A big doe tried to play tag with me this morning about 2 miles from the starting point. She was in the right lane and I was in the left lane, but she is still "it" as she didn't tag me. This is my last route in open country. The old name for this region according to the BBS is "North Central Forested Plain."
I chuckled this morning when I stopped at a concrete bridge with lots of Cliff Swallows swirling around and remembered an occasion of a couple of years ago. The Riveredge Bird Club group after finishing our stint in the Prairie-Chicken blinds were cruising through Buena Vista birding when we came upon a group from the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society. They were getting to do their annual spring "jump" at one of the bridges that harbors Cliff Swallows. We piled out and joined Kent, Vince, Dan, and others and did a good jump, but no swallows were forthcoming. They should come to this region for their spring "jump."
Totaled 66 species, which is about par for when the route was done in 1994-97. I did see one species that I wasn't expecting and that is the Bird of the Day. Saw it at the same stop with the day's only magpie and Blue-winged Teal. The LeCont'e Sparrow were really going at the early stops - tallied 9 and the route has both Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow and Yellow Rail but wasn't lucky this year. Did have several pairs of crane and a had a wonderful squabble among 3 godwits.
A route is always a good one when you have to work hard to add House Sparrows, starlings, and pigeons and there are no barking dogs. The Erie route is therefore a good one and only 10 cars at the 50 stops. And the huge, thick but fluffy, pancake at a no-name diner in Gargly was terrific. Back into woodland tomorrow. Almost all of the remaining routes I believe will be more forested than open so I need to start thinking warbler.