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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day Birding

Suffered from a bit of premature Spring fever this morning so I headed east to Ice House Road, over in Placer County. No surprise the mountain top was composed of snow and I nearly had the place to myself - except for a nosey doe and her previous year's fawn.

'Wha... is that thing? A lumpy human?'

'Let's outta here. I know she's thinking venison steaks.'

So help me, other than a couple of flashes of grey feathering, the only bird I saw on the entire mountain was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I can see those through my living room window. So, I headed back home and stopped at a couple of American River Parks to see what was around.

Acorn Woodpeckers look, and sound like clowns

No need to go all huffy dear - you do look a bit clownish.

One of the endless supply of Yellow-rumped Warblers

After Rosmoor and El Ma-what'sit, I took a brief venture into Sailor Bar, which is just up the road from my house. I marvel I can never visit there any more without seeing dozens of Lark Sparrows. Where they around 17 years ago and I just never noticed them?

Lark Sparrow

As I left Sailor Bar, just beyond the entrance gate a long line of turkey hens crossed the road. I wasn't fast enough to photograph them on the road, but I got them after they went down the ditch and up the opposite hillside.

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it's off to Roost we go

Too bad there were nine, as 7 would have fit better with my captioning. Hum... but maybe there was something of a fairy tale I saw over at Rossmore Bar. What the heck! It makes a nice Valentine's Day tale. Once upon a time there was a handsome, yet lonely, Common Merganser lad.

All alone on Valentines... If only there was
a hen merganser, just for me

So he looked up river and lo! There, along the misty river shore stood the magical Island of Lovlies! Eight, beautiful and vivacious redfeathered Merganser females lounged about clad only in their feathery dainties, and guarded by the powerful eunich-egret.

Magical Island of Lovlies and their Eunich-Egret guard

"Ah... on second thought, mused the Merganser lad,
"I wonder what's going on downstream"?

Oh dear... hope he feels a little more courage later when Spring arrives.

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