Monday, May 19, 2008

PART II--Sandhills vs Red-winged Blackbirds and Human Attacked by Red-wing in Car

2:44:52 Bette stands behind Bob and they both give "the look" to the geese.

2:44:58pm Bette goes left away from the geese but a Red-wing has arrived on a near-by stalk.

And here come the rest of them. Bette decides to head for higher ground while Bob guards the right rear flank.

Bob then crosses over and guards the left flank but a Red-wing gets by and nabs Bette in the bottom.

2:47:43pm Lacking stalks the Red-wings now begin to stage on the ground.

2:48:15 pm Bette attempts to go left and out flank the ranked Red-wings.

She then flips round and glares.

The Red-wings retreat.

Reorganize and attack again. The cranes continue their retreat from the water and Red-wing nest territory.

And keep coming.

Bob watches...

I don't know exactly what happened.

But Bob's neck is twisted at an odd angle and a Red-wing may be stunned on the ground.

Or is it flying at his "ankles"?

2:52:00pm Then bizarrely, they seem to be starting their crane mating dance. Either that or Bob is stomping a Red-wing and happy about it.

The continue and stand tail to tail and freeze.

Then the Red-wings have come in again and staged on the ground around them. The little birds attack. Bob flaps. Bette and Bob bounce and bow to each other.

Then Bette seems to find a snack. ???

They both look skyward.
2:53:46pm No Bette and Bob?
2:53:57PM Sandhill in sky, only one? Bette and Bob are circling beyond the trees. Who is this new Sandhill? Why did seeing him make B and B take off? Is he the real "Bob"? And I've been watching Bette and say, Alfred? Or is Alfred the solo attempting to horn in on the pair.
Circling counter clockwise Bette and Bob go right.
2:54:10PM Now they've gotten elevation and hit their, shall we say, stride, and are heading out in a big hurry.
2:54:24pm See the pair high and the single low? Maybe the single is the real Bob and he's waiting for Bette to show up and the pond is his territory and the pair was actually Alfred and Angela attempting to cadge the pond?
Whichever, I have to get going.
2:58:32pm Now I'd just started to put the car back on the road from the right when I see fisticuffs taking place on the left side of the road tween a Red-wing and I think, a Killdeer. I pull off yet again and attempt to get a photo of the Killdeer. It then takes off and when I look right, there is the Red-wing peering at me through the open car window. He's right there. A few feet from the window looking hostile. Great chance for a photo, I take a quickie and then when I go to take one that is more deliberate, he's disappeared from the view finder. I pull the camera away from my eye to look for him and he's flying directly at my face. I duck and he zooms out the left car window. Though I've begun to giggle, (Wow, that was exciting!)I'm glad the engine is already running and off I go. When I look in the rear view mirror there's our guy, Mr. Belligerent, sitting on his fence post ready for all comers. And I really do mean all comers.
Donegal Browne

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