Ashley and I like to hike around the property to see what's around and although we're not expecting the diversity of migrants that we had this spring, it's still nice to be around ol' familiar winter friends. eBird is showing that I've made 6 checklists (totaling 43 species) at this location since we returned in mid-October. Here's a quick run down of those:
|Greater White-fronted Goose|
|Great Horned Owl|
Not all the highlights are birds either. For example, here's a WHITE-TAILED DEER; an 8-pointer buck:
Just today we returned to Steyermark Woods Conservation Area near Hannibal. The woods were quiet, MUCH quieter than when we visited in the spring when all the singing warblers were around. Instead, we mustered up a lowly 14 species before bailing ship. You can see that checklist here.
In fact, the highlight may have been this trail sign sporting some extra flair:list (and you can click "map" to see where I'm talking about).
I was happy about the ETSPs though. You would think that we're LOADED with them here, being relatively close to St. Louis and all that. Fact is, they're way more easy-to-find on the Illinois side of the river. These ETSPs that we found in Marion County were about the 10th eBird record ever for the county (much of that is probably poor coverage though).
We were heading back to town via Hwy 168 when we looked up to see two BARN SWALLOWS flying over the road. Um... woah? We turned around and managed to find one again so that we could get a documentation pic:
So even though it was a measly BARS, it's nothing to sneeze at. Ahh, the joys of exploring.