Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Great Day for Bird Watching

I was bent over cleaning Phantom's feet when I heard an eerie noise -- loud and close. Phantom waited patiently with foot upraised as I tilted my head to listen. Geese! And a lot of them. I finished cleaning the foot in hand and went to the aisle door in the little barn. There they were, HUNDREDS of Canada geese, circling and circling to land in the field just behind our turnouts. I watched the cloud of birds move lower and lower until the geese landed, turning the green field brown. Maybe thirty minutes later something startled them and up the tumult of gabbling geese rose to circle and leave. Resident or passing through? Who knows. We have enough state and federal refuges up and down the Willamette Valley that we have resident geese and ducks to entertain us all winter long.

On my return home from the barn, I slowed as I approached the tricky turn in the street that loops through our neighborhood to make sure the coast was clear to pull into our driveway. I noticed a bird in the street maybe two feet from the curb. Definitely not a robin or jay. It was a kestral. It gave my approaching car an arrogant stare before it flew away into nearby Doug firs with its dinner in its claws...a brown mouse or vole.

I completed the day by enjoying LBBs (little brown birds) jumping from bush to bush as we walked past and thinking it's going to be another cold night if the little guys have come down to the valley. Then I sighted a great blue heron flying over the small park where Indy and I were taking our afternoon walk, flapping its huge wings.

I'm not an avid wildlife watcher, but I love catching glimpses of the critters with whom we share the world. Kind of gives me hope that we haven't completely messed things up yet.

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