Sunday, May 19, 2013

♪♫ It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring…♫

Yep, that’s been my world for the last couple of days.  I got up to rain at 4:00 yesterday morning to get ready for the Detroit Lakes Bird Festival tour of Tamarac NWR.  Steve, Rachel, and I got to Detroit Lakes just in time to hop on the bus as it was ready to pull out at 5:30.  I felt like a zombie.  Once back on the refuge, we got out to hike around at several places and look for birds in the rain.  I had worn my raincoat with a sweatshirt underneath, but by the time we were half way through the tour I was really feeling cold and clammy.  When the bus stopped very near my rig for folks to get out and walk around, I bailed from the tour.  Call me a chicken if you like, but I had had enough.  Just not the dyed in the wool birder that I used to be.


By yesterday afternoon, the skies had cleared and Emma and I hopped into the car to explore a few more of the roads on the refuge.  We got a nice view of a trumpeter swan in our travels.  This was after I once again made a wrong turn and drove about 20 miles out of my planned route.  I was armed with maps and all, but after stopping to buy some night crawlers for fishing, I goofed.  Grr.  I hate being directionally challenged!  As we returned home, the rains began once again.

73 Tamarac NWR, 20131

It rained most of the morning today.  Late this afternoon, the sun came out once again, and I decided to hang a couple of bird feeders out even though the holder pole was bent over from the bear.  I tried to bend it back to upright, and the best I could do was get it to about a 45* angle.  The birds don’t seem to mind though, and blasted in within minutes.


It kind of surprised me to have a pretty good sized flock of pine siskins descend.  I have always thought of pine siskins as winter time birds, but then I am a bit further north than I’ve ever resided before.  The bird checklist for the refuge lists them as uncommon in spring and summer, but they sure weren’t uncommon today.


A female red-winged blackbird even stopped by for a look at the offerings at the Hard Rock Bird Café.  She didn’t stay long, but I bet she’ll be back.


I’ve had Baltimore orioles before if I put out oranges, and they do try to get some of the sugar water out of the hummingbird feeder, but this is the first time I’ve seen one eat some of the thistle seed.  This is a female, and the male often visits the hummer feeder.


Through all of this bird business, Emma was her calm uncaring self.  It makes me chuckle to see the way she crosses her front legs when she is relaxed.  She remained this way until just after her dinner.  Then she began pacing around.  She can sense ahead of time when a rainstorm with thunder is coming.  Sure enough, after I took my camera back inside, the rain and rumbles returned. 

The forecast for my next three work days looks pretty wet as well.  Lots of school kids coming on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out.  Can you just imagine 100 first graders planting trees in the rain??  Sounds like a mud bath to me!  Disappointed smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy