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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Labor Days begin

Raindrops were falling on the rig a good share of last night and this morning.  I was up early because I had a bird tour to lead at 8:30.  I really didn’t expect anyone to show up for it given the weather, but I was sure wrong.  Noah, a 13 year old young man, had been to the bird festival in Detroit Lakes last month and had volunteered through one of the staff to help me with the bird tour today.  I agreed to let him come along, but wasn’t sure how much help a 13 year old was going to be.  He lives in Fargo, so his dad drove him, and one of his younger brothers came along.

Two other people joined the tour (an hour late), but despite the conditions, things turned out better than I had expected.  We observed a ruffed grouse setting on eggs, and found a pair of cedar waxwings building their nest.  As for Noah, that young lad is a die hard birder in the making.  He’s quick to spot things and is quite knowledgeable about bird songs.  I was impressed.  For one so young, he is years ahead of most bird enthusiasts.  I hope his enthusiasm continues and isn’t dampened by peer pressure.

Remember the eagle’s nest with the young one that I helped all the school groups observe in the last ten days?Well, before the late folks arrived, I took Noah, and company, out to observe it.  Only problem was the nest was gone!  Apparently the high winds and storms of Thursday night knocked down the nest.  That pair of eagles has been using that nest for at least the last seven years.  Now it’s gone.  How sad is that?   I have no idea if the young went down with the nest in the storm or somehow survived.  We did see one adult soaring around, but nothing else. 

After the tour, I took a break to return the refuge van and have lunch before I worked the visitors center this afternoon.  On the short drive back to the rig I had to stop.

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With all this rain, the gravel roadsides have softened, and are ideal for easily digging turtle nests.  This big old snapper was hard at work.

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Maybe I’m crazy, but the look on this turtle’s face sure looks like the grimace of giving birth to me.  Don't tell anyone smile  The turtle labor days have begun.

When the rain and wind stops, I’ve got what I think is a very interesting assignment to do.  I’ll let you know what it is and how it goes the next time I see calm sunny skies.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

19 comments:

  1. That's so sad about the eagles' nest, I hope the young survived. I guess it's their own brand of Hurricane Katrina. Maybe they will rebuild in the same spot next year, it will be interesting to see where they build if you are there. :)

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  2. Hearing about young Noah gives me hope for the future.

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  3. I love it when young folks are interested in nature. Someone has to replace us old geezers!

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  4. So sad about the eagle's nest ... sure hope the eaglets survived.

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  5. Do eagles rebuild their nests in the same place?

    I know that look on that turtle's face. I made the same face twice in my life...but not for days.

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  6. Noah sounds like an impressive young man and i'll bet he will continue with his birding.

    I sure hope the baby eagles survived. How sad.

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  7. I'm with you, I hope that Noah can withstand the peer pressure which IMO is the worst thing about our institutional education system. (speaking as a former educator). So sad about the eagles. I know you'll keep us posted on whatever you find. I'm hoping for the best for those little ones. That must have been some big wind storm you had to knock out a nest that has been there for 7 years. I am really happy to hear that you have yet another assignment that you like. No wonder you keep volunteering for the refuges.

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  8. The young birder has a great teacher. So nice that he has developed a passion at his young age.

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  9. Noah is mighty lucky to be hanging out with you! It is so refreshing to hear stories about youngsters who are into nature and not X-Box! Maybe there is hope?!?! What a thrilling experience to see the mama turtle laying eggs...I was privy to watch that myself a few years ago! I as so sorry to hear about the eagles nest.

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  10. Noah has the brain for birding, the father for it(driver and enabler), the bravery for it(he requested to HELP you in the tour), and the resources(learning their songs from a source). With all these advantages, he has a head start on most anyone else!
    Thanks for making his day, and encouraging him.

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  11. Catching up on lots of interesting posts. My birding mentor, Mr. Science, started at about 13 birding and has stuck with it ever since. I hope Noah will do the same. We need more young people interested in the natural world....

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  12. Very impressive about Noah...so young to be that in tune with birding. I think it is great!

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  13. Wish we had been into birding when we were younger.

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  14. yaaa for birding. . .and for great mentors! Keep up the awesome work!

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  15. Great 13 year old! It is refreshing to read about a young one being interested in things of nature rather than being on their smart phone or playing computer games.

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  16. How nice of you to take the youngsters with you. Never know what a difference you make.

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  17. Great post, Judy. I sure hope that eagle family made it! Keep us posted.

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  18. or perhaps the turtle was grimacing at you...it was a private moment and you had to take pictures! LOL

    I hope the eagles can recover from the destruction. if the chicks perished there may still be time for another clutch

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