Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for ...

... the snails, birds, turkeys, the tent, a bush, and a cow." That's what 3 year-old Hazel wrote on her "I'm thankful for" leaf at pre-school.

Jon called this morning that he'd found a Snowy Owl 5 miles from the house at the same location Ginger and I chased my lifer snowy when we were dating 10 years ago and visiting her family for the holidays. Both girls got to see it through the scope.
It was rainy and misty and they didn't want to stay long. I think the highlight for them was the raisin boxes they ate in the car on the way home, but they were excited to go look for a "white owley." Hannah spotted a flock of ring-billed gulls on the way there and happily called out, "there they are," since we told the girls to watch out for white birdies. Not bad for a 2 year-old.

I have no idea what random thing Hazel was referring to when she said she was thankful for "a bush."
Maybe she was referring to the brush down below the house? The pic is an ominous scarlet-and-gray sunrise Saturday morning before the Michigan-OSU football game.

I spent most of the Saturday morning at the end of the pier in the mob composed of the second weekend Murrelet twitchers. In spite of themselves, most (I think all at least in the morning) did eventually see the bird, though the directions that people gave would have been better utilized if everyone wasn't yelling "where is it, where is it, where is it," each one louder than the next. It didn't help that half the people use "the gull" as a reference point when the water was peppered with Bonaparte's. There's certainly an art to listening to a cacophany of people giving direction to a bird, inevitably people who utterly can't give directions, and not listening to any one particular person, but just trying to get an overall gestault of where they're all describing.
At any rate, here's a red-necked grebe that was more cooperative than most in Berrien, also from Saturday. Usually they're flyby's, this is only the 2nd I've seen in the water here. It was actually a county lifer for Jon, who's seen over 300 birds here. Tim's got some decent pics up on his Picaso site of the Parasitic Jaeger that kept sweeping by and periodically landing on the water with his new Canon 40d.

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