I had a hard time getting away from the motel this morning because the older night clerk wanted to talk, and then I had to rush to arrive at the starting spot on time - 5 :10 a.m. As the sky brightened I could see some showers off to the west. What is the earliest in the day that you've seen a rainbow? There was a short one at 6:11 a.m.., 2 partials at 6:21, and almost a full one at 6:43. There was a brief shower that caused me to sit in the car for about 5 minutes until it passed. The first real warmth didn't hit until 8:35.
This route has never been run before so I have nothing to compare this year's count with. Did encounter one problem because the route after the first mile had me going down a muddy farm lane - even the DeLorme map showed a road there but the line is narrower than normal and I guess the technician with the USGS in Patuxent obviously didn't notice the difference. I had to detour a mile around and pick up the route a mile south. While on the detour, a small deer and I paralleled each other for almost a half mile at 28 MPH. It wouldn't slow and finally crossed over in front of me. The entire route today was gravel except for 1 mile and mostly traversed highly agricultural land. Talked with a farmer who said they had about 11 inches of rain in last 2 weeks; there are lots of ponds in farm fields with the corn/soybeans about 2 inches tall. The road graders are out in force and do a very nice job getting the roads back into shape.
Encountered the first pelicans of the trip and at stop 38 had a flotilla of 44. It was nice to see a Great Egret in a pond ringed with Yellow-headed Blackbirds. A Broad-winged Hawk flyover was a surprise. Counted about half the number of pheasants as yesterday morning. With little wooded habitat except around almost each farmstead where they are strategically placed to serve as windbreaks, did manage to find 3 woodpecker species at one stop. Species count for the day was 56, which is very similar to yesterday's count.