Shorebirds Today

I’m recovering nicely from the A to Z Blog Challenge and starting to think about writing my novel once again. In the meantime, a smart constitutional includes much birding—sometimes twice a day.

Yesterday, I hung along the edge of the Crystal Springs Reservoir watching the Red-Tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures float on the updrafts as the fog folded in in layers like batter.

Today, it was a trip to the dog park off of Radio Road—make that two trips—as I had to buy a couple of buttermilk donuts to use for crow snacks.

Every time I go down Radio Road, the shores are occupied by a few silent, well-equipped birders with camo gear right down to their camo-colored telephoto lenses. They sit focusing their equipment at the birds, silent, like folks in a pew facing the altar of saltwater and feather.

I can only imagine what amazing things they capture. My lens is always slower, not as sharp, nor as good. I do my best and I bring donuts as my real interest is the crows.

Ya, you can laugh, but crows are wickedly smart and much favored as feathered minions. Ya, you can laugh, I can only wish for minions.

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Common Coot

I used to take my three dogs, Bootsie, Mandy, and Dobbie, out to the Shoredogs Park on Radio Road and watch them run around. Bootsie, a boxer/lab mix always acted far younger than her age. Mandy, timid and looking for reassuring pats, hung by my side and earned points for her sweet nature. Dobbie, commanding to the point of domineering, standing proud on stout legs—a brindled Napoleon— was able to psych out much larger dogs including a German Shepherd. In those days, we went down Radio Road for the dog park.

Everyone was so alive then.

Those days are gone.

These days it’s all about the birds—shorebirds, wading birds, over-wintering birds, dumpster diving birds—birds are everything. My dog du jour, Tacoma (who is in reality, my granddog) insists she must go to the dog park while I prepare the donut savories for the crowing.

Crows leave her bland. She doesn’t bark.

But my objective is the crows. Yes, crows. Always crows. The other birds are beatific and beautiful, but I seek crow-wit and myth.

Along the way, I saw these birds. This was today—in an eggshell—a summary of nature and birding and dogging trips, too, and my cheeks are still warm from the wind and the sun of the warm weather chapping.

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Some kind of grebe, maybe, the Eared Grebe.
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Beautiful mallard drake.
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Canada Geese and young-“Come near my kids and I’ll kill ya'”
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Mama and babies run from me like I’m a politician.
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Hey, it’s my “tern” to eat that fish
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That moment at a party where someone asks you a question.
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An American Avocet. Notice the water off the end of its beak.
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A common seagull with an uncommon neck adornment
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I wonder how this poor thing ended up like this
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“But officer, that was a complete stop.”
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Check out these “fly” moves as a clever crow Billie-Jeans towards a piece of donut
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Almonds are brain food–for everyone.
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You have to be quick or else…
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This alert crow can’t believe its good fortune
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Crow Sobriety test
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This little chap couldn’t figure out why I was giving away free food. Not sure he approved.

8 thoughts on “Shorebirds Today

  1. I’m going to have a hard time expressing fully my love of these pictures…and their CAPTIONS, for pete’s sake! I’m just going to come back here in shifts so I can rave in batches. LOL. I’m sitting here at my breakfast nook table LOLing MAO, and it’s after midnight and I’m certain any neighbors or prowlers who might be up think I’m insane.

    The doggie descriptions strummed and twanged my little tender heart strings.

    More later.

  2. What a great way to spend your time. You are inspiring me to get out more with my camera. Chuck and I noticed Canadian goslings for the first time Sunday. The tulips are fading as the trees are bursting with color all over the place.

    I cannot believe your original cadre of dogs is gone. It makes me sad. I’m glad you have Tacoma. We have granddogs, too. I am glad for them until I am old enough to have a dog if my own. I’d enough, and not traveling so much.

    1. You are one of the ones who inspires me with the camera. I’m really just mucking about and have much I need to learn, but, that doesn’t stop me from oversharing the bird pictures. Taco is good company and a qualified birder too. Thanks for commenting.

  3. These are great. I felt the spirits of the trio, too. The caption about “come near my kids…” made me laugh because yesterday as I was walking on a new-to-me walkway by the river, one that was very busy at noon, I stopped to look at a turtle sunning himself. Although I saw the gaggle of geese, I didn’t see one little gosling sunning himself as well, and I very nearly got run over by the mama who decided to rush at me. Sheesh. A girl can’t even mind a turtle’s business.

  4. So much to love about this! The captions, the reminiscing about canine compadres no longer present in the flesh (but oh so present in the heart), and always, always the wit. So lovely!

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