Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Birding & Preserving
I'd decide to head back home after an hour as it was obvious the owl didn't want to be seen and really couldn't explore with the power company there so figured I'd get an early start on my jam and head back over there when I was done.
And of course the Cedar Waxwings who will continue to inhale these things when overly ripe and fermented and get a little tipsy.
I'd be busy with my own berries and finally gather enough for one batch of jam.
While that was thickening I'd start working on making some scones to accompany them because the two go well together.
Suddenly the woods would be filled with a pathetic mimic of "Who Cooks for You, Who Cooks for youuuuu.." I'd feel really funny doing this considering the Electric Company's truck was still in view so figured they were taking a break from the chainsaw for lunch and was wondering if they could hear me. I'd get a little deeper into the canopy and try it again. Still nothing, I started thinking perhaps the bird would prefer a duet and was trying to grasp how I could loudly mimic the second part of the duet which I remember as "biscuits and graaa-veee (hey! it works and makes sense when you put the two together! ;-)) Luckily the owl would spare us both the agony of such an attempt and fly in close by to check me out.
The day wouldn't end there though. Around 5 or so, I'd see it cloud up with the potential for rain so off I went to my usual spot to check for a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Of course by now I know the task is pointless but I do it none the less as I find birding in the light rain to be rather peaceful with the sound of raindrops hitting your jacket and the smell of the wet earth beneath your feet. Everyone else is indoors to escape the weather so that means I'll have the place to myself and sometimes that's just what I want so off I went.
I'd then hear a scolding call and realize it was a Baltimore Oriole. Now I've heard these birds scold before, but it's usually short term so was taken aback by the length of its scold as it would be right up there with the Tufted Titmouse. It would fly from branch to branch and continue with the scold which caught the attention of a nearby Gray Catbird who would also be giving its alarm call and following the oriole.
The scolding and bird activity would be so heavy that even I at that point was getting alarmed. Could it be a cat?? No, not here, there's no houses around. A Fox?, good possibility but I don't see it. A hawk? Perhaps but I've never seen birds act like this over a buteo and if it were an accipiter they wouldn't be perched up and hollering. Hmmmmmm.......Could it be me?? Nah, I come here all the time and they all know me by now I'd think......Still.....I'd feel self conscience at this point as I was being polite and quiet so couldn't understand what all the panic was about. I'd suddenly hear the call of a Blue Jay. Aha, I'd think....Nest Robbers. Makes perfect sense as the birds all band together as one whenever a corvid comes hunting for eggs. The thing is the Blue Jay would fly by and a few seconds after that I'd see a Cooper's Hawk coming from the same area and go past the tree line. I don't believe there's anyway the birds could have sensed the Coops from as far away as it was and it didn't appear in hunting mode so considered it a coincidence. I'd continue along my way still mystified by the whole experience and could still hear them all as I made my way up the hill. Have no idea what it was all about but it was interesting to say the least. I guess birds are like people and when one neighbor's in trouble everyone acts neighborly.
Take care all