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Thursday, August 19, 2010

June 16, 2010 4-5 pm cloudy rainy 68` Fort Wildlife Refuge North Smithfield RI

Today we were going to venture into the backwoods of RI - even so we passed quite a few houses in the last minute of our drive. The skies were against us as we unloaded the stuff from the car. It would rain on and off the whole of the walk - lucky for us that we were in the back woods and not the back meadows or we would have been drenched.

There was a surprising amount of wildlife out in the drizzle: Oven boasting songs resounded through the woodlands, while Red Squirrels chattered their defiance to the rain and Chipmunks squeaked about their plans for the weekend to one another.

Though the woodlands resounded with animal life we saw very few birds or mammals: a secretive Muskrat slid through the marsh grass (did I mention that there were quite a few small ponds and streams as well as millions of puddles located in the refuges premises?); a few chickadees hopped from branch to branch always with a smart remark on the tip of their beak for any bigger bird then themselves; a beautiful Baltimore Oriole perched high in a tree; a Prairie Warbler flitted to a bush, realized that I was watching and dived into the bushes (the Prairie Warbler was a year bird for RI!); a swallow flitted over a pond (it was most likely a Tree Swallow); a Red-winged Blackbird called in the distance and Chimney Swifts (or as Peterson would say a cigar with wings which is what I am going to try to call them from now on), masters of their trade, skimmed above on wings just a bit smaller than a pencil; a Titmouse, the gymnast of the bird world dashed through his daily chores, and a few robins hung about here and there, beady black eyes putting fear in the heart of any intelligent worm. A wet but very fun day out in the backwoods of RI!

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