Sunday, October 7, 2007

Odds and Ends

So many posts have come and gone through my mind over the last few weeks but never made it here for one reason or another.

There was the day the crows were migrating through in long scattered groups. The sight reminded me of the fall day a number of years ago when I was watched a long broken line of these birds chasing the light south. At the top of a large hill near here, I was able to connect scattered groups of crows from as far as I could see to the north, over my head and again as far as I could see to the south - with my spotting scope! This stringy line of scattered crows, moving near the earth stretched for at least 10 miles. Maybe they really stretched from daylight to dusk.

Then there was the first flock of cranes. Sandhill cranes in swirling lines forming large masses moving in the same direction as the crows, but much higher. The fall cranes always prompt memories from my childhood of walking home from school for lunch on a yellow October day and hearing that sound. If you have heard it before you know what I mean - that rolling call of the Arctic and muskeg connecting to the playas of the southern grasslands. I remember being stopped in the open field between the school and my house when the churling bugles registered in my mine and my eyes moved skyward to trace the sound to the gathered specks moving south in shifting lines high above me.

Oh, and ambiguity and bird identification from David Sibley mixed with the Dunning-Kruger effect (from a post by Pluvialis at Fretmarks) prompted lots of thoughts, particularly during this time of year when I am reviewing a number of bird observations submitted to the Montana Bird Records Committee for review. But I am not going to chase that right now.

Then there are these guys...

And her..

And it is a gorgeous fall day in October, upland gamebird season is on, waterfowl opened last weekend, birds are migrating through, I can see the bison grazing out my front window as I type this and I should not be sitting in front of my computer. My camera/binoculars/shotgun should be in my hand and I should be out the door and.....did you hear the door slam shut behind me?

1 comment:

mdmnm said...

Down here where many of those cranes (and a bunch of crows) stop for the winter, the sound of the sandhills drifting down has always been one of those fall things for me, too. Seems like half the time you hear them when you're on the roof winterizing the swamp cooler and they're so high it takes forever to find the pumping and gliding dots.
Happy fall!