Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cranes at Dusk

           Tuesday I spent the whole day trying to photograph birds.  Starting out in my yard I didn't see anything of note except this Cooper's Hawk that visits pretty regularly.

   Headed to Lake Erie Metropark where I saw no migrating hawks.  From there I went to Ohio and refound the Snow Buntings at Maumee Bay State Park.
  Also a late season Great Egret passed by.
   From there I drove back toward Toledo and Woodlawn Cemetery to look for Red Crossbills.  Didn't find any  but got some shots of a female White-winged Crossbill and a Pine Siskin.

   Back in the fall of O-10,  a Whooping Crane made nightly fly-ins with the Sandhill Cranes at the roost in Haehnle Marsh in Jackson County.  Last year high water in the marsh kept even the Sandhills away.  This fall the Sandhills are roosting in record numbers which topped out over 7000 in early November.  Also last week the same Whooper returned.  What's so special about a Whooping Crane?  It is the tallest bird in North America standing about 5 feet tall.  It has a 7.5' wingspan.  In 1941 their population had dwindled to 21 due to hunting and habitat loss.  Even after years of  breeding programs the conservation effort has yielded a wild population of only 421 as of 2011. 
  Of course the cranes on Tuesday didn't start pouring into the marsh until after the sun had set, so picking out the Whooper among the thousands of Sandhills was impossible.  Here is a photo I took two years ago.
Whoop, there it is
Some more shots from Tuesday.

Northern Shovelers

     Everyone wants to live forever or at least leave a legacy.  Very few however have the legacy of their sense of humor etched in stone.

  Back on Thanksgiving, between the 8 hours of work, family get-together,and the cooking of the pierogis and kielbasa, I had time to do a load of laundry.  I took the laundry bag from the hamper in the bathroom down to the washing machine in the basement. 
Laundry basket looking deceivingly empty.
  Five minutes later when I returned the laundry bag to the hamper.  I found this....
Re-enactment of Baby Jessica stuck in the well
    It is well documented( ) that my cat Comet likes to hang out in the bathroom so that she can try to persuade anyone to turn on the water in the sink so that she can get a drink of fresh water.  Beside camping out on the counter waiting for someone to enter the bathroom, she also likes to wait on top of the laundry basket.  What happened here is that she tried to jump on top of the basket.  Being a cat she doesn't notice that the top has been removed.  So instead of landing on her perch she fell into the basket.  Being a quirky cat she didn't care and made the most of her predicament and settled in for a nap.

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