Saturday, March 28, 2009

There went Saturday and a camera

Well the weather man is an idiot. Incredible high hopes for yesterday. Warm and calm with little or no wind was his mantra Tuesday. Blew like Hell in the afternoon and (for me)cold !Western Grebe at the drop, both Aechs down for the year,can forget them. 20 plus GEye, all fem.A ring Billed Gull. Some cliff swallows. Canyon Wren(1) still singing above the intaglios, not ideal habitat,but !
Now she knows the call, SWMBOs Posse hears them "All the time" up in the Little Santa Marias. A pair of Lesser G Finch fussing in ideal nesting habitat is now on the radar. Several small groups of Ibii. A few RT Hwk left but vanishing rapidly. Swarms of Vanessid Butterflies on the move Half a dozen Ash Throated scattered in desert brush obviously some migration. Cliff Swallows on bridges.Lots of WC S,Chipp, and Brewers Sp. Fish farm ideal, sewage plant perfect, nothing special.Then the wind became silly.
I noted though that numbers of Inca Doves, a usually VERY thin on the ground localised bird may be slightly higher than last year. Ground Doves ? I just do not see them any more. If you needed the bird for your life list, I would buy a 25 lb bag of seed, sit on my porch and plan 2 days. I could only guess as to where else to go.Well got up early, so I have cleaned the Aegian stables and the day is mine !
AND FULL OF BIRDS. Sadly I hear a faint clanking and ringing outside my window. Could be my atonal wind chimes, or something has caused SWMBOs Nazguls to get restless, in their Mews.regards roger and russels restless

Friday, March 27, 2009

A mini triumph, some pics and a Blythe Lifer

Sometimes, an obscure skill can surface and provide a tad of joy to an old man. Back in the mid sixties, when every rose tinted glass-wearing Mormon wanted to trace their heritage back to Will Smith, or some other Smith. My father a serious Archivist, and unfortunately for me, brilliant man would receive letters saying "Hello Mr Higson we just converted our basement into a geneology den and would like to trace our heritage back as far as we can to John Smith (in England that is like Jose Gonzalez in LA) and even his predecessors. Maybe we will find ties to the Royal family ! We will PAY..." My father had neither the time nor the inclination to deal with this, so "How I earned my pocket money from 15 years old and up". Under his scrutiny, and man could he scrute, I learned Bastard latin ,monk french, old english and caligraphy. And a fascination with the English language etymology.If I had known how lucrative that skill became I would have quit science , and chased the filthy Lucre !
So little miss perfect and her "my daughter is perfect, and is going to be miss california and is already..Miss tap repairer , congenitaliality at the Radish festival etc etc and best of breed at crufts" Mother cross my path. By the pricking of my thumbs..... Start pondering her work from mine and other classes, nice try the handwriting on those days she is "stressed and has to slleep in a darkened room" is good but not quite like her class work. Threw out a bone, if "xsdsxd" can copy 400 words from the glossary - A plus guaranteed . All mothers handwriting. Meeting.Daughter, "when I am tired and stressed, I read my answer to my mother and she writes them for me" Hilarious. So she reads the Glossary to her mother ?!
A pyrrich victory in this town only, I AM SURE.
You call the wader !
I was told about a road you could drive up by the quarry, and Intaglios, where there are nesting GH Owl in the cliff side, behind Black Point. Got suitably lost this afternoon. No problem, 2 singing Canyon Wrens, as evening fell regards rh and terriers

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baited breath and some birds !

Yes ! Baited ! Hummingbird feeder hanging out one side, and spitting mealworms out t'other! Come on Migrants....... ? Wandered around this past weekend, bits here bits there. Sufficient to activate the spring, SO..
And here coming out of the gate is "BHGbeak" followed closely on the heels by "At last a god damn Tanager", followed by "Hermit Warblers do exist", on the outside is "possible Terns" , tucked in are "Empids" followed by "Tons of spring waders" and the rest of the pack. As we come into the final tern its..... OH no a sudden break out from the back moving up, moving up yes its "first record for California" closely followed by "Not a chance unless you can mail it to us".Moving up are "tons of observers" "lots of photos" "Feather DNA" Oh no "Tons of observers" has been passed by "Status of nay sayers" "Lots of photos" passed by "inconclusive evidence" And passing "feather DNA" is "specimens lost" Still making a desperate run for the line is "First record" behind it comes "the correct birders approval" the "Rare bird committee" and "ancient History" Closing is "personal Vendettas" strong on the outside. BUt from nowhere hugging the rail comes "who gives a shit" and "why worry its just a hobby". My God what a disaster, "First Record" swerves right and takes out the rest of the field. The winners are "who gives a shit" and its stable mate "why worry its just a hobby" NO wait a minute, trotting in from behind comes "New birders learning to love the hobby" and "Enjoy the past time" and "Open mind "
What an upset, could this be a new wave of the future, back to the studio. Birded Sunday with another member of Sea and Sage Audubon, Steve. If I was to move and join a society it would be that. If you are a new birder ,join if you are close enough. Outstanding, friendly pleasent folks, I have not yet met one who's company I have not enjoyed, and would love to enjoy again.
A couple of recent pics, love a larid , hope you get covered in migrants Roger

Baited breath and some birds !

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We had some spring until the wind sprung! And a last minute oddity

Quite a nice day, until the wind leapt up, and everything leaped down. The more I keep track of the fiscal melt down, the more I realise I am wasting my time bothering ! Am I the only one who thinks the US government is just a mega Ponzi scheme, and that this "Sudden" exposure of "unsuitable candidates" for Government positions. ie head of tax collectors, who does not pay theirs, is simply because some idiot stole more of our taxes than their predecessors !I don't know about you but someone somewhere got a tad greedy and what has been going on since Government began, and we accepted as the norm,suddenly seemed odd ! A first rate morning.The fish Farm is going to be awesome. Several hooded orioles , none would hop out and sit !A dozen Lucys Warbler, boy are they hard to photo. Very little foliage, ventriloqual call and restless. A passable pic of this desert goody accompanies. 3 calling Crissal Thrashers. Clean sweep of doves and pigeons (obvious ones) Raptors gone, as cranes. A Bronzed cowbird in Quechan park, displaying Vermillions, a Red naped Sapsucker. As I quit and headed North on I-95, a lump behind me to my right headed across the road in front of me and kept going NW. Pulled over and got the bins on it. 350 miles East I would have called it a Crested Caracara. It is now on my "One person sighting "list for Blythe. Maybe I can find it tomorrow, when a birding fellow drops by, on his way through. A snap would be nice !
Regards rh and Russels

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring sneaking in ?

Just a couple of pics so I can do stuff while they get to my blog via seemingly every router in the Galaxy. Sometimes 15 minutes , then a short bird list !
OK.Stuff is slinking in. Spring migration along the river is typicaly behind the coastal timing. What seems early for me is a couple of weeks behind you
West coasters.
Native plants barely breaking into green, but several Lucys Warblers moving through since Monday, Swainsons Hawks a few here and there but a nice flock mid week. A poorwill caliing behind the house was unexpected. Male Hooded Oriole, fighting BC Hummers on my feeders was nice. These feeders are in under and around my Forest of flowering "THORNLESS (my butt)" acacias. By forest I mean more than 2, ie 3. One of course being "Tree" ( I am using the David Attenborough, exponential curve of sizes)2 being a precursor Forest, 3 being a forest and so on, until you you end up with "a vast, inconceiable forested expanse of waving green stretching from horizon to horizon with its waving thickets of inconceivable bio-mass contining a totally astonishing diversity of unimagineable creatures of billions and billions of .( oops a bit of Carl S slipped in.) But over here beyond this river across this dismal swamp throught his poinsnous bog and up the side of this hellishly cold scree you could turn over this 40 ton boulder and find (breathlessly) this minute frog, of which there are only 10 left in the world .I just love it.Any way, my frog was a splendid Nashville Warbler. Maybe this is my lucky year ! roger

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not much, but a most splendid day. Quiet

OK. me and the blog site just had a discussion. ME think ME won !
Somewhere in the photo mix should be a couple hatchlings from last year, a couple of singers from this year. and SWMBO with a 3 year old Race horse thats not mine but I am paying for it, but it won't cost me any money. Sometimes it is way best to ponder statements like that before asking the bloody obvious. So I did not ask. Something about Sea Biscuit, Northern Dancer and Secretariat and a bankrupt investor on the coast and how I could not pass this up, as I am only.......... Never mind.
I always start humming "Half a league, half a league onward" at this point
You can see from the pic that the horse is very obedient . SWMBO at 105lbs vs Texas gulch shylock los dubres out of money pit by waste of money" 1100lbs. Stay with the safe money. The small one pins it in 5.
I hope you had a pleasant weekend. I, did Roger

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring is sprunging ? Singing and stuff

Maybe spring is sneaking in slowly? Having realised that a new sp in my patch is going to be a silly thing that crashes into a window (Cahow) or something totally in the wrong place at the wrong Worcester's Button Quail ! Photos only come along the way, so I figured I would work on a breeding bird list for my area. Which is simply a 25 mile radius hemi-circle, centered on my home and only in CA. I headed up into the Styx area to see if I could confirm a number of things, and hope for canyon Towhee !. My Horned Larks where in the same area, as were the Rock wrens. The rest of the area was quiet, but some pretty flowers.
It is always good to watch the KFC Peregrine, beating up the "West side Pigeons" Nothing at the sewage plant, nor the fish farm, Kelleys,. Giving up rapidly.Found a small burned out marsh/ditch, with a pair of battling YHBBird. Pics somewhere !
A western Kingbird at the end of the road, and 10 plus BT Hummers on the feeders.Raptors evaporating. Next few weeks ? , fingers crossed
Roger and Russels ps I always like to stick the Ibis pic into the mix about this time of the year. The folks on the East Coast call this a Glossy, and then instantly retract when I tell them it was in Mayflower Park Blythe California. I will ask the same question as I do every year. Why do people east of the Mississippi,and in the interchange zone, have no problem splitting them in fall, looking through only bins. If you chase the field guide key, I see no reason why it is not a Glossy. Oh well !

Friday, March 13, 2009

Joe Cocker, birds and life from my perspective

I am going to try a new strategy. Type first, put in a picture. See where it ends up !
Anyway an excruciating week of fellow teachers peering around wondering who gets the chop !
I am glad Obama and the Governator are all for improving education'. Too funny. We love you and please keep striving for the future, but we are going to double your class size, halve your funding. Please increase the score tests so we can give you a living wage. YOU CAN NOT TEACH STUPID. Why should my income be tied to idiots who cannot even copy from a book without spelling mistakes, but can text at the speed of light and have head phones so small, that when they start thrashing around in their seats shrieking "I am goin to choke you YO MF Bitch, death to the system. I gonna do it". New teachers do not realise they are listening to the latest hit record on their micro pod and not addressing you personally!
Well I personally really do not care any more, used to worry about education a lot. Why should I anymore ? When we are sending millions to rebuild Palestine, who lobbed rockets into Israel. Millions on a war? In Iraq. And how many empires, commonwealths and countries will it take to end up NOT looking like fools in Afghanistan ? ie trying to train the natives before we realise that even their dogs are stubborn and can't be trained. I have had 7 Afghan hounds !
I went to get $1000 to keep the school weather station alive,and on Weatherbug. Laughed off, no money.I cease. !
As for fun, and probably ,my observation is meaningless to anyone under 40 !
As the Ibii move through, and the afternoon sun hits them, they assume odd poses to soak in the last rays as seen in the pic !I guess they probably do not do this in coastal regions. But when I first saw them in Imperial County I thought they were ill or dying ! Now I have come to be bemused, at the postures the can assume . When I see one like this ?
I suddenly get an image of Roger Daltry screaming at the end of "We don't get fooled again" at the Isle of White festival, watch the video, or any Joe Cocker live rendition of "I get by with a little help from my friends "!
OK I promise to never anthropomorphize an animal again !!
Hope the weekend is good to you . Roger and Russels, glad I can relax this weekend !

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Castles, quiet, and birds

Spent yesterday sorting through 4 Google pics to pick out 2,yes 2 pictures for the "wildlife section" at the fair. Stress time. Picked two, probably the wrong ones. But then I have to go with the SWMBO method of selection, it usually does not let me down. Ignorant moronic sugar bear sweety pie. (Yes she just looked over my shoulder)Gtr Y Legs, SB Dowitcher, and Wilsons Phal flying away all together all in focus shewing all field characteristics. Awesome pic. "Boring grey birds".
So we go with the "Oh thats cute can I get a copy of that for Jeanny, she loves duckies " style of judging. I have got a first for the last 9 years. But how humiliating.Birded out
Decided to escape the trappings of the Metrolopiss of Blythe, and finish my book. Not writing, reading !So headed for Styx, with the notion of parking somewhere and reading and mayhap a nap, while gazing south across the plains of the Colorado plateau. Perfect spot, 44 degreesF,looked like an alpine scree, with Yellow and Blue belly flowers amongst shale, a couple of several hundred feet up in the Santa Vista or Bigthorn mountains ?. Drag out my rumpled copy of the hilarious Tom Robbins Novel VILLA INCOGNITO, 57 pages to go.
Rock wren on my bonnet,leaping around in Hysterics. Soon joined by its 5 children and wife, the bastard stood on my wing mirror and cursed me. Backed out slowly, and took a picture once they got out of range, if you can follow me !
My camera was not set up for 3 foot focus. Drifted down hill, pulled in next to some mine tailings Singing Horned Lark and fem up the spoil heap with stuff in beak, nest building ? Beautiful view of the valley, the sun and clouds playing shadow games all the way down to Cibola
Left them. Went further down, and pulled into the shadow of Minas Tirith, locals call it Castle Rock, but what do they know ! (pic to come)
Splendid singing BL Throat sparrow, so much for that spot, dropped lower.Pulled into a lower wash Crissal thrasher and remnants of attention span destroyed by two singing Sage Sparrows ! Obviously too pale to be the Coastal race !
Oh well only 56 pages to go.
Guess I will read next weekend
regards rh and Russels and (tanukis)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some pics, some birds, something of nothing

Fair time. Love it. Town and country littered with 4Hers and FFA ers, racing around "Walking" their animals. These poor animals are walking through acres of yummy alfalfa. try keeping a goat on the straight and narrow ! Too funny. Spent a chunk of the day sorting through pics to enter, in my quest for best of show. Have to go into "Post Card "mode. A blurry pic of a Harlans Hawk, or Wanga wagga Cisticola, is not going to beat out a feather perfect Mallard, no matter what I think.I will attach a couple of fun pics. Beautiful day, little in the way of birds, just a nice quiet day, with a few Swainsons dotting fields, maybe 10 in all. Tomorrow is a birding day, I can sqeak one in it seems. trust life allows you one.
I just looked out the window, earth worms are popping out of the ground shouting "pick me" to the Grackles, and the sky is suddenly darkling. SWMBO must be approaching, better go lash myself with nettles and put on my hair shirt, six hours of peace and quiet, too much, I must suffer ! I was almost looking people in the eye, for a bit there !
Russels and Roger

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What me worry ! And birds

First of all an explanation, that does not need one !If you haven't figured out yet that the way you get pictures is not always the same as the text they are with ? Give up birding. A brief discursing on the ecomony , a few birds and ..................
I hear a number of "educated people" running around on TV saying what will happen, we will all starve,I may have to lay off the nanny,(personally, or financially) we sold the aspen home and we have cut back to two cars, my portfolio has dropped 75.5%,I can't ameliorate my last quarter profits, and my offshore assets are frozen.I suggest you move your ass out of swiss banks, and stop eating swiss cheese while you are there then "there will be a free flow of your deposits" into other countries.
Just too funny. I caught a person on a late NY radio show explaining how to survive the crisis.
This almost made me die in Hysterics.
#1 Do not use your credit card today
#2 Eat in once a week
#3 Use the drycleaners every other week.
#4 Only go to a night club once a week, and the Killer.#5 Put off major purhases like a boat, you know what I mean and pleeeeese #6 Postpone that foreign vacation.
Ok I am in
#1 Paid off card, we circle the carcass like jackels
#2 WE eat once a month out !
#3 Why would I drive to Indio ?
#4 I think they shut the Horny Toad.
#5 Walk out side and shout "any one got a boat they don't want".
#6 Unless something rare turns up in Cibola. Got that covered

So enter the Roger world of personal economic crisis, and philosophy, maybe this will help you in some way.
I only realy owe the IRS and my land lord. Apart from a couple of statistical points way out side the norm. We ignore those as good statisticians. We have stayed pretty much broke, but comfy, and can pack up and move if necessary. Wealthy Gypsies ! The IRS, I needed that money in 1983 a Hell of a lot more than they did ! And my rent has been stable for 10 years, and my Landlord does not need the money "just pay it ,no problem" .
I have had several jobs, always cashed in my retirement as needed. Yanked my 401K plan, paid off my vehicles four years ago. Fool they cried. $800 a month payout reduction. 2 friends kept theirs. Zippo left.
Is simple.
There are a Hell of a lot of people further up the food chain than you, that means some one is eventually going to say "Enough", before it really gets too ugly at my end and hopefully yours of the spectrum. Because who is going to explain that pookie can't live in the Hamptons and have the Jonas brothers over for Brunchies ? In the meantime print more money and keep bailing !
Life goes on in Blythe, we have bigger things to worry about, like parking for the fair. Regards Roger and russels . ps 35 Swainsons, in a new mown field on the way home.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two decliners, and an unfortunate increaser

Did not have a lot of birding time this weekend, but Jean and I got a bit of time in, nice to get the occaisional west coaster and trade tales ! She got to see MY Gt Horned Owl,she performed well. Yes, both the owl and Jean !. Of my 3 pics the first two are rapidly dissappearing and the last.?
We found a flock of starlings reminiscent of winter flocks in Newcastle, no guestimate on a number but several hundreds, all starlings. I have not seen a flock that large before in California .The noise, a definite "murmeration"of starlings.
Depressing thought that that was a highlight !
enjoy the week , roger and russels