Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Songbird Festival - Day 2

It was my turn to lead the "Endangered Ones Tour" this morning, and the pressure was on!  We headed for the Russel tract first.  I wanted to find the black-capped vireo first, since it can be the hardest to see.  I decided to lead the group right down the middle of the road since I knew a male had a territory that straddled both sides of the road.  Within five minutes, I found a singing male, and unbelievably, he hopped into plain view numerous times so everyone got excellent views of him, and many folks even got pictures!  What a treat for them!  That sure put everyone in a very good mood.

We didn't have such an easy time finding the golden-cheeked warbler, but eventually we coaxed a singing male into view.  The views of that bird lasted about ten minutes!  What a relief that was for me.  A totally successful tour with 90 minutes left to spare!  We actually returned to headquarters a little early, and everyone had smiles on their faces.  :)

I went back to the rig to grab a little lunch before returning.  This afternoon was the free family day at the refuge.

There were all kinds of things for kids to do, like building a birdhouse...

make a wind chime...

or become a junior fire fighter!  Those were just a few of the many things for youngsters to do today.

This is Karen Kilfeather, the professional photographer that I've mentioned before.  She was displaying some of her outstanding wildlife photos.  If I had a sticks 'n bricks, I'd sure want some of her photos hanging on my walls.

A couple of times throughout the afternoon, there was the Last Chance Forever Raptor Show.

Last Chance Forever is a non-profit organization that takes in injured raptors.  The first bird in the program was a Harris' Hawk.  This bird was able to fly, so the speaker sent him on his way...

flying to his partner.

The bird flew right over the heads of the crowd.  That lady in the tan shirt in the middle of the crowd is Deborah Holle, the refuge manager.

Then the hawk flew back to the speaker's hand.  It was quite a show.

Afterwards, they brought the barn owl up to the registration area so the folks manning the booths had a chance to at least see one of the raptors.

Just before 4:00, I headed back to the rig to check on the pork roast I had simmering in the crock pot.  I put it in the pot this morning before I left to lead the tour, and slow cooked it all day.  I had invited fellow volunteers, John and Lynne, to dinner tonight.  They will be pulling out at dawn tomorrow and I wanted to thank them for helping me with my radiator hose problems and for sewing the new seats on my camp stools.  I served pulled pork with Russel's BBQ sauce (from Chicago) on fresh buns with potato salad, noodle salad, and creamed cucumbers.  We were able to eat outside at the picnic table, and it was very tasty, if I do say so myself.  :)  They have been a great couple to volunteer with, and are very talented.

Well, I've got one more Endangered Ones Tour tomorrow morning, and then I'm going to collapse for a few days while I start packing up to hit the road myself.  The festival is always a very busy three days for the staff and volunteers here, but lots of fun as well.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy


  1. I'm glad you came across the birds on your tour that made everyone happy. It seems it worked out very well. I should sign up for a similar tour one of these days.

  2. Looks like a great tour of duty is coming to an end, I have wondered since you do so much birding how Emma gets on with her avaian friends, She's a Lab isn't she. Our Lab Rigg's is still quite the puppy at 90 lbs and likes a good bird chase or squirrel chase. So far luckily he hasn't quite got close enough to cath one. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. Aren't the lazuli buntings a beautiful bird? We have a group of the buntings that summer with us every year, I just love them.

  4. I've tried out a couple of crock pot recipes in the last few months. I cook from scratch most all of the time, but have never used the crock pot for anything other than corned beef. One of the things I made was ribs, Craig liked them. The other was a lasagna that I liked, but he didn't.

    I can see how it will be useful, and intend on trying out some other things in it.