Since I’ll be heading out of here in a week, I’ve been slowly starting the process of packing up. Over the weekend I collapsed my ‘suitcase’ picnic table and stored it away. That also meant taking apart my outdoor gas grill which ended up in the dumpster. It was an el-cheapo, and had rusted apart after two years. I’m not sure I’ll replace it. Maybe I’d be more inclined to grill out if I had one of those popular Weber-Q things.
Female boat-tailed grackle. Thought I’d include some photos of common birds tonight.
Then the other day, I packed away the small electric heater that I use in winter. It’s been close to 80* lately with lows in the 60’s. I should have known better. It never fails. Pack the heater away, and today a wintry like cold front blows in.
Male boat-tailed grackle making its squeaky door hinge call.
It was hot and muggy this morning as close to 90 fifth grade students came to partake in our Bridges to Birding programs. I was sweating bullets as I ran the stuffed bird banding station. These education days are never dull, and today the table I was using had the one leg rust out and collapse the table in the middle of a session. Bands, record sheets, measuring devices, and stuffed birds went flying everywhere! I asked which young man in my group was strongest, and had several volunteers to haul over a cement block to brace up the rotted side. Just can’t wait to see what’s going to happen over the next three mornings as the rest of the fifth graders from this school district come to visit our six stations…
Female red-winged blackbird. The identification of this bird stumps many beginning birders.
We were all surprised that this group didn’t cancel today as the forecast was for severe thunderstorms. I’m glad they didn’t cave in to the weather guessers, but almost as soon as they were done the front was upon us.
Male red-winged blackbird.
I made it back to the rig just in the knick of time to get Emma into her Thunder Shirt before the fireworks started. No lightening, but lots of thunder and torrential downpours. Along with that came a quick plummet in the temperatures. I’d like to hope this might cause a spectacular fall out of migrant birds tomorrow, but we’ll see. It’s supposed to get down into the upper 30’s tonight, so it looks like I’ll be wearing a coat for tomorrow’s classes. What a change from today. Guess I jumped the gun by packing up the heater.
Double-crested cormorant. These birds aren’t very common here, and the picture is fuzzy, but it shows the difference between this bird and the more common (here) neotropic cormorant. Notice the orange lores and lower mandible.
Before I headed back to the rig, I took a quick drive around Shoveler Pond. That’s where I found both species of Cormorant.
Neotropic cormorant. See the lack of orange and the white ‘V’ around its beak?
Now I’ve got a question for you fishermen. I thought what this bird caught for lunch was an ordinary bullhead.
But it seems to have a second tail or an extra long stinger type thing. See it hanging down on the right?
I’ve never seen a fish like this. What do you think? (I also thought Sherry might like this picture of the cormorants eye.)
Well, I’ve got to get busy and pack a lunch for tomorrow and its continuing onslaught of fifth graders.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy