To my great surprise (Not!), it was raining when I got ready to go to work at the Pea Island VC this morning. It was a really big gully washer out on the island, and the dip in the road at the entrance to the VC had about 5” of standing water in it. I was lucky that the rain decided to stop just as I arrived. Had to wade through a few large puddles and no one showed up for the scheduled morning bird walk.
That didn’t stop people from visiting during the day. Mary and Neil, the couple that was to lead the bird walk, stayed at the VC most of the day, and helped folks operate the three scopes in the viewing area as well as identify birds seen for them. This is the first time I’ve ever had help running the VC, and it sure enhanced the visitor’s experience. I could concentrate on sales, and answering those three most often asked questions.
During lulls in the crowd, I even got a chance to enjoy the view out the picture windows. With all the rain, quite a few puddles formed in the surrounding yard. A killdeer stopped by to poke around in one of them.
Birds are opportunists, and this fellow took advantage of the fresh water puddles to take a bath.
While brown-headed cowbirds aren’t my favorite species, it was fun watching them all get cleaned up. Most of this small flock was young males. You can see how some of their plumage is in the process of changing from the drab brown of their birth feathers to the shiny black of the male cowbird. They’ve got kind of a natural camouflage appearance going on right now.
There was enough activity and business to make the day move along at a nice pace. That’s the way I like it. Days at the Gateway VC tend to drag out since the visitation is a lot less, and there are no picture windows or bird feeders to look out and at during the slow times.
Later in the afternoon, we had a different visitor to the bird feeder area. It was a nutria.
This large rodent is an introduced species and not native to the United States. It’s larger than a muskrat, but looks similar, and is found in similar habitat. It was originally brought to the States from South America and released in the wild because of the quality of its fur for trappers. This young one always causes excitement when it comes to look for dropped seeds surrounding the feeders.
Tomorrow I’m working the Gateway VC all day. Don’t imagine that too much in the way of excitement will transpire there. One can always hope, though.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy