Sunday, April 26, 2009

White Owls , migrants and long time no see !

It is taking forever to down load pics. This one 32 minutes. So the Hell with it,
trying to photo a Dragonfly and felt I was being watched, I was ! I got of this snap, snd it sank. E-mail during the week, oh my goodness. Spent far too little time with Lee Jones "Birder of Belize" out in the field today. He is going to be around for a few days, too much to catch up with. How much? Looked through notes and rewound the 8-track storage vault in my memory. This much, 33 years,3 months and 4 days worth, is all ! Needless to say there has been much spilt milk that is no point in discussing, after the stable door passes in and out one year under the bridge, since then to cover today, but we birded like old times. Too cool.
We found a smattering of warblers, and a Barn Owl, that is basicly an Albino. This bird is roosting in the same grove as "THE Great Horned Owl, that eats Barn Owls". Nothing like pushing natural selection !
Oh a point of trivia.The circle is complete !
I now have the set. I have my "Birds of Southern California by Garrett and Dunn' in front of me.
McAskie found me a copy, and signed it for Xmas '81, Dunn signed it '86, Jean Brandt to whom it is dedicated signed it,on the ONLY blythe xmas count. Kimble signed it '96 ish, The Unitt signed, Sue Clark of Clarks ranch fame signed it and today Lee Jones Illustrator signed it. It took 28 years !There used to be a dumb game, involving Kevin Bacon and steps he was away from people. So dumb that I played it using myself. I am 2 steps from Bruce Springstein, 2 from Frank Zappa, and 2 from the Pope, and I guess if you are in with the correct religion 2 steps from God. I like Frank Zappa more. I would love a list of the famous birders, my signees could give me a step to.
Next week we start the "Asshole Bush "inspired no child left behind testing. 9th graders trapped in a room for 3 hours for 5 days in a row . Pure Genius. Fortunately science is first, because I can guarantee you, by Friday they will be "Bubbling in" hate mail,and finished in 10 minutes, without opening the test book regards rh and terriers

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A somewhat warm couple of days

It hit 104.2 yesterday, 4:15
WEATHERMAN. COOLING TREND THIS WEEK, (jack ass).Temps should be down tomorrow.
At 2;15 pm we sat in class and watch it hit 105.
This is a Weatherbug national web station so you can look it up on the computer, not an ace hardware plastic bird thermometer.
The radio said tomorrow Havascrew lows of 104, cooling to 102 Thursday/ Weekend hot and sunny. Channel 7 news cooling into this weekend with highs only in the 80's. Like the old adage goes. If you want to know what the weather will be tomorrow, wait and go out in it. Too early in the year for optics in coolers. regards rh and terriers confined to indoors. Please watch out for elderly neighbours, and make sure your pets have water

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring break birds. Wader invasion.

This had a long tail attached but thecomputer.... So try short and sweet. Ok got the damn thing back from the pits of Mordor.Waders Snowy, Semmi P Whimbrel LBCurlew peeps,Stilt sand LB Dow first Baby K Deer build up of stilts Dunlin Sanderling Solit Sand and 2 knot "on the river spits". All splendid when you add up my acreage of habitat.Raptors Male Nharr and WT Kite , perfect habit. Influx W Red tails. BW Teal and Bufflehead 5 Barn Nests, 2 GH Owl VG Swall, Mc G and Yell warb Lazuli stunning. Singing sparrows Lark Brewers WC and Lark Lsr Gfinch = 2 nstlings, Black, Caspian, and Forsters tern. And BH Gull . On the run after losing the last missive.
Rh and terriers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Foxgloves, and RA

some recent pics, and foxgloves.

At about this time of the year it is a ritual in Blythe to purchase plastic punnets full of poor plants that arrived in a frigid truck from a farm in Oregon. Try and get them home and planted before they die from the heat. And or the punnet melts.
Thus proving you are a gardener, and spring has arrived.Normally we get plants that say "full sun" on the tag. This gives them about 12 hours. Partial shade, six hours.My neighbours can't it seems appreciate the fact that where ever the hell you plant them the ambient air temperature is 110 degrees.They shrivel up !
So basking in this superiour knowledge I was wandering around the K Mart plant lot looking for a cactus. Found a Foxglove in the middle of a bin..
Now I have a soft spot for Foxgloves, and Water Avens, two of my favourite plants. So I bought it,$6:50 nursed it home and sat it proudly on the kitchen table. Where to plant it ?
NOW where had I got used to them ?. Leafy deciduous glades with Bluebells,chiff chaffs and the granite stream plus requisite rivulet with the required Nixie, and imminent chance of rain. My back yard in a word ...desolate.
No migrants, I have thornless Acacias, I bought from a peripatetic hispanic (NO thorns, no flower,12foot high sure, no problem)They are a threat to aviation , pollen storm produers with poison dripping rapiers. So much so that in one area the sun will not venture. So 3 days of hard labour, rock hauling and irrigation management, I have a 12 by 12 Foxglove habitat with dripper and mister, and one foxglove. I am also out $300, but what the hell. I LIKE SLEEPING ON THE COUCH !
Who knows next years trout stream project has a start.. Well going to look for waders, passerine production precluded by winds already, at 7:30 am. A week summary later.
regards rh and terriers

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why I like that picture part ii and more rubbish

It would appear that my computer liked it enough that, it felt no need to include my text, nor in fact anything else for that matter. Damned uppity piece of crap, may pull its plug for a while !
The reason why I like that picture, Included herein is a picture of a GB Heron. I was headed for central Blythe in the early am, ignoring pigeons. Saw a heron in the power complex. Ignoring lights and stop signs, stopped and took its picture. After a honk and a head wave from a passing sheriff, I backed up and parked on the pavement, well kinda.The bird kept peering at something, and plunged into the bottom of a dry canal, like a falling GM share. Then resurfaced, and stood moving its head in tracking motion as the wind blew the two dead flowers around (see top RHS), total mesormorization. This passage of time allowed for the sherrif, to turn around in Auto Zone parking lot, and park, in the corect direction of traffic flow ie parallel to me. And start seemingly,to put down his coffee and ponder how many pages he could fill out before he even got out the car. Time to leave, smiling and shouting thanks.
I will down load some pictures of common birds I took this week. For no particular reason then that is basicly all we have. I was gobbled up by the forecast and even bought another card for my camera, expecting sunshine and migrants.
Even this am "Dallas Johny Mountain Rain tempest etc" 4am to be precise the Weather pimps and their ilk were in their rumpled suits, shooting their cuffs and dancing around like burned out brylcreemed, lounge lizards, expounding my weather. They have not got it right one day in the last seven. Not even close. Today "Early summer temps winds dissappearing, a beautiful lead in to what looks like a wonderful warm wind free weekend in the deserts. with high temperatures" or some such. It was 44 this morning and is blowing like Hell.. So pics an accounting of the Gull and more stuff over the course of today. Going to pick up and repair wind chimes after yesterdays nice spring morning. rh and terriers.
I guess the computer did not want to send that either, so a couple of hours later
It is titledyou get this tagged on.This could be "THE NEVER ENDING E-mail"

Will try sending again. So I can explain my .......

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why I liked that picture ?

How I frivouled away my spring break By R Higson

This is my favourite pic of my spring break so far. Just a brief note, more later. For married/career burdened birders needing more birding time I am mastering the NEW AGE art of frivoulry. Whereby you make a 20 minute task, which requires lots of "Going Getting Parts" you already have, last an afternoon. "Because ""THEY"" did not have them".
If you can hang around for the next one, I will reveal "How to turn a single Potted Foxglove into a two day birding adventure, and impress SWMBO "
regards rh and Lazulis Yellow Ws and a snippet of migration.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This bird shewed up Friday PM as the wind dropped and the sun came out, I have some notes and about a total of 10 pics. Love to know why It is not a valid BHGull ? Let me know either here or at regards rh and terriers

Friday, April 10, 2009

It is the small things that make my day

Greetings. It is"totally awesome dude" friday. I am off. How can we tell? Go outside and look at the weather deteriorating, after all, the week has been birder friendly, lets screw up the weekend. Had a fun day yesterday though. WE have a dress code at school, that we MUST enforce. I did, about 5 years ago, when a young tramp (sorry. Potential world leader) showed up in class, with all her wares on display. Actually a ball of gonad driven teen boys,(Ever seen a pile of dung beetles at work ?)propelled her into the room. After using the fire hose I extracted her. And sent her to the office Dress code violation.Irate parent calling me a "Filthy Pervert" for looking at her daughter.. The whole discussion crashed when I asked how much of a cut she got for whorin her daughter.. No one wins.
So just for fun I send a few cheerleaders to the office for dress code violations, "Yer KNOW"
Now and again I say "Oh you used to have such nice straight blonde hair, why are you dying the roots black and curling it" It provides me with a modicum of amusement. I trust the weekend treats you well,birdwise and elsewise rh and terriers

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why sometimes, one should not push ones luck !

