Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, December 27, 2010

Two old ‘coots’ go a birding

Dorothy and Bob have been volunteering here on the refuge since I left on my cruise at the beginning of November, but Dorothy has spent her entire time working in the VIS.  She has heard me talk about what I see when I do my bird surveys on Wednesdays, and wished she could see some of the more remote areas of the refuge.  Since we both have Mondays off, I asked if she would like to take a ride with me back into the East Unit. 
I told her to bring her camera and have it ready for some great opportunities.  I think I’ve gotten some pretty good pictures while I’m doing the surveys.  Ha!  Pride goeth before a fall, they say.  We headed out this morning as soon as the frost melted off the windshield, and headed for stop number one that always has hundreds of waterfowl on the flooded moist soil unit.  Guess what?  There was not even one duck on the water.  Dang those birds for having wings!  :)
_MG_7873As I looked in the ditch beside the vehicle, I saw this male mallard.  That was the only duck we saw at this stop.  :(

We then headed to one of my favorite spots on the refuge.  I think it’s called rail marsh, but we certainly weren’t going to see any rails today as the wind was really blowing and the entire marsh was engulfed in smoke.  I later found out it was from a fire in Louisiana.  How disappointing.
_MG_7879About all we could make out were these American coots.  We felt right at home.  :)  On a side note, could anyone tell me how to ensure that when you click on one of these pictures that it actually enlarges?  Each time I try clicking on a picture in one of my posts, I get the same sized picture, just in a separate frame.  This would be a good pic to click on to get a larger version to fully appreciate  how these coots seem to run across the water.

I asked Dorothy if she was game to help me search out the other route I had been told about to reach those 3 survey spots that I haven’t been able to get to for the last two weeks.  She was all for it, so we went to try to find the road.  All I was told was to take the third gate west of the East Unit main entrance.  We scoped out both the third gate and the fourth gate, and neither of them were in a condition that I felt comfortable driving down.  We could both imagine getting stuck in them with no way to turn around.  So much for that idea!

Later in the afternoon, Emma and I drove to the VIS to see if I could get a picture of one of the two bobcats that seem to be in that area.
_MG_7898 _MG_7894
We took a quick trip around Shoveler Pond while waiting for the construction workers to leave the VIS area, but didn’t see much.  There was a pair of blue-winged teal floating by, and one rather sickly snow goose.  My guess is that this goose was probably injured during the hunt yesterday and is just hunkering down trying to recuperate.  Good luck to you, old goose.

Overcast skies rolled in, and there was just too much commotion around the VIS, so we headed back to the rig without seeing any bobcats.  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll go look for periwinkle snails.  At least they can’t fly away.  :)

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


  1. you are going to have to ask our 'go to guy'!! he will help!!
    great shots today once again!

  2. I love American Coots! I am always so drawn to their feet..it just always amazes me that they are divers with feet like that!

  3. Hope that poor Goose makes it. I will reserve my opinion about those who pursue animals with the deliberate intention of harm!!

  4. Judy, I'll put an explanation of picture sizing using Live Writer in tomorrow's blog, o.k.

  5. I hope the snow goose recovers. What a shame.

  6. In answer to your inquiry, You guessed right, Tovar's is family slang for Left-Overs. That's all it was ever called around the Weibel house growing up.The train movies I refer to in my posts, are usually either video's I have shot myself on my rail photography journeys where I setup a video camera and still camera. or Video's shot by my many friends all over the country and in Canada, we swap DVD's now when we get a new. one. I occasionally buy a commercial DVD when I am at a train museum, but they are really not as good as being out there and capturing the real sound and not having narration, I just don't like having someone telling me over & over what I am seeing with my own eyes.Just like on TV when the President gives a talk, and then for an hour afterward some dummy is telling you what you just heard.Is that a sign of getting old. Look's like the birds are co-operating with you and you are getting your normally great picture's, I'd love to see what you would get if you stumbled onto a train. Just kidding. be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  7. Isn't that just the way it always happens? If you had been alone, there would have been thousands of birds around. Great pictures.

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