Monday, November 19, 2012

A Dam Search in Deer Season

A pair of cranes and their colt of this year make a break for it after being startled by gunshots.

This is the Sugar River.  I'm told there is a dam within walking distance.  And just why would I want to nail down a dam?  Because when it gets very cold this winter and the rivers freeze, the water around the dam won't and...the Bald Eagles will gather.  

I want to be ready as last winter there were very few of those days with climate change underway.

Unfortunately I've done it again.  For whatever reason I somehow end up trotting around on wooded  public land the first weekend of deer season almost every year.   

The weekend when those who do such things are very excited and sometimes more accidents than usual happen.

Do I know what happened to the blaze orange knit cap that is supposed to be in the car for such events?  Of course not.

Plus as there are constant spatters of gunfire in the distance, the creature spotting is at a minimum.   The wildlife, not having figured out just yet that it is the season for deer, many of the other creatures figure out before long just who the guns are after and settle down somewhat.  

The deer will also get the message and head for mucky swamps, enormous briar patches, and other spots unpalatable to hunters and lay low, particularly on weekends.  

The beasties aren't stupid.

There are a few exceptions to the wariness today.  Slate-colored Juncos blithely flit from ground to branch and back again.  A bigger bird zooms by.

Its a Cedar WaxwingI hadn't realized how good their coloring is as camouflage in winter.
More distant gunfire and a Kingfisher, making a kind of  loud buzzy growling sound, zips with purpose into the distance following the river.   
The link below has examples of the buzzy growl, intermixed with the Kingfisher call that sounds more "bird like".

I was only able to get one shot of our Kingfisher friend.
See the speck heading over the treetops of the island?

 I cropped the photo down in order to see the "speck" and the photo turned out to be rather odd.  I suspect Kingfisher is in the midst of preparing for a dive but he looks more like a dabbler riding rough water.


One never knows where YouTube will lead, and as we've been having an animal tool use conversation for some years on and off- another chapter.  A bird who uses bread to catch fish.  I think we could consider bread a tool in this case.  (Beware the producer's tag at the tail of the piece.  Jarring.)

Then I heard it.  The sound of rushing water.

Ahhh, come January there may be a dozen or more Bald Eagles perched in these trees hunting the open water for fish.  Something to look forward to during the winter days before Red-tail nesting begins again.

And as if in answer to the thought...
 A Red-tail appears and soars into the light.

Donegal Browne

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