Monday, February 15, 2010

Bona Dea Update

Bona Dea was cloudy most of day and started to clear by late afternoon. It was cold and still windy. The adventure started on the way to the park when I passed by the old snag in Lake Dardanelle where I previously saw the 3 Double-crested Cormorants. This time their number had increased to 10. See photo of the 3. On down a few yards, I saw a duck that looked a little weird. So I pulled over and took a closer look. Usually I see them in the spring/summer months but this was a Pied-billed Grebe. See pic. This duck would swim a little bit and then dive under water for a few seconds and then emerge farther down the lake. I watched it do that several times. They do that when they are scared and when searching for fish under water. Then on down close to the park parking lot there were thousands of the dreaded Starlings. They are really nuisance birds around here. They build nests in my house gutters. Eat all my bird food etc. As a kid I used to shoot them with a BB gun. Oh, I didn't say that. See pic. I then made my way to Swinging Bridge Trail and the spillway area. There were the Black-eyed Juncos all over the place and when they fly, they have white on the ends of their wings that flash. See photos in recent previous posts. I saw a single Turkey Vulcher flying and several Gulls flying higher. When I got to Prarie Creek the Mallard ducks flew off as usual. At the spillway, the trusty Great Blue Heron was wading in the creek looking for supper. The water was very shallow as the authorites are still cleaning out the pumping station area and leaving the pumps on longer than usual. He was cold and all shrivled up but flew away after a bit. See pic. Also several flocks of blackbirds, probably Grackles, were flying westward. On my way back in, I saw a couple of pairs of Northern Cardinals with their mates and some Robins. At my house there were some White-throated Sparrows and a Blue Jay eating some sunflower seeds. I heard that Blue Jay by the bedroom outside before I got up today. It was singing away. Also the daffidil flowers in the back and front yard have emerged from their winter hibernation. Will be blooming soon. The flowering shrubs in front and back of the house will too.

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