Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Houston, the Good Luck Duck has landed!

What do a Good Luck Duck, a Christmas Bird Count (CBC), a web migration, and a crawdad house have in common?  They’re all things that appeared or happened today, and the topics of this post. 

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ROXANNE AND ANNIE, of The Good Luck Duck blog, pulled into the RV pads this afternoon.  It turns out spending a couple of nights at the pads works out in their plans to visit a friend on the Bolivar Peninsula, and I’m always happy to offer a spot to fellow bloggers.  We had a good time getting to know each other in person before the temps dropped, and the sun set.  Tomorrow, if it isn’t too rainy, we’ll do a tour of the refuge.

_MG_5120I was up way before the crack of dawn this morning to get ready for the annual Christmas Bird Count here on the refuge.  This Wilson’s snipe is one of the birds we saw during the count.  I took this picture yesterday during some showers.  I like how the rain just beads up on the birds back.  If you were a boy scout in your youth, you may have gone on a snipe hunt.  I’m here to tell you that there really is such a bird.  Smile

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On the two road sections that I was assigned to survey, my friend Diana and I counted 9200 birds.  Of course 8500 of those birds were all Northern shovelers on one of the rice field ponds, but the other 700 included three long-billed curlews and a couple of loggerhead shrikes.  Two of the best sightings for us today were an immature bald eagle and a Say’s phoebe. 


After I finished the count, and Roxanne and Annie had arrived, we noticed a spider web migration occurring.  It’s something I’ve never seen before.  Long strands of spider web like material come floating through the air.  The strand pictured here was about four feet long.  These strands were floating on the wind well above our heads.  I had the door of the rig open in the afternoon, and a number of these strands flew into the screen.  Anybody know anything about this?

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And last, but not least, I found these crawdad mounds behind the rig.  Because of the drought, I haven’t seen any of these this year until today.  Must have been the rain we had yesterday.  The crawdads create these mud and clay marbles and push them up in a stack above their abode.  The two I found were only three or four inches tall.  When it’s wetter, these mounds can be as much as 10-12” high. 

Well, that’s about it for today from the refuge.  I’ve decided to head for Mississippi a week from today.  I’m providing the ham for our Christmas dinner here, and Emma has a spa appointment for next Tuesday.  I’m ready to move on down the road.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy