Monday, October 31, 2005

Wildlife - urban and otherwise

I had barely sat down at the computer at work this morning when the resident red-tailed hawk flew low in front of my office window and then perched on the road light over Rte. 283, where he (a small bird) sat placidly as traffic zoomed by for a good 10 minutes.

I have seen this bird regularly in the area since my office moved here in August. Usually, he’s across the road in the wooded area behind the restaurant and the rent-a-car place. This is the first time I’ve seen him on this side of the highway, and the first time I’ve seen him perched on a light pole. I suspect that a fluttering package of plastic on the median strip is what attracted him. When I first saw the bundle, I thought it was a dead bird, with feathers blowing as the trucks, etc. pass. As I looked closer, I realized it was only loosely wrapped, thin plastic wrap, with the torn edges flapping in the traffic breeze.

On Saturday, I saw the first dark-eyed juncos of the season at Roundtop. As it's the end of October now, it's likely a few of the birds have been here for a week or more, if they headed south at their usual time, and I just hadn't seen them yet. This was a flock of 20+ birds.

With the time change over the weekend, I will now be able to walk Dog and Baby Dog, for a few days at least, without the headlamp. I'm still out before sunup, but the eastern sky glows orange and provides enough light for the walk. If I'm lucky, the leaves will fall before too long, so I'll have open sky to walk under, even if I don't have daylight.

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