I did some early morning birding in some old fields near Buckhorn. As I walked among the hawthorn trees and juniper thickets, I flushed three Field Sparrows and one Song Sparrow off of nests. There were at least eight Clay-colored Sparrows singing. I also flushed a pair of Common Nighthawks who seemed very distressed - I quickly moved on.
Late in the morning, I briefly strayed into the forest edge, at the edge of a large pond.
Mother bear watches me closely
I soon saw half a dozen large piles of bear scat, deposited recently in a patch of violets. It looked very fresh. A rustling sound about 30 metres away revealed the very close proximity of a mother and two cubs. The cubs quickly climbed a tree while their mother stood at the base with her gaze fixed on me. I took a quick photo and headed off in the opposite direction. In retrospect, I think it was fortunate that I paused to consider the droppings. Had I not, I might have had a much closer and more consequential encounter with the mother bear.