Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bird survey time

Three of us hopped into the refuge Suburban vehicle this morning and headed out to do the weekly bird survey.  We travel to designated stops in the East Unit of the refuge to record bird usage of specified areas.  With over 100,000 waterfowl on the refuge at the present time, we saw lots of birds.  We saw the most birds on those sections that had been flooded for waterfowl use.  On the areas that had not yet been flooded, we didn’t see much of anything.

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On one of the units that hadn’t been flooded yet, this young Northern harrier gave us quite a display as it floated just above the vegetation looking for lunch.  At the flooded areas we counted literally thousands of ducks and geese.  Because the marsh areas are vast, it doesn’t make for a very interesting picture, but the multitude of ducks and geese sure filled the view through our binoculars!

53 Anahuac NWR 20101Along the way, we took a short detour along one of the levies to check out this tractor whose motor was pumping water from one of the bayous, over the levee, and into one of the moist soil units.  Colin and Travis kept their eyes glued to their binoculars in case anything interesting flew into the marsh.

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We survey 7 different units, so half way through, we stopped back at the hunter check station for a bathroom break.  We found these tree frogs clinging to the vertical wall of the check station just under the small eave.  They were all lined up like little soldiers in the shade.  I don’t know if they were sleeping or just waiting for their next meal to fly by.  :)

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At our last stop, we found this skull lying on top of the levee.  It had obviously been there for quite some time.  I don’t know what creature this was when it was alive…perhaps a muskrat or otter?  Any ideas out there?


We spent close to five hours doing the survey, and enjoying the outdoors.  It was hot and humid, but the brisk wind help keep most of the mosquitoes away.  I think I only got bitten about six times today.  :)


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


  1. It is so good to see you and Emma back home.
    I bet she was just a'wagging all over when she saw you.
    I have missed your birdy pictures.
    Happy Tails, Tales, and Trails, Penny, TX

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Judy. Are you cooking a 'big bird' in the oven for dinner?

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Judy and Emma!..nice frogs..having frog's legs for dinner??

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoying the bird photos now that you are back "home".

  5. I kinda like that Alligator Bird on your header picture:))

  6. You sound like your old self again, and I hope you are enjoying being back at "work". Welcome back.

  7. Ha ha, too funny, when I saw the title, I thought you had created a poll, bird survey, on how we cook the bird on Turkey Day! :)

    Those froggies are so cute, and quite chubby!

    Have fun tomorrow with your group of friends for the turkey +!

  8. Happy Thanksgiving, Judy & Emma, Hope you have a great holiday. Be Safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  9. Happy Turkey Day Judy and Emma...I'm so glad we got to know you two...Make sure Emma gets some turkey, but watch out for those turkey dog farts! They can be lethal!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Emma!! Hope your day is a great one.
    What unique frogs!

  11. I loved the clouds, but the Alligator is neat. He looks like he is smiling!

    Does Emma bark at them if she sees one?

  12. The teeth do not look to be those of a carnivore, but I can't see it well. Glad you are home and enjoying the outdoors again. MN has ice all over everything and a bit of snow. Wish you were here? Marianne heads back to TX tomorrow to try to teach somethign to her little first graders.

  13. "this young Northern harrier gave us quite a display as it floated just above the vegetation looking for lunch."

    I can not tell for sure but it looks to me like your picture on the right shows that the Northern Harrier has a rabbit. I think he did better than just looking for lunch!