Be a good boy

I took Boomer to begin the next part of his journey.
A very nice family will foster him until he is adopted.
From what I hear, people are lined up to take him.
The things that are for the best, sometimes feel the worst.
We love you, Boomer.
Be a good boy…
***
Thank goodness Kathi (katdoc) asked me to go out to the gravel pits today. Otherwise I would have sat in the house with a blanket over my head.
I didn’t get too many pictures, because we were too busy scoping the birds from a “legal” trail way, way far away.

The girls came with us, and they were surprisingly good.
Kathi is a great person to bird with. She is knowledgeable, funny and she owns a scope. 🙂
Water birds today:
(* life bird for me)
American coots ( 100s of them)
Gadwalls*
Canvasbacks*
Red-headed ducks* (Kathi and I weren’t sure at first, but we saw them side-by-side with the canvasbacks, so we are sticking to that ID)
Ring-necked ducks*
Common loons
Ruddy ducks
Hooded mergansers (We saw those, didn’t we, Kathi?)
Thanks to Kathi, I have increased my life list by NINE, in just a few days.
Once again, I am off to read all of YOUR blogs, to lift my melancholy. I hope all of you are in funny moods.

A place for Boomer

Rachel called tonight, and told me that the rescue has a foster home for Boomer. I am waiting for a call from the rescue folks to set up a “transfer” time. *Choke*

This sucks, sucks, sucks! But I’m gonna do it anyway.

No pictures today. No birding, kids didn’t really do anything cute.

I’m off to read other blogs for some pick-me-up.

BTW: Welcome John of DC Birding Blog to my blogroll.

A day of solitude

I love days when both of the girls are at school. If I don’t have a program, the day belongs to me. I went back out to East Fork State Park, where I had birded on Sunday.
The birding was fairly boring, so I checked out other areas of the park, and found a Native American burial mound:


…And a few stray cats, who were not interested in being rescued.
The orange cat gave me quite a start, because as I was driving by, I thought he was a fox.
There is an old Methodist church smack dab in the middle of the park, with a graveyard behind it. I’m not a superstitious person, so cemeteries don’t bother me. I don’t think that the living dead are going to burst out of the graves with skeletal hands to drag me down.

All I felt was sadness, tinged with a great sense of peace.

It’s the children’s graves that get to me the most.

This baby girl was born and died in the same year.

At the back of the graveyard, in a seemingly forgotten corner, were 56 graves marked as “Unknown”. I wonder why there were so many unknown bodies to be buried in this small cemetery? I think I may have to Google that.

Ever present, fungus looks out over a field of stones.

In a place dedicated to death, I found a sign of life:

A well-worn path, made by some animal, traced from the graveyard to a small opening in the foundation of the church.

A nice surprise

Lorelei and I went to Lake Isabella today just to kill some time. While Lorelei plunked stones into the lake, I scanned the far side for birds. And I saw some ducks all the way over there, and thought, “oh, look, some buffleheads…never seen them here before.”
But that ID didn’t feel right. These ducks had alot of white on them, and there were also some others with brown heads.
I grabbed my field guide…
Not buffleheads.
HOODED MERGANSERS.
*Susan does the happy dance…Boom shaka laka laka, boom shaka laka laka*

I tried and tried to get closer so I could get better pictures, but the lake is shaped in a way that you can’t get to certain places, which was exactly where the mergansers were. Water birds are so fussy.

The brown-headed ones turned out to be females. I have heard that female ducks are sometimes as hard as sparrows to ID, but it was the female mergansers that helped me ID these.

I didn’t mean to get a shot like this, but the guy on the shore is taking a leak.
Hee hee…sorry, dude!

I’m happy. Life bird number 105!

116460026126193088

Please welcome John L. Trapp’s blog, Birds Etcetera (aka Bird Stuff) to my blogroll!

Dam!

My first guided bird walk went very well today. And I got to meet Kathi, a.k.a. “katdoc” of comment fame. We live in the same part of Ohio and she asked if I would like to come along when the Cincinnati Bird Club went out to East Fork Lake State Park.
Well, heck yeah! Kathi was a peach and the birding was good, at least for me. There were other birders who were way more advance than me, but the guide knew that my list was pretty small and he made sure that I saw all the birds I could.
I left the house today with 98 life birds, and I cam back with 104. I’ll take it.
(Thanks for letting me use your scope, Kathi! I may just have to get one.)
List for today:
(* means life bird)
1. Bonaparte gull*
2. Ring billed gull
3. Lesser scaup*
4. Pied billed grebe
5. Mallard
6. Field sparrow*
7. Swamp sparrow*
8. Song sparrow
9. White throated sparrow
10. Cedar waxwing
11. Dark eyed junco
12. White breasted nuthatch
13. Downy woodpecker
14. Red bellied woodpecker
15. Northern flicker
16. Northern cardinal
17. Blue jay
18. Carolina chickadee
19. Tufted titmouse
20. American crow
21. Red breasted merganser*
22. Great blue heron
23. Eastern towhee
24. Ruddy duck*
25. Carolina wren
26. American coot
27. Goldfinch
28. Killdeer
29. Belted kingfisher
30. Yellow rumped warbler
My 100th bird was a lesser scaup. Yay for me!
Dam!
Red bellied woodpeckerThis is the best I could do with the Bonaparte gulls.

HOME:
My new bird feeder: a wreath made entirely of sunflower seeds.

This poor male house finch has a mild case of conjunctivitis. He kept shaking his head…

Tip: If you see any house finches, goldfinches, etc, at your feeders and one or both of their eyes are swollen, consider reporting it to Cornell’s House Finch Disease study. They are trying to track this disease and figure out what to do about it.

Cute girls, mutant guppy, what to do about Boomer

I sent an email to HART Rescue, to see if they could place Boomer in foster care. We will keep our fingers crossed.
You all have been so supportive and caring about this situation, and I thank you for it. What a sucky place to be in…I love him, but I have to let him go.
Okay, let’s move on to less maudlin affairs:
How about some pics of cute blonds rolling down a grassy hill?

Isabelle is someone I am rather proud of. She has a lot of my idiosyncracies, which makes her fun, but she also has this spirited, passionate soul that is all hers. I really didn’t want a daughter who was like me (I gave my parents WAY too much grief) but she seems to be growing out of my shadow into a person who will let the world know just how much she matters.

Okay, check this out:

I have a mutant guppy.
Remember my baby guppies? They are growing fast, and I noticed one of the males yesterday had something the other males didn’t:

Upper left: The male in question

Lower right: a “normal male”

The top male guppy has an extra fin on his belly, and also a round mass growing in front of the fin that looks like it has a small fish eye in it. Do I have the first documented case of Guppy Siamese Twins? The extra fin has all the finery that is supposed to grow out the back, not the belly, and that eye-thing is freaky.

Sorry for the bad quality of these photos..ever try to get a fish to be still while you are photographing it?

Anyone have any insight into guppy mutations?

I have to get to bed soon…in the morning, I will be going on my first “real” guided bird field trip! And I will be blogging the Hell out of it, you can be sure. We will be looking for mainly water birds, and since my life list is currently at 98, there’s a lot of room to add more with little effort.

I will be meeting a blogger friend face to face, too!

By the way: It’s the Swami’s birthday today. Pay him a visit and wish him a good one!

(I found a yak puppet for a birthday present for him…he was moved.)

More tomorrow!