Alachua Audubon Society

A chapter of the National Audubon Society

Raillery, goosery, and duckery

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This is the last full weekend of The June Challenge. Next weekend you’ve got only Saturday, because Sunday is July 1st and the June Challenge will be over!

Barbara Woodmansee advises that there have been “several” Canada Geese in a temporary pond on County Road 346A off Williston Road. CR-346A is 5.75 miles south of I-75, and the pond is about half a mile from Williston Road on the left. The origin of these geese is unknown, but they haven’t been there long, so we’ll assume they’re free-flying and countable for The June Challenge.

Barbara Shea photographed two King Rails at the Watermelon Pond boat ramp on Wednesday morning, and then, driving back north on SW 250th Street (the access road to Watermelon Pond), she spotted two Northern Bobwhites crossing over. Why did the gallinaceous bird cross the street? To get on Barbara Shea’s June Challenge list!

(I’ve now posted two King Rail photos, and both have been as blurry as pictures of Bigfoot. As far as my June Challenge list is concerned, both are equally mythical.)

(Plus, what’s with the Barbaras? Barbara Woodmansee, Barbara Shea, both of them seeing good birds. It’s something cosmic, I’m certain of it. If your name is Barbara, get out there now and take advantage of it!)

On the 21st Jennifer “Barbara” Donsky wrote, “The Broad-winged Hawk came up and down quickly at around 11 a.m. a little above pine tree to the NW, north side of San Felasco Hammock near interstate as seen from parking lot. It was hanging with 3 Swallow-tailed Kites and 2 Mississippi Kites which were going back and forth over Millhopper Road.”

Speaking of kites, Eric Anderson wrote on Friday afternoon, “In the freshly hayed field on the west side of County Road 241 where Millhopper Road dead-ends was an enormous soaring congregation of around 20+ Mississippi Kites and a few Swallow-tailed Kites. The Mississippi Kites were actually landing and flying off with freshly mowed clumps of hay! Perhaps there was some sort of prey item in the hay. This was happening today June 22, 2018 at 1:30pm. The field was being mowed at the time.”

John Martin photographed a drake Blue-winged Teal off the boardwalk at La Chua on the 17th, a different individual from the one at Sweetwater. The Sweetwater bird apparently has a broken wing; Danny Rohan tried to capture it and take it to a wildlife rehab agency, but it refused to cooperate.

Chuck Littlewood shared this bird cartoon with me: https://www.gocomics.com/rubes/2018/06/21

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