Good lunchtime. After yesterdays epic morale building pure luck wader time, decided maybe the luck might last 2 days!
Loaded up my '95 v8 Cheby long bed truck(a true friend) more miles on it than Tabasco Duh Karma, the well known Dutch explorer from Tijuana and was going to photo Canyon Wren, and look for Canyon Towhee. No wasn't that Vasco... ? Who cares, old dead person anyway. When SWMBO pointed out that "You have to return the video I rented before you go birding" The tone intimated a lack of negotiation on this concept, that and the flippant way she was bighting the living bodies from Screaming Pihas and tossing their heads to the amassed Balrogs outside.
Glad I followed instructions Truck loaded. Set to go stopped outside Blockbuster at 6;30, dumped video , went to start truck. HIGH shrieking note some where between a mating cat and a Guinea Pig in a blender,thumping and crunching noises usually consigned to trunks in Mafia movies. I was waiting for someone to say "I think he's dead Boss". From there on is just a serious list of pure coincidences. My truck is now fixed and running like a charm, and parked in the back yard. It is staying there for the rest of the day. I can pick up on my plans later this month.I calculated where I would have been at said time, if had not taken the video back. I certainly would not have been 30 feet from an Albertsons, with a car part store across the streeet, run by one of my kids, and a horse shoer/trainer friend on his way home from LA, who has an auto shop around the corner, etc etc. The whole thing turned into a small street fair, I swear if you park close to the nearest grocery store in a poor hispanic town, lift the hood and have a recognisable local spanish male helping the gringo. Especially on a sunday. Kind pleasent elderly Mexican gentleman with white hats, polished boots,crisp ironed much worn clothing, their fathers belt buckle, bow legs,maybe spurs and faces wrinkled like tanned elephant scrotums will appear from nowhere to argue about which wire goes where, There was more intelligence, life experience,good humour ,patience and concern gathered around my truck than you could find in congress in a month. Once the beast was moving, they drifted off. Probably to church. No birds.
Fallowing. more acreage has been mandated to be lain unwatered by the Water Pirates of the west coast.Three years ahead of the original agreement. Valley looking more like Glamis and bleak, Enjoy your water parks and Golf Courses, and brace for $5 lettuce !It is coming. Blythe is becoming a monoculture of Alfalfa to keep milk coming from cows for your latte expresso mooca mix.Make sure your neighbourhood has at least one street with a continuous running gutter. The price of alfalfa has doubled since November. Ain't going down ! Time to read of Mice and Men !regards rh and Terriwers

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weather appalling again, so I will type sideway thoughts

Got out the shower, after 3 days of trying to bird in strong wind swept desert areas. The PM-10's involved are savage on optics, every time I turn a dial, the grind sound makes me wince. May have to box everything up in July, and go back to modelling my Blythe railroad, and send everything off to my Perfect Camera repair man.Oh talking of PM-10s, if you have a son who might be deployed to anything like "Operation Desert Blast" or "Desert stupidity" or anything involving storms deserts and sands and several months. Have him circumcised, he will thank you. Micro dusts get every where.!I asked SWMBO for the female input on this problem. Hmn. I have not been called that in a while, and I know I am not physically capable of the suggestion, the third Nazgul Master came up with. They just rode horses in this dust storm,inquiring minds ?
Why should you have a patch and love it !
I hope you have found a spot somewhere near you, that you can look out of or at , walk around, pause on the way to work to glance at, go eat your lunch in, and grab a bird minute. If you look, they are out there and they consequently are your very own birds, and not only will you get to know them like friends but you will love it. Elder folks in the park with pigeons, know they have friends. Get a feeder , glance out the window. There is MY House Finch, hi pal we both made it !
I had to glue plastic window frames together for 8 and a half hours a day to keep my family afloat. Found out I could do it. Why ? 10:am coffee break my Jackdaw was waiting there to share my Sandwich !
Now when I say find a spot, make it a sensible one,and do not call and say "Roger,I just got out the shower, I was just taking a piss, looked out of my window and there is a Yellow Grosbeak in the tree". Thankyou dear friend Clifford Lyons !I believe him and have the window on my checklist. Yes I looked through it whilst trying his "Chumming " technique ! Did not work.
So birding the day,on my patch.Winds and directions preclude warblers, probably hidden in shrubbery, it will take those mites a few days to feed up and and become visible again. So semi hardy, waders ?
Great guess.
Early light, Breeding plumage Dunlin and a fun Sanderling, at the fish farm BOTH in the same pic. Less than 10 records of Dunlin for me and maybe my 3rd sighting but first pic of sanderling. 11 Whimbrel courtesy of a crop Duster leapt and left, calling. And a scope got me 2 snowy Plovers in the back of a flooded field. The sewage farm coughed up my first Western Sand of the year. Couple of Swainsons and a Prairie Falcon. Will post a couple of pics from today and some fun old one. Take care and enjoy Your Birds rh and terriers ps thank god for digital and photoshop ! Was sifting pixels in the dawn light

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday, already !

It is Colorado River Ag Fair week.
Next 4 days off.
Please, just one Western Tanager Maybe a Spot Billed Duck, or Pallid Harrier?
Just settle for NO WIND
Have a safe day.
Roger and Russels