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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sitting in a Tree Stand, Listening to Night Sounds (Blog 156)

With the goal of not spooking any deer, I arrived at my Roanoke County, Virginia tree stand during the state's urban archery season extra early this morning.  A heavy fog caused me to drive slowly to the property, but I still managed to arrive about an hour before sunrise.  Not long after arriving, I sat through a performance of a variety of creatures.

Just minutes after I had settled into the stand, I heard a rustling of leaves and feared that a whitetail had already shown up.  But the source was a squirrel that had decided to begin its nut cracking extra early.  Next was a barred owl which began to belt out "who cooks for you, waaaaah" for my pleasure.

I then expected to hear a great-horned owl or perhaps a screech owl to lend their voices, but that did not happen.  Instead a killdeer made its trademark sound, giving this avian the title of the second species to greet the morn.

As daybreak grew closer, more birds began to join in: pileated woodpeckers, blue jays, white-breasted nuthatches, and, of course, crows and ravens.  Later, Carolina chickadees, Carolina wrens, red-bellied woodpeckers, and downy woodpeckers announced that they too were awake.

Interestingly, I did hear a screech owl but it was not until 9:00 A.M. And I did not see but one deer all morning and that one at 9:18 and some 100 yards away.  The deer hunting was poor, but the birding, as it is most days, was interesting.

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