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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Had to change plans mid stream

I headed out this morning to do the weekly waterbird surveys.  For a change, the skies were bright and sunny, and the very high winds of yesterday had abated.  I picked up Lynn at the volunteer village, and we got started on the surveys.  It turns out that of the seven sites I survey, I have to look directly east at four of the sites.

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                                                                       White-tailed Kite

Normally this isn’t a problem, but couple a sunny day with day-light savings time, and that means I was staring directly into the sun with the scope.  The result is that all the birds look black, and it’s a challenge to identify them.  Since, as volunteers, this was the only thing on our schedules for the day, we decided to change plans.

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We surveyed the three sites where we didn’t have to look to the east, and then slowly made our way down to Frozen Point on Galveston Bay to take a leisurely lunch.  Because of the beautiful weather, we were able to literally dine on the tail gate of the truck and watch the bird life go by.  I’ve got to tell you that this volunteering stuff is tough all right.  Eye rolling smile

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We had nice bunches of black-necked stilts in several of the sites today.  I just get a real kick out of seeing these ‘tuxedo’ birds.  They have such long pinkish legs.  Many of them will soon be nesting here on the refuge.

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                                                    A lone female Canvasback on Shoveler Pond

After that lunch, the sun had gone past midway so we could get back and do two of the east facing sites.  There were two more on the agenda, but alas, we were stymied again.  The guys were doing water salinity testing in the Alice Jackson White area, so we had to wait.  It’s a one lane gravel road through this back area of the refuge, and you really don’t want to meet another vehicle going the opposite direction on it.  If you try to pull over you’ll end up stuck in the wet marsh.

IMG_6229                                                                              Laughing Gull

So Lynn and I headed down to the boat launch area on the bay to kill about 45 minutes.  We looked for periwinkle snails along the bay’s shore, but it’s probably too early in the year for them to be out and about.  Like I said, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.  Eventually we finished the surveys, and another great day on the refuge was done.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll go in to headquarters and ask Stephanie about getting the grass mowed here at the Winnie site.  It really is getting too long.  Emma may be a wild child, but she is rather picky about where she does her business, and long grass just isn’t to her liking.  It also gives me a pain in the neck to try to wade through that stuff looking for her deposits.  It isn’t pretty trying to get those bombs picked up that are so entangled!  Smile with tongue out

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

22 comments:

  1. I wouldn't want to put my butt down on that grass either. You really do have some tough days don't you. But when I think about duck gizzards or livers or whatever it was you have to pull out and some of the other stuff you do, it's not always such a great picnic. And then there's the mosquitoes.

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  2. Love your kite pictures. I'm not sure I've ever seen one. What a treat! Seems to me like I'm always staring up at the silhouette of the bird and can never see the color clearly. Of course I'm not using a scope but I do sympathize with the problem.

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  3. Sounds like you have Plan B to put right into action when Plan A isn't feasible. Love the kite photos!

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  4. The black necked stilts are so very beautiful, and I also like the tuxedo color pattern, since my Power and Chica are both tuxedos!

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  5. One of the best things about volunteering is the ability to change plans as needed ...and it all still gets done. I so agree about that tall grass!

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  6. I'm glad you were picked to do those 'tough' jobs!!!

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  7. Good adaptation for having to face east in the morning. You always amaze me with your perfect sense of timing!

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  8. I KNOW, long grass is the pitts when looking for poops!!!!

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  9. Checked on DISH receiver; they added a $60 price tag. When I saw it before, there was no price on it. You can buy a new one for not too much more, so I didn't pursue it. Sorry, but thought "free" was a good deal.

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  10. Wondering how long you are going to be there. We will probably be back in that area within the next few months.

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  11. You could always pretend you were hunting for Easter Eggs!

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  12. What a beautiful few days we have had. I am really enjoying looking at the bird photos and learning the names of each one. Thanks.

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  13. Some days are diamonds for sure! That was a really nice lunch view! I love the photo of the stilts!

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  14. My favourite pic today was the Laughing Gull - never knew there was such a bird. Nice to see the sun shining brightly there.

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  15. Lunch on the tailgate in the sunshine--doesn't get much better than that!

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  16. There is nothing like tailgating with beautiful water fowl around you...That, my friend, is Heaven.

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  17. Those stilts are so cool. Love the birds. Right now, there is nary a bird here in this part of the desert. Maybe next week when we move. We had hummers last year.

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  18. Great bird shots! It got close to 50 here today, again tomorrow, then back to winter weather as usual. Birds are on the move around here, nice to see and hear things coming to life again.

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  19. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it:)

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  20. Great bird photos. The things we do for our fur kids.

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  21. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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