This morning, Papa woke me up to go hunting. It was 5:00 AM! I got dressed quickly. Then we got in the truck and drove towards Sawmill Gulch, Rattlesnake. We had packed yesterday, so it was really easy to get out of the house. Yesterday, while I was packing my bag, I included my nature journaling supplies. When we took a break, I made an event map of the things I had seen so far. As I saw more things, I added to the event map.
It was very cold and the field was misty. The main trail divided the field from the forest. The field was on our left while the forest was on our right. Every now and then we would stop and listen to the hooting of a Great-horned Owl. It sounded like it was on the mountain opposite to us. Papa and I walked on the main trail for a few minutes, until a smaller trail split away, and we followed that.
As the sun began to rise, the birds started to make noise. At first they were soft and quiet but as the air got warmer, loud chirps and whistles were all around us. Using the Merlin Bird ID app, (sound id) we identified the Spotted Towhee, Dark- eyed Junco, and the Orange-crowned Warbler. Later we saw Gray Jays and a White-crowned Sparrow.
On the way back, I found a log with long claw marks on it. Papa said they are from a black bear. They looked old. I noticed that the claw marks were deep and the bark was sort of peeled away. They were on a log that was holding up the trail. The way down was steep, so it was hard to go down the mountain without running and doing it quietly! I found two turkey feathers, one had a broken shaft, the shaft is the middle part of the feather.
We didn’t see any deer, so it was funny that the hunting trip ended up turning into a birding trip!