Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coyote Morning

I was out doing a bird survey this morning and got to see some interesting sights. One was this coyote, a little close for comfort. The reason appeared to be some kind of injury, as he was limping badly and didn't make much of a move to get away from me. I was impressed with how green his eyes looked.

Later I saw some mule deer running through the shrubs. I got out my camera and had it ready, but due to my paltry zoom didn't get close shots of them. They ran across the meadow and soon a coyote came running out of the same willow and rose thicket. He ran in a different direction, knowing that the deer were much too big of prey for him alone.

Seeing these wildlife sightings is pretty exciting, because sometimes the bird surveys can be a little slow. Ten minutes is a long time if you have the same four birds singing the entire time. 
White-faced Ibis
I had some good bird sightings, including breeding Common Yellowthroat and Lazuli Bunting in the bushes that the irrigated meadows support on their margins, and White-faced Ibis, Eared Grebe, Sandhill Crane, and Northern Shoveler in the ranch pond. Out in the meadows Western Meadowlarks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Brewer's Blackbirds were the most common sightings.

I also got bit by a mosquito and a deerfly. They surprised me, because usually the dry desert environments don't support these biting nuisances, but the irrigated meadows provided enough water for them. My new waterproof boots were actually waterproof, so it was a good morning. Now on to more adventures!

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