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Search tags: Bird-Nerdism
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text 2019-10-11 21:19
Monday Meanderings

We've had another early snow storm, prompting me to mostly curl up at home and re-read Patricia Briggs books.  But on Monday, during the hours before the snow, my friends and I went out on a search for cranes and geese.  We were partially successful.

 

There are geese out on the spit, trust me!

 

Our first flock of Snow Geese, west of my home town

 

Snow Geese with Greater White Fronted Geese in the foreground

 

One blue phase Snow Goose in the flock

 

Farmers were busy with machinery like this swather, getting as much done as possible before the snow flew.

 

Our second flock of Snow Geese, north of Acme

 

Just resting in the stubble, preparing for the next stage of migration

 

A few Tundra Swans on a slough east of Irricana

 

A hen pheasant peeks at us from the long grass in the ditch.

 

No cranes, but it was nice to get in a day of birding before the snow.  

 

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian Booklikes friends!

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review 2019-08-06 20:35
A Dance of Cranes / Steve Burrows
A Dance of Cranes - Steve Burrows

A trail of murder leads Domenic Jejeune across a vast continent.

Newly estranged from his girlfriend, Inspector Domenic Jejeune returns to Canada, where he soon receives news that his brother has gone missing in Wood Buffalo National Park while conducting field research on Whooping Cranes. Jejeune immediately heads out West to try to find him. 

Meanwhile, back in the U.K., Jejeune’s plan to protect his ex-girlfriend from a dangerous adversary has failed, and she has also gone missing. In Jejeune’s absence, it falls to his trusty sergeant, Danny Maik, to track her down. But there is far more to the situation than either of them anticipated. And time is running out for all of them.



Well, this book was a treat--I had a volunteer job long ago where I exercised Whooping Crane chicks, which were subsequently released to the wild in Florida. I spent many hours doing what I came to call my walking meditation, wearing a baggy white costume which covered my head and interacting with the chicks using a hand puppet. Left to their own devices, the chicks would linger by the food bowl and grow so fast that their long toes would curl. My job was to convince them to go walking with me, wearing off some calories and keeping their limbs and toes nice & straight. It could often be hot, boring work, but I considered it my personal National Geographic moment and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

I have also visited Wood Buffalo National Park, where Domenic Jejune ends up in this installment of the birder murder mysteries. My time was spent merely on the safe periphery, rather than out in the muskeg, where Jejune seeks his brother, but it is a large, lonely land and the bugs are out of this world! Between mosquitoes and black flies, my friend and I came to regret that we were camping!

I enjoyed the book very much, despite the pattern that seems to be developing of Inspector Jejune nearly dying in each story. His investigations take him into wilderness and the associated risks of those locations can support this plot device to some extent, but I hope there aren’t any near-death experiences in the next book. 

That is, I’m assuming there will be a next book, as Mr. Burrows seems to have left us with enough unanswered questions about the general story arc to require another volume!

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text 2019-07-26 18:22
A Young Western Grebe deals with a Big Fish

What is more fun that watching bird babies?  Watching one trying to swallow a very large fish:

 

The youngster begged until mom handed over the fish

 

Then the struggle began in earnest

 

But he's not giving up!

 

It's not too big, dammit!

 

Success!  It's neck was really thick for a while, though, until the fish was finally deposited in the belly.

 

OMG, I love birds!

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text 2019-06-20 02:37
Wednesday Wandering

A rainy day, but we birded between the showers.

 

Eastern Kingbird

 

Savannah Sparrow

 

Wilson's Snipe

 

Wilson's Snipe

 

Prairie Falcon

 

Wilson's Phalarope

 

Eared Grebe

 

American Coot & chick

 

American Coot chick

 

It was a good day!

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text 2019-04-29 16:12
Vacation Wanderings

Weekday birding is the best!  Far fewer people out on the roads.  We had a gorgeous day last Wednesday.

 

American Avocets

 

American Avocet

 

Muskrat

 

Northern Shoveler drake

 

Pair of Cinnamon Teal

 

Yellow Headed Blackbird

 

Gray Partridge

 

Great Horned Owl on nest

 

Trumpeter Swans

 

American Coot

 

Handsome Ruddy Duck drake

 

Even a handsome guy gets itchy sometimes

 

Part of a herd of 15 White Tailed Deer

 

A lovely day in the fresh air and sunshine.  My companions and I have already made plans for regular outings after my retirement.  :)

 

Life is good.

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