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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, November 20, 2006

fowl stuff

The window over the kitchen sink is the usual portal from which I take my first morning view of the outside world. What greeted my eyes on the morning that inspired this writing was a flock of blackbirds in and around my garden area. It was a rather large flock and many had red markings on their wings. These I assumed to be the male of the species and upon looking the bird up on the web, I found this to be true and came up with the rather obvious name for them – ‘red winged blackbirds’.

The large flock seemed to be rather fidgety in that a group would start to fly from one spot to another and then much of the flock would follow – but all of them generally stayed fairly close together. At one point, a small group of maybe a dozen or so was still in the garden and the whole flock, in an erratic manner finally came back to them. Possibly this was the elite leadership group that had some idea of what the flock was going to do next. They covered most parts of the yard at one time or another and looked to be eating grass seed.

Then I noticed a grey squirrel among the dark-feathered visitors and it was working very industriously around the edges of the garden. I’m not sure exactly what it was doing besides storing nuts for the winter, but it paid little heed to the multitudinous fowl presences or their frantic actions all around it and went diligently about its self appointed tasks. The flock finally departed, evidently for seedier lawns – although mine is pretty seedy (definition 3) looking.

Out another window I noticed a large white heron doing some quick high stepping across the bottom of the dam – evidently going from one hunting place to another. From the web, the identification on that one seems to be a ‘great egret’. Several other water birds have been viewed at various times, even the quick and fast diving kingfisher.

The islands that were growing to about 10 feet across have now shrunk back to just barely being visible due to a very heavy rain we had a few days ago. Later in the day, I glanced out the back window toward the pond and noticed that a gaggle of geese had gathered on or around these two small islands for some goosey purpose or another. I was aware that a flock of geese on the ground was called a gaggle, but it was not in the forefront of my mind that this same group would be called a skein when flying – fowl information there.

To top off this fowl day, the hawk came back to the trampoline again. While that doesn’t have quite the ring as ‘when the swallows come back to Capistrano’, it was a fairly big event for GM2 as she got to witness the event. It perched on the bar that supports the safety net as usual, looked around a bit and was off again. This same hawk has probably done the same thing many times and just went unnoticed. We all miss many wonderful sights of God’s creation that happen when we are just not looking. Sometimes we just need to lay aside the encumbrances and view the blessings God will show us – if we really desire to see. ec


Blogger Tim Rice said...

Wow! You seemed to have a lot of great nature views today.

11/20/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

tim rice - It was kind of a fluke thing that it all happened in one day. ec

11/20/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I've never seen red winged blackbirds in a flock: usually in twos or fours on fence posts and such. They seem to prefer low-lying bushes to trees when I have seen them. How nice for you to have so much avian action in your backyard.

11/20/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~ I also have blackbirds
in my yard, but not red-winged ones.
They whistle a lovely song and then go
and scratch in my vegie garden!! My last name is Heron, so there is 1 heron here too. Glad you enjoyed the
Thanks for the comments, glad you like the Murphy bricklayer thing. Now he was in trouble. Hope you are feeling well. Take care, Merle.

11/21/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Hopefully these were identified correctly - by an amateur - me. It looked as though they were migrating.

merle - There are always a lot of birds around this area but with seasonal changes, more seem to pass through the area.

11/21/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

The calls of red-winged blackbirds are one of my favorite signs that spring is here. How marvelous for you to see them, and snowy egrets, and hawks all in one day!

11/21/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - It was a great of bird watching - much variety, with a squirrel in the midst. ec

11/21/2006 11:03:00 PM  

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