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Monday, November 22, 2010

Sept 20, 2010 11:00-1:30 Sunny, wind from the North East, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Newport RI

Wings traversed the sky. The raptor migration was in full swing at Sachuest Point. Sharp-Shinned and Coopers Hawks were constantly soaring overhead along with a couple of American Kestrels. They flew over in twos and threes; eyes scanning the bushes for a tasty passerine. I have never seen so many raptors on the same day probably because we have never had much success with raptor migrations.

Graceful and vibrant Monarch Butterflies covered the bushes they too were making a journey to warmer parts to spend the winter months. A few Tree Swallows darted over us also migrating.

A Yellow Warbler suddenly appeared in the bushes,big black eyes watching our every move. Its plumage was dull green, very different from their yellow feathers in Spring. This was very likely the last Yellow Warbler we would see this year!

Double-Crested Cormorants, Herring Gulls, Ring-Billed Gulls and Great Black-Backed Gulls littered rocks. The water was spotted with big white blotches on closer inspection we found that they were Common Eiders.

Goldfinches fluttered overhead and a Red-Tailed Hawk soared in the distance. A Northern Mockingbird sang happily from a bush, two Laughing Gulls flapped lazily by. Suddenly a snake darted out from the bushes and slithered across the path solving the question people have asked for centuries "why did the snake cross the path when there were people coming" the answer being "to get to the other side" " ha ha ha ha ha". The snake was a dull red in color and about twenty inches long it was very unusual snake.

A Mourning Dove zipped through the air above us its wings whistling as he flew past. A few minutes later a Great Egret flew past. Three White-Tailed Deer watched us suspiciously from the meadow by the parking lot as we passed by to hop into our car.

After a few minutes of pleading we managed to get our mother to take a stop at the Sachuest Salt marsh here we found: 8 American Crows, 2 Coopers Hawks, 4 Snowy Egrets, 1 Semipalmated Plover, Sanderlings, 1 Turkey Vulture, 1 Great-Blue Heron and 1 Northern Harrier. All in all it was a good day!

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