Mostly Deer and Red-Shouldered Hawks on Sunday

Red-Shouldered Hawk in her nest. © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.
Red-Shouldered Hawk in her nest. © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.

I didn’t sleep very well last night because Sergeant Margie just couldn’t seem to get comfortable in bed and Pozey kept stomping around.  Still, I was feeling pretty good today; not 100%, but maybe close to 95%, and I’ll take that.  There’s still a remnant of the cough, but I’m not taking any medication right now, so let’s hope the cough will completely abate soon…  I went over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve this morning, and got there before the Sunday crowds (they started coming in just as I was leaving). Lots of mule deer and Red-Shouldered Hawks were out today.  In fact, it looks like a pair of the hawks are building a nest in a tree right next door to the nature center building itself.  If the hawks stay there, they’ll become a great teaching tool for the naturalists that take courses there… It’s nice to see things greening up out there.  Some of the wild plum trees were in bloom already.  Lots of songbirds out right now, too,  along with Robins, Acorn Woodpeckers and White-Breasted Nuthatches.  I also came across a Nutthall’s Woodpecker.

I got a little video of a Hooded Merganser in the pond area, and that was kind of cool.  You can see him raising and lowering his “pop top” of head feathers.  I got video of one of the mule deer grooming itself, too, and wanted to feature the fact that it was cool enough outside to see the deer’s breath.  When I got the video home, though, and looked through it, I realized that the deer was a young buck you could see all of his “junk”… then he walked off and pooped in the direction of the camera.  Hah!  Not gonna show that one, I guess.  A lot of the deer were just lying in the grass chewing their cud…  Some of the boys are losing their antlers already and just have “open wounds” on their foreheads where the antlers used to be…

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As I was walking along, I came across a mother and father with their young kids – and their dog.  As they went by, I told the dad, “You know, dogs aren’t allowed in here… and there can be a pretty hefty fine if one of the rangers sees you.”  He said, “It’s too late; we’re already out here.”  And then the mother said, “The signs said we could have a dog on a leash.”  Uh, no.  You can have a dog on the leash in the golf course area next door, but there are signs all over saying “no dogs allowed” in the preserve itself.  I told them they were a great example to their children… and they didn’t get the sarcasm.  Idiots.

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back home, stopping off at BelAir to get some groceries on the way.