Saturday, March 12, 2011

It was not balmy today.

I guess 55 and partly cloudy only seems like it will be balmy after 40 and rainy.  When actually outside in it, with the crazy wind...... not balmy.  Oh well!  We went up to the reservoir to try to see some fancy ducks.  At first we saw a whole lotta windy nothing.

But at the SW corner a few ruddy ducks were hanging out.  Not a good picture, but I've seen so few ruddy ducks this year, I'm saving it anyway!  :-)

Further around to the east were a few buffleheads mostly tucked in, and some northern shovelers just shoveling away like mad.  Hilarious!  Quite a few of the shovelers were paired off, with the pairs keeping quite close together and the males chasing off any other males that got too close.  Jack said he saw some head-bobbing which didn't last, but I missed it.

Walking over to turtle pond we saw a hawk flying above us, circling, circling, circling ...... the moon!  It was really lovely to see.  The picture is not nearly crisp enough for me to tell, but I wonder if this is Pale Male's new girlfriend.  :-)

Heading down to the ramble we saw a birder guy who saw the owls with us last weekend, and he said they are there today!  Jack was then quite impatient to get there.  I insisted on a quick trip by the maintenance meadow (no thrush) and the oven (no hawk) before heading over.

He was right!  A gorgeous long-eared owl, resting peacefully in a green cavern.

A couple of guys were hanging out, one with his son (about 5), so we showed them the owls (they were definitely wondering what we were up to).  I hope they got a view as great as mine was!

There was a squirrel serenely enjoying the peace a couple of feet below the owls.

Here is the second one, tucked away.

I found a spot where I could get both of them in the frame, although it's not a particularly good picture.  Although, I mean, come on - any picture with ~2~ owls is pretty good regardless!

As we were deciding whether to hang out or go this woodpecker came by.  Downy or Hairy?  I really don't know.  When I look in the book, it could be either.  The beak looks like it is exactly midway between the downy beak and the hairy beak.  Oh well, someday I'll be able to tell them apart......  :-)

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