Monday, April 15, 2013

An Irrigating Trip with Some Beautiful Birds

 My husband had to do some irrigating Sunday afternoon, so we went out to enjoy the pleasant afternoon and have some outside family time.

 Desert Boy gingerly crossed one of the irrigation ditches, making sure the water didn't overtop his irrigating boots. He wasn't so careful later and had to dump the water out of his boots!

 Meanwhile I was going crazy because I saw some really fun birds out in the wet meadow. An American Avocet caught my eye, with its reddish head and black and white body and wings. It's long legs and bill make it well-adapted for the marshy environment.

 Nearby was a bird with a similar shape, but its legs were red and it had a body that was just black and white--a Black-necked Stilt.

I particularly liked seeing the reflection of the bird.

Looking east, it still looked sunny and calm as the water flowed from the irrigation ditch out across the meadow. Behind us, up in the mountains, the storm clouds were gathering and darkening the sky. Soon the wind would begin and the temperature would dip several degrees. The joys of fickle spring weather--you can have everything from summer to winter in just a couple hours!

I tried sneaking up on some Long-billed Curlews, but they didn't really want me to get close. They have such long bills!

 Henry was busy watching my husband work. He's a good dog like that. He knows how to conserve his energy.

 Of course, I shouldn't really talk. I wasn't working. I was having a terrific time wandering around taking photos.

A couple mallards took off. My husband noted that he's seen thousands of birds recently in the wet meadows and wetlands. Spring migration is well on its way, and many birds are stopping for a well-deserved meal on their way north.

 Besides birds, I also spotted some old equipment out on the meadows. I have no idea what this was, but it sure looks like it has been there a long time.

 Another shot of the meadows. This was the first place settled in our area because of the abundant water. We're hoping that the water will stick around and not be piped away, as it's critical to our ranch plus it's clear that a lot of wildlife depends on it.

 These dandelions in the mud next to the ditch made me crack up. They were in such a rush to flower and reproduce they barely made time to make any leaves.

 One more bird--White-faced Ibis. You can barely see the white near the eye.

I don't get to see any of these birds everyday (although I do see mallards at least once a week), so I was on a birding high. Even though none of these birds were a new species for me, just seeing them again made me feel reconnected to nature. Things must be going well for them at their southern homes, and hopefully they will be successful breeding in their northern homes. Seeing these international travelers makes me feel just a little bit flighty!

1 comment:

A said...

Thanks (as always) for sharing these pictures of another slice of life.

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