Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Young Divines Go Public In A Big Way...finally.

5:14pm We've decided on an early start today as it seems to me from experiences last season that the fledges should be doing some ground time by now. Killing rocks, pitching sticks...more active play. Mock hunting. WE've not seen much yet so perhaps they're doing it earlier in the day. We come up the hill. Catbird scolds. Can't see the Catbird, can't see the hawk. Okay, there are two fledglings lets see what other bird noise might be happening up the hill a little further. Oh no, it's the dreaded tree copse that hides hawks so well. We start today's version of getting hawk neck. Just keep looking. Someone just has to be here.

There's a squirrel in a freeze. All the signs are there, but no fledge in sight. We go down and look up. We go up and look down. We lay down and look up.

The Robins keep scolding. We particularly like the one who's been doing it for 45 minutes with a worm remnant in his mouth.

6:25pm Finally, hot and frustrated we go and sit on a bench at an overlook. We scan, we rummange in Albatross wheelie bag for snacks. We scan. Slim pickings. A half bag of peanuts, very old. Wait, a little packet of smoked almonds. We share them out. Not bad. Now we're thirsty. Pull the bottle of soda out of Albatross. Gosh, it really has some condensation. It's just pouring off. That's a no on investigation. Somehow or other the bottom has developed a crushed node. That's not condensation that's Cola. Drink fast. Turn it upside down with the cap on, we'll need some for later. Robert Schmunk appears, and though he doesn't say, undoubtedly wonders what we're doing lazing around on a bench. Feeling sorry for ourselves, we tell him of our lengthy fruitless search.

6:38pm Suddenly an adult Red-tail flies out of the park over Morningside Dr. with a Mockingbird hot on it's tail, then a curve downward and into the trees at the level of the top of the grounds fence, westside of Morningside Dr., somehow coming out the RT is behind the Mocker. It doesn't last long and the Mocker chases the RT over behind the Cathedral and they disappear from our sight. Then Robert spots an Red=-tail on the finiale to the south chapel side of the Cathedral. Dad?

Now, in the process of attempting to see the RT and Mocker chase I'd gone 20 feet further down the hill. In the midst, I hear the Catbird scolding as I had when we first came up the hill but didn't spot a fledge. Juices activated by the past moments. We grab the gear, trot down the hill, and stand listening. It occurs to me that while Robins tend to group scold and do a little hostile dance while scolding, one side, mini-wingflap, otherside mini-wingflap, Catbirds on the other hand are often more immediately confrontational. Even if they don't get right in the hawk's face they still pinpoint their hostility directly at the hawk. Okay, if we can find the hidden Catbird, who we tried to find earlier and failed, but if we now succeed , we will see the hawk. Right?
7:03pm I can hear him and I know he's in there somewhere. But obviously invisible while standing on the sidewalk. I climb up and stand on the concrete part of of the fence and lean over the spikes to look. I finally see him. "Sam, there's the Catbird. Look! Hes looking over there." Sam who'd been trying to stand on the fence concrete and lean over the iron spikes of the fence to see which way the Catbird was looking with me, suddenly says, "Mom, MOM! There she is!." And sure enough there is a Red-tail youngster. There is a tremendous long "screeeeee" sound of talons on bark as the fledgling, wings spread, attempts to brake with toenail power on a very steep downward angled branch. (And by the way, the Catbird had been looking right at her.)

Discovered skidding down a branch by the noise, she hops, she turns, she peers through leaves and from behind branches. What is going on? Aha, there is a squirrel cavorting on the tree and driving her crazy.

The squirrel comes from underneath the branch the fledge has skidded to rest on, circles back down again, then appears on the trunk, and then behind it.

Chittering from squirrel.

Completely motionless, alert to the tiniest tip of squirrel tail protruding from the other side of the tree trunk.

7:20pm I turn to look at a strange passer-by, just in case, and when I turn back the fledge is gone.

7:25PM Still on street level, I get a call from Sam, the young are down at the baseball diamond. It's both fledglings, one on the ground with food, the other on top of baseball field fencing. They are in full view, for those who notice, of the large crowd gathering for a jazz concert in the park.

7:26pm Perching on the Backstop.

Looking at the food. (Notice the difference in build between the two.)

After much hopping about, flapping, and roughing it up around Homeplate, Big Sister grabs the "goods".

And says, "MINE". Little Brother is so stunned by this aggregious behavior that his face melts.
(For the humor impaired, that's a joke. The real reason for posting the shot is to check out the difference in their sizes when Big Sister fluffs up to the size of an overweight raccoon.)

I'm not in the least bit hungry for that disgusting morsel anyway.

Mom is bringing me something much better anyway. So there

Watching the audience.

Watching the Jazz Band.

8:04pm Sitting the fence.

8:09 As the Jazz is drawing to a close Fledge flies into trees near 110th and perches.
8:13pm Fledge back to original area someplace near Picnic Rock.
8:19pm Fledge that was on stump flies east into trees.
8:20pm Another RT being chased by a Mockingbird flies across Park toward Morningside Dr.

8:54pm Mom on Gab, though with the orangey-breast from the sunset, one had to look twice to make sure it wasn't one of the Fledglings

1 comment:

Eleanor said...

Absolutely "public in a big way"!

I love that shot of the robin with the half eaten worm.....