Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Obsession Continues (Warning! Birds Here)

I can't help it, I am unable to look at these birds with any sense of 'I'm tired of you'-ness. I'm trying, really, but I think it is a hopeless endeavor.

The weather did about a 20 degree drop yesterday, just about the time I was thinking, hey, this isn't going to be so bad. Well, it's still not BAD because I have a great heater and clothes and food and a roof I love more every day over my head. But it is cold. It is not as cold as predicted, if the online temperature is correct it is 35, not 32 and not 27. For farmers, plant life and critters that is a good thing. For me, what's a few degrees when it's cold enough to numb your nose and toes and fingers?

I love my heater. And I understand why early folks worshipped the sun so much more. Just seeing that yellow in the sky makes me want to drop to my knees, but the ground is too cold.

Which makes taking a walk to the lake seem ridiculous but I wanted to see if there was ice on it and Francie came along to see if she could spot the so called resident gator. Since gators are sort of like spiders for Francie, I was all for seeing one, since you don't often get to see Francie run. No joy, we didn't see the gator. We did see birds.

This is a weed gate.
Apparently Lake Panasoffkee had a really big problem with weeds in the not so distant past. The weeds were so bad they were killing off the fish, which means no fisherfolk, meaning very little reason to stop in Lake Panasoffkee unless you lived here for some reason. The weed problem was dealt with, the fish came back and Bob's your uncle. But just to be sure, the boat launch and boat house area has this weed gate at the entrance. To keep out weeds. For true.

I'm making some bad karma for myself here. But it's not like I'm running up to them flapping my arms and screaming. These birds are really, really leery! I was probably 50 feet away, walking very slowly, when this one took off. I still feel bad.

Ahinga in the water. They can stay under a really long time. "The Anhinga does have a preferred diet of fish, but will also eat water snakes, tadpoles, frog eggs and young alligators." From, where you can go for all sort of other weird bird facts (and win a round of Trivia Pursuit. No need to thank me)

This looks like winter to me.
Oh!!! The best birds I've seen so far were the ones we saw on the way to some other town. We're on this four lane road, with a huge median and a narrow bike lane on each side. Chatting away we were, when I glanced out my side window and there were two sandhill cranes, strolling side by side in the bike lane, coming toward us and then right next to the window as we passed.

Since I exaggerate all the time - it's a being short thing - and Francie doesn't, I asked her if they were really six feet tall and she came pretty close to agreeing. Their heads were definitely above the roof of the truck. We didn't stop to try and get a photo of one of the most strange bird visuals I've personally seen and had I been driving, I probably would have pulled over or turned around to try and get a shot of them. They might have flown off or maybe even gotten hurt somehow, so maybe it was best to keep going. I only hope they made it where ever they were headed safely. They were statuesquely magnificent.

Okay, where was I?

The common moorhen. What's common about a red face and bill? I think it is extraordinary. 
Oddly, moorhens aren't in the duck family. They are more closely related to cranes and rails. I don't really know much about rails but I do know cranes and have never confused one with a duck before. More uncommonness! Who named this bird?

Apparently what is common about them is they are everywhere.

The common moorhen has one of the largest ranges of any bird species, occurring on every continent except for Australasia and Antarctica, although it is just an occasional visitor to Svalbard in the Arctic. It is found as far afield as remote islands in the Pacific, such as the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands. BirdLife

But even that isn't common! One of the largest ranges of ANY bird species. This is the uncommon moorhen.

Here is something unfortunately common. I'm not picking on Connecticut, it just happened to be the example in an article I was reading on these birds. It is so oxymoronic as well as ironic, I had to include it here. "The popularity of Connecticut's aquatic resources for recreation has also contributed to the decline of the wetland areas used by the moorhen." Yes, wrap your brain around that. Simple, but insane.

What I think is the tri-colored heron flew in with a screech and immediately hid.

Hiding wasn't enough. He flew away. I need to stop wrecking these birds habits!
So I took a photo of a plant. It didn't seem frightened and it stayed put. We did not stay put, it was cold and time to go, even with a weak sun giving some good light.

Have a what in the world wildly works Wednesday. Do something wravishing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear God MJ. As insane as I am about birds, my head would probably explode. I'd be cursing at them for flying or not flying or ducking behind a tree at the wrong moment. It's probably just as well.