EARLY MORNING BIRDING WITH DAVE BROWN STARTING FROM HIGHLAND LODGE AT 6:00 A.M. It’s raining, so we decided to drive around to some of our favorite spots instead of walking the trails at Highland Lodge. We saw a TREE SWALLOW FAMILY perched on wires as we were navigating the back roads to the Black River Bridge. At Black River, we saw and/or heard a GREAT BLUE HERON, MERGANSERS sp., KINGBIRD, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, SONG SPARROW, SNIPE, MOURNING DOVE, and RAVEN. This marshy, grassy place is very special. Maybe I should just drive up here sometimes to hang around and see what I can see. Next we went to the Mill Pond parking area on Little Hosmer. This is another special place. We didn’t see any birds out on the water, but we heard a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, RED-EYED VIREO, and GRACKLE from the car. For our final stop we went to Sterling and drove a short distance down the Fire Pond Road, which was one our traditional before-breakfast routes during Wildbranch. Here we added a CHICKADEE, WINTER WREN, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. It rained the whole time we were out, but we had fun anyhow. By 8:00 we were ready to head back to Highland Lodge for breakfast.