Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, December 12, 2008

Birds of a Feather

Once a week I work for the refuge biologist and do a waterfowl count. The refuge is divided into eight units and today I needed to count the waterfowl and cranes in units 2 & 3. John, a friend and fellow volunteer, came along to help drive and record the count. He is also responsible for today's pictures. What a morning we had! The sun was shining and the winds were calm. We drive a specified route and identify and count all waterfowl that we see. Thanks to a very wet summer and hurricane Dolly, there is a lot of water on the refuge and the numbers of birds on our route was mind boggling.
I use a spotting scope to help identify what I see. I think the route may be about ten miles long, but it took us close to six hours to accomplish our mission. While I counted, John was busy taking pictures.
We don't count pelicans, but they seemed to be everywhere this morning.
To give you an idea of the numbers involved, we counted 25,005 ducks, geese, cranes, and coots today. There were also hundreds of herons and egrets and what seemed to be about one thousand pelicans. It was a birder's paradise to say the least.
One of the more colorful birds found on the refuge is the roseate spoonbill, which is aptly named for the shape of it's bill.
After we finished, I stopped for lunch and to make the creamed cucumbers I was bringing to the potluck this evening. Later, Diana and I continued our work on the powerpoint presentation by taking pictures of the displays in the visitor's center.
By then, it was almost time to gather for another great eating experience. Many of us played some chicken foot dominoes before the food was served. As is always the case, no one went home hungry. ;)
Emma has a few comments about today:
I'm getting a little tired of my human being gone so much. So far, I have been good and not trashed the motorhome, but there is a limit. I didn't even get to take her on a long constitutional this morning. Grrr! It is very important that I keep track of all the smells and goings on of the wild things that pass in the night. I must say that she did give me my snack of little carrots at lunch time, so I guess I'll stay. Now, if I could just figure out how to go on these bird counts with her......
Thanks for stopping by..........talk to you later, Judy

1 comment:

  1. Greetings;
    I and Ma are enjoying your posts. she looks forward to me reading them to her. The pics in "Birds of a feather" did not print out. i don't know what happened. All the rest have printed. Can't imagine what that many birds would look like.