Deb Laramie and I took an impromtu afternoon stroll along the west trail at Brilyea WMA, (impromptu means we were not properly equipped for birding), which produced: turtles sunning on every log in the north pool just beyond the gate, one was even balanced on top of another; snapper track in the mud, south side of the roadway; perch flipping out of the water way to the south; four Great Blue Herons stalking (perch looked too big even for them). Further along to the west we found a mixed flock of swallows hawking over the next open water; a congregation of wading birds we could't ID (where are the experts when you need them?) resting around the two grassy islets; Kingbirds; lots of Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed; bumblebees of all sizes. Two young farmers on a four-wheeler stopped and asked if we had seen any other riders, they were looking for the vandals who had been crushing their cornfield! Back at the turtle pond we found every cluster
of brown Wild Parsnip stalks festooned with Yellow & Black Argiope webs - one beauty had just caught a large dragonfly, the rest had snared grasshoppers & bees. We only saw one mosquito, which is now deceased. Icing on the cake was an immature Sandhill Crane parading at the far water's edge just before we reached Rt 17. An excellent afternoon indeed. Shelagh Smith in Leicester.