Tag Archives: vultures

Birds Along Desmond Road on Friday

After work it was still chilly, overcast and hazy outside, but I took the dog over to Desmond Road again, and walked with him for about an hour there.  Saw the hawks and little kestrel there again – and even saw the kestrel flush a much larger hawk out of “his” tree.  The hawks was so flustered, it flew across the road and landed in the wetland field there, right on top of a Ring-Necked Pheasant, who burst up and flew away, further frightening the hawk.  He was not having a good afternoon.  Hah!  It all happened so fast, I didn’t get photos of any of it.  (Dang it.)  I got some photos of the Coots, White-Fronted Geese and Black-Necked Stilts, egrets, sparrows and other birds that were venturing out closer to the edge of the road, and also saw some Turkey Vultures hunkered down on a small “island” in the wetlands area.  While I was walking, I came across other birders who were also cruising down the road, binoculars and cameras hanging out of the windows of their cars… and they all looked like they were in their 690’s and 70’s.  I guess you don’t have a whole lot of time for birding until after you retire…

I’m Really Cranky Today… So, Look Out! (*Hah!*)

I’ve had a killer cough for the past day or two and last night it kept me up all night… so I’m exhausted, headachy and cranky this morning.  Look out!  What’s weird is that it’s just a cough with a low-grade fever; no congestion or sinus pain or itchy eyes. I could have stayed in bed all day, but I got up around 7:30 and took Sergeant Margie with me over to the American River Bend Park for our walk.

There were a lot of different kinds of lichen out, along with some Earth Stars, but I only came across one small stand of mushrooms — some “Jelly Babies” growing out of the trunk of a fallen tree.  Lots of birds making noise, but few posed for me — although I did get some shots of a vulture, a Starling and an Egret.  I also came across a young coyote who posed for me for a few minutes.

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As nice as all of that was, I as aggravated by the bunch of stupid humans who let their dogs run around off-leash (the humans carry the leash in their hand, but don’t actually put it on the dog. )  Several of the dogs rocketed past me trying to catch birds and rabbits, and ruined some of my bird shots.  When one woman’s dog took off, she just stood there and shouted, “Kody, what are you doing?!” as though the dog was responsible for being off-leash and chasing rabbits and she wasn’t.  Later, as we were walking through one of the roundabouts, Sergeant Margie just stopped moving, and I looked back at him to see what his problem was.  His hind legs were all tangled up in fishing line that some other terminally stupid human had left on the ground (instead of throwing it in the trashcan that was about 5 feet away).  Fargging bastages! I had to use the little knife on my keychain to cut the snarled up stuff away from my dog’s legs.   Then I came across a crack-pipe that I assumed someone had thrown out of their car so the Rangers wouldn’t find it… I mean, I know I woke up cranky, but…Ugh!  Where are people’s brains?! ?!  

After walking for about 90 minutes I decided I’d better head back home before I murdered someone.  (*Hah!*)  When I got back to the house I had some chicken soup and gulped down some more cough suppressant before taking a short nap.  Sometimes you just need one of those.

Mostly Big Soggy Vultures Today

I got up around 7:00 this morning and was out the door with the dog in about 15 minutes.  We headed off to the American River Bend Park.  It as overcast and chilly all morning, so a lot of the critters slept in.  I did get to see some Scrub Jays, Starlings, woodpeckers, and gulls and geese.  And while I was walking along that part of the trail that abuts the river, I came across a large flock of vultures.  They were in an old scag of a tree, above my head, and I didn’t realize they were there until some of them took off suddenly, breaking twigs and showering me with leaves as they left.  Startled the crap out of me!  Some of them hung around a while, and I got some photos of them.  Some of them were sopping wet, and must’ve been grabbing dead fish off the riverbank or something.  They sat with their wings out, trying to dry themselves off.  The river was slow-moving and like glass in some spots.  Further on the trail, I found some more vultures sitting on the banks, saw a crow hopping on rocks along the water ay, and later came across a small band of bachelor turkeys.  They’re such pretty birds, all coppery and dark iridescent green and purple…  The dog and I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back to the car.