Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Just Ducky!

 Over the weekend we went up into the Catskills to visit our son Jason.  He is an environmental educator at Frost Valley YMCA Camp.  I love it up there.  I was able to do a short hike, and also challenge myself with two swinging bridges.  After all that I've been though this past year....they were easy. LOL  I also met a few sad birds of prey.  A Great-horned Owl, A Barred Owl and a Red-tailed Hawk.   I'm not a huge fan of saving rehabbed wildlife who can't be released back into the wild just for the sake of possibly teaching a small percentage of people to love and respect our earth enough to protect it.  It has been proven that seeing animals up close and personal does little to make future conservationist.  Most people think that the animal is so lucky to still be alive. I don't think animals give much thought to that, I think that they are bored and lonely living in captivity in tiny cages with minimal stimulation.  They don't care to meet people, in fact most are stressed and afraid of people.  The Great Horned Owl was incredibly beautiful.  I couldn't take my eyes off of her, but now I'm left with an overwhelming feeling of sadness for the pathetic existence she must endure in the name of nature education.  There were over 500 Girl Scouts at FV that weekend, only a handful went on a Nature walk with the Great Horned Owl on Saturday.  Zero came on Sunday.  How sad is that?  So few want to learn about our precious native wildlife.

Yesterday I had a great little birding drive.  I went looking for ducks close to home.  I find them so stunningly beautiful.  I was not disappointed.  By Wickham Lake, back in the swamp I found 4 Black Ducks and the most beautiful pair of Wood Ducks. I was able to sit on the stone bridge and watch the Wood Ducks for about 10 minutes.  By our Town Hall, I parked in the circular lot so I could sit in the passenger seat and look at the pond across Kings Highway.  I lucked out!  Mallard-11, Canada Geese-25, Ring-neck Ducks-12, Common Merganser-2, Gadwall,-8 Pintail-3, American Widgeon-2. 

Today it is raining again, it's been a bit icy as the temperatures are ranging from 36-38f today.  There is no wind. The birds at my feeders are eating heavily.  I think this is the worst weather for them to survive in, if they get wet and the temperatures are at  freezing they can easily freeze to death overnight.  The full moon is upon us. Today the moon is at Waxing Gibbous 87% Full.  Sunrise is at 7:01am and Sunset is at 5:21pm. 

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