Monday, April 19, 2010

Has it Really Been Two Months?

No excuses, I was gone and now I'm back!
Let's see...where was I...
I went to Miami for a week in March. It was a work-related trip, training on two new laboratory analyzers (coagulation analyzers for the science lovers out there). There was very little extra time so most all of my birding was done on the shuttle bus riding back and forth between the hotel and the training center. Even so, I got six life birds!
Common Myna
Cattle Egret
White Ibis
Eurasian Collared Dove
Monk Parakeet
Loggerhead Shrike
The first morning we filed into the training center one of the instructors spotted my Cape May bag and asked if I was a birder! She wasn't my instructor but we chatted every day about the birds of the area. In the middle of the week she asked me if a Loggerhead Shrike would be a lifer for me. Yes! The next day she took me through the training center, out the employee's entrance and across their parking lot, down the road a couple of blocks to a little airport. There, sitting on a barbed wired fence at a traffic light with four lanes of heavy traffic sat a Loggerhead Shrike! She watched traffic for me as I scooted across to the center lane divider to get a photo (on my other camera) I'm telling you- birders are the BEST PEOPLE.

Except for the very coldest weekends, Art and I have visited Hasty Brook for day trips every two weeks on my weekends off. Now that spring is here we're really gearing up our plans to get our upstairs/cabin finished. I really can't wait to get the well hooked up so we can have running water. It's been a long wait. The last visit I saw this pair of Turkey Vultures dancing on the wind. They eventually landed across the creek and nuzzled each other. I know this is a lousy photo but these were the first Turkey Vultures that I've seen perched at our place. I assume by their behavior that they are a mating pair. Love it.
The Chickadees seem to get tamer up there every year. I've fed them in my hand a few times now.

Red-breasted Nuthatches breed at Hasty so they're around all the time. I love watching their antics. Such cheeky little things.

I call this "Moon Over Hasty Brook"

A couple of weeks ago I saw that Birdchick was going to be at North Mississippi River Regional Park scoping out the heron rookery. I hadn't seen Sharon in a while and had the morning free so I headed over. It was a cloudy chilly morning so my photos are pretty poor but it was great to see Sharon. She looked pretty darn adorable in her ranger duds too.

Last evening was the Woodcocks and Whiskey edition of Birds and Beers out at Lebanon Hills Regional Park I picked up Hellziggy, aka "The Other Sharon" on the way and took off to see woodcocks. It was a pretty good sized group but I think everyone go a terrific look at a woodcock. Thanks Birdchick for organizing another fun evening.

Yesterday afternoon a work friend (Hi Jayne!) took me out to her friends' house to see this Great Horned Owlet at a park across the street.

Just look at this face!

Even though we plan to be spending all of our free time and money working up at Hasty this summer, I did manage to save a few dollars for one festival:

Potholes and Prairies in Carrington, North Dakota, June 9-13. I'm so very excited that Katdoc is coming too. She'll fly in to Minneapolis and then we'll drive out together. I've wanted to attend this festial for a few years and I'm thrilled to be going this summer. I'll post more about the festival soon.

Thanks for your patience and for the nudges to getting blogging again too.