Sunday, 8 August 2010

Mad Dogs and English(wo)men

My visit to Holden Creek was considerably drier this morning, thanks to the easing off of the rain. The pools on the marsh weren't quite so replenished as I'd hoped, and they were birdless, but for 4 least sandpipers.

A further 25 or so were in the Bog Of Eternal Stench, at the back of the marsh, but no other peeps were among these.
On the main creek that borders the farm fields things were slightly livelier with 5 lesser yellowlegs, 18 least sandpipers, 8 western sandpipers (pictured) and 1 spotted sandpiper.
3 more lesser yellowlegs flew over, but continued south and a flock of 6 killdeer took off from the marsh and headed in the same direction.

Later, Jenny and I took a walk down the Cable Bay Trail. This was the first time since spring that I didn't hear any Pacific-slope flycatchers in the forest - have all the breeders moved on? Similarly, I haven't seen any rufous hummers for a while... they stopped coming to my feeders a couple of weeks ago.
The woods were generally quiet bar the usual Pacific wrens, robins, chickadees, orange-crowned warblers and such. At the beach we noticed pigeon guillemot and pelagic cormorant, plus great blue heron, and belted kingfisher.
On our way back we were 'greeted' by an overly-enthusiastic golden retriever which seemed intent on jumping up and down on Jenny and covering her with muddy prints. I pulled the dog off and asked the owner to control his hound - Jen's not too comfortable around big dogs and anyone with a fraction of a brain cell would have been able to tell that she was visibly unnerved by fido's unwanted attention.
The owner, barely uttered the dog's name as a means of 'control', walked by us without acknowledging either my, reasonably polite, request or Jen's mud-covered presence, and casually walked on as his dogged trotted off after him. Needless to say a rather un-lady-like barrage of colourful descriptions, suggestions and sarcastic thanks, followed them deep into the forest.
Jenny's still fuming...       

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