Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 4/15/2011

All photos are Marshall Faintich

I wasn't sure what I would see on a late afternoon hike, but it turned out fairly well. As I approached Lake Monocan, there was a very large Flicker less than 10 feet away from me, and I saw a Kingfisher flying across the lake. Circling above the lake as it gained altitude was a Broad-winged Hawk, the second one I have seen at the lake in the past few days - hope that it is nesting nearby. Next to a couple of Canada Geese, I saw a Spotted Sandpiper fishing from the dock.

Broad-winged Hawk

Spotted Sandpiper

And then the hike got really interesting. As I turned to hike from Lake Monocan along the trail to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve, I saw a very large skunk walking along the golf course cart path, and then into the creek vegetation along the hiking trail. Seeing a skunk is not that unusual, but this one was dark brown and orange! I have seen large tan skunks here before, but never one with these colors.



The nature preserve was filled with Cardinals, and one of them posed in a dogwood tree for me.

Northern Cardinal

As I was entering my house at the end of my hike, I saw a large bird circling the next pond (Sawmill Creek pond # 4) down from me. Alice and I had seen an Osprey there the evening before, and my neighbor Frits had reported an Osprey fishing there a few days ago. So I headed over to that pond. Sure enough, there was an Osprey circling with its dinner.



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