Photographic post: Northern Harrier, funky Towhee, and the life under wood debris

A Northern Harrier was observed several times today circling around fields and even residential areas. It finally landed in grassy patch in front of me. I do not think it made any successful catch though. It's a very beautiful bird with the unique-looking face.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
This is either a female or a juvenile since they are both brown. But juveniles are rusty beneath, which I still can't tell from these pictures.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
It sort of looks like a lion's face on a hawk's body, almost the opposite of an Egyptian Sphinx.

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Caught no meal, it took off after a few minutes.

Let's play a game. Guess who is(are) not the same as others.

While looking around, I saw this bird raised its tail feather high above its head. It then turned around and mooned me!

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
Turns out to be a Spotted Towhee with a funky hairstyle.

Life Under Wood Debris
I gently flipped over a fallen tree branch, and this was what I saw. Took a few pictures, then I put it back carefully. Life is still abundant in the dark and moist underground. Anyone know what kind of centipede and snail they are?


Wanderin' Weeta said...

It looks like your snail has a lighter band at the lip; that would probably make it a grove snail, Cepaea nemoralis.

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post on the problems of identifying local snails; And would you call it a swarm of snails?. It might be helpful.

PSYL said...

Thank you very much for your comment, Wanderin' Weeta. Your post and the links are very helpful. I will definitely remember that when I find snails again.

And yes, it does look like a Grove Snail given their huge variation in shell coloration and pattern.


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