I had four people signed up for the bird tour yesterday morning, so I was prepared bright and early. With sunrise not until around 7:30 these days, it’s a bit of a challenge to take Emma for her first outs. The coyotes have figured out that we’ve moved, and I’m not too comfortable wandering around in the dark with her.
Everyone showed up for the tour, and my first stop was right in my own front yard. I had set up my scope so everyone could get a good look at the waterfowl in the pond below my patio. The two ladies on the left were from Canada, and some of you may recognize the two folks at the top.
You know I had to take the obligatory shot of fellow RVers and Bloggers, Betty and Joe Graffis. They had left their RV in Yuma way before the crack of dawn to get here for the tour. They’re a delightful couple, and Joe is known as an Ace in the horseshoe pitching world. It was an enthusiastic group I had for this tour.
Right on queue, the vermillion flycatcher made his appearance in the morning sunlight. One of the Canadian women was an avid photographer, and was thrilled with her opportunities with the birds we saw. So much so that she almost gave me a heart attack.
We mostly stay in the vehicle as it acts as a mobile bird blind, and doesn’t disturb the birds very much. Not disturbing the birds is paramount in the view of the refuge manager. He has only allowed these tours for the first time this year since he was assured that birders generally aren’t interested in causing problems.
So what did that lady do? Well, she snuck out of the back door without mentioning it. As I began to move forward in the vehicle, the back door slammed, and all I could think of was that I was about to run over a visitor that had fallen out the door. You can bet that I’ll give a little talk about staying in the vehicle unless I tell them to get out next week. I also cautioned her not to get out of the vehicle without permission.
Then, as we made a scheduled stop to view a beaver slide, she took off down the road on foot with her camera. The result was that all the waterfowl that folks were looking at took off… certainly disturbed. Grrr! It’s not often that I get such a self centered person on my tours. Lesson learned for me.
As we made our way back toward the VC, there was a flock of about 50 Canada geese in one of the fields. I picked out one snow goose amongst them. Snow geese are rather uncommon here on this refuge, so that was a good sighting.
After a full day working at the VC, this male phainopepla showed up while Emma and I were sitting out in the late afternoon. Some people call them black cardinals.
Today was another day working the VC. It was fairly boring until about 1:00 this afternoon. That’s when an exterminator showed up. Remember when I showed you all those bees in my hummingbird feeder a week or so ago? Well, we’ve had an invasion of bees in the VC, so the exterminator was called. You can’t have visitors getting stung at a federal facility. You can just imagine possible lawsuits and such.
The bees seemed to be coming in through the air vents in the bathrooms. I don’t know how they got there, but the plan was to spray under the roof some how. The result was that we had to close down the VC and lock the gate so no visitors could get into the area.
With the VC shut down, I left to go home. I don’t run fast anymore, and we were warned that the bees would be very angry. I was out of there early! So sad… I later found out that some visitors snuck in while the FedEx man came in. Some other volunteers that hadn’t quite left yet had to run for their lives to warn the visitors as hundreds of bees swarmed around. Can’t say as I’m sorry I missed that ‘bee-havior”.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy