long black snake with a pale yellow hued throat. It shot off a few feet into the deeper bushes then it reared up and rattled its tail. It stared at us as we stared back. I have now idea what kind of snake it was - a Rat Snake is my best guess. At least I got a few out of focus photos to remember it by.

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