Easy Rider and Hummingbirds
The hooded warblers have come from Mexico (or maybe Cuba) and have landed here as of yesterday. Last week’s strong southeast winds would have helped them get here, the strong north winds of the last two days definitely would not. Their calls are distinct and loud and come from across the river early in the morning. I shouldn’t confuse the song with Swainson’s warbler but I do, and have to be careful in deciding which is which. Luckily, both can be heard here at the same time, sometimes, and you can easily tell the difference then.
The pair of ospreys have been cruising the river for the past two days. One carried a fish yesterday with no hassles from the other one. Maybe these two are reproductively associated with less conflict resulting. I believe I like this picture because it has a not-quite-real feeling to it.
Had to remove the big tube feeders and put up smaller ones for the rest of this season. With the goldfinches gone, and the abundance of natural foods for the resident population of other seed-eaters, smaller feeders are in order.
The rufous and the buff-bellied hummingbirds are gone. Just think of them heading west, making stops in San Antonio, Albuquerque, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Portland before reaching a suitable summer home! Makes me want to “Head out on the highway - Lookin for adventure - And whatever comes our way”. Steppenwolf, Easy Rider and hummers, think about it.
What we have now is a very excitable group of sexed-up male ruby throats. They seem to be about as intensely colored right now as they ever get. And each feeder has been adopted by a single male who seems to hate anything that moves fast and is about his size. When the ladies arrive these aggressive guys will collect as many as they can within their territory and breed as often and in as nondiscriminatory a way as their energy permits.
The river is coming up, fast. I had to retie the dock four times in the last two days. That involves adjusting 11 ropes each time, and moving the shrimp traps. As usual, during a rise, there is a lot of drift now. Not too much really big stuff yet because the water did get to 11 feet late this winter and so the banks got washed at least that high up already.
The 14 yellow-crowned night herons show just about every stage of wing beat possible, from full downstroke to the top of the upstroke. This morning they just cruised down the river like this. What? You can't tell they're herons?
The river is at 8.2 right now, about the limit for the trotline with no anchors, but it should be ok to about 14 feet with the two anchors I have, provided the anchor bridles aren’t buried in the sand (effectively shortening them). The rise should be at 10.7 feet by Sunday and then slow down. The Mississippi is still coming up but the Ohio is flat to falling and so will we be by next week. Too bad for crawfish.
Rise and Shine, Jim