Clayton Tiller – Journal Entry

October 14, 2021

My second trip to Southern 8ths was a great experience, the first afternoon we set out Sherman traps in a restoration meadow near fireworks road. We set out twenty traps throughout the field and into the pond’s bank. The following mourning was a crisp forty-three degrees, and we set out to check the trap line. No small rodents wanted to check out our traps but that consider normal for the first night in a new location. Then after we checked traps we went back for breakfast and go over a couple of notes then I was back to the pond to do some observations. I decided to focus on all the birds that were around the pond and saw a total of seven species in about three hours. While sitting in the mobile observation trailer I saw an Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), Turkey vulture ( Cathartes aura), Red shoulder hawk (Buteo lineatus), Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus),  and a Great blue heron (Ardea herodias). By the time I saw these birds it was getting to be lunchtime so it was time to head back to the learning center for some lunch. During mid-afternoon, Professor Knowles and I went walking behind the learning center and saw a deer scrape that looked to be from a decent size buck. This is how bucks mark their territory from other bucks that may be coming into the area because it is the rut (breeding season). Then around five o’clock, we went to set the traps up again for Saturday night and get ready for Sunday mourning. The mourning rolled around and it was a milder temperature than the previous mourning but it still felt great. While going through the trap line, trap number 5 was a bit heavier than usual and that was because we had finally caught a small mammal. While the other traps had nothing in them we all went to see and prepare to measure the mouse we caught. It was an Eastern Harvest Mouse, these are common and found in open fields just like the meadow we were trapping in. Once we got all the measurements we needed it was time to pack up and get ready for class on Monday. This weekend was a great experience in the outdoors and can not wait to come back next weekend to see what else we trap.