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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Radar Ralph


One of these days I'll learn.

Last night was not the first time he took me to good birds just on instinct. He is, by the way, not a birder. He likes to drive and talk while I chase them, but they are not his thing at all. However, when he asks to go somewhere, I should just go no questions asked....ask me sometime about the Barnacle Goose we almost missed.

Anyhow, I didn't want to go anywhere yesterday. It was hot and sunny and the garden and string trimmer beckoned. By the time I had all but the last two houseplants downstairs and outdoors and most of the area around the garden pond at least partly tidied up, I was done.

I parked in my chair and contemplated suppertime.

He was restless, wandering around looking pointedly in my direction.

Finally he said, "You want to go out and look for those birds they've been seeing out at the horse farm?"

Yeah, okay, dangle an Upland Sandpiper over my head and I am just like a field dog when it smells a pheasant.

Off we went. We drove by the horse farm, which by the way is now a cow farm, and saw nothing. He drove up to Buel Road to turn around for another pass.  As we went along looking for a safe spot to do so, he exclaimed, "I've got to get you back there! By the Killdeer!"

I was in a hurry to get back to the horse farm for the Uppies, and was not excited by a Killdeer. However, he quickly executed a 180 and "got me back there"... to a tiny, shallow sheet of shining water near where they are building a new highway department. it was just a bit of a dip where they had scooped up dirt for something.

Sure enough there was a Killdeer. 

There were also eleven...count em!...eleven Least Sandpipers. We have been going to the boat launch for weeks trying to find some before they have migrated past, with no luck at all.

Yet there they were, way out in Buel, darting around in that tiny pool. I was delighted, to say the least, and wore down the camera battery taking photos. There was also a charming little Killdeer chick, plus some Barn Swallows, etc.

Next we went back down by the horse cow farm and caught a fleeting, but adequate, glimpse of an Upland Sandpiper.

A new family lives and runs beef there, and we are going to be very sparing in visits to their roadside. They are really nice and accommodating, but they have friendly small children and I don't want to chance luring them out in the road wanting to chat or wear out our welcome parking and peering from the roadside.

Anyhow, someday I will learn that when Radar Ralph says, "Let's go", there are birds awaiting  and I had better get going.


Terry and Linda said...

You got some amazing photos!

Shirley said...

Your Ralph sounds like my husband- he's a wildlife spotter extraordinaire. Driving home from town he spotted 3 baby coyotes frolicking around a culvert and had to turn around to get photos. He sits outside having his cigarettes and is in tune with all the birds and critters that frequent our rather large yard.

threecollie said...

Thanks, Linda!

Shirley, I wish I shared Ralph's uncanny instincts!