After spending five hours dismantling desks, tables, and chairs and moving them to our new office building, I went on a walk to check on Nora Owl. On the way, I saw sparrows, a muskrat, an echelon of cranes, a cinnamon duck. No owlets popped their heads, up and Nora Owl gave me “mad dogs” when I called to see if any owlets were around. One good sign that the owlets might have hatched is Osric Owl was watching over Nora Owl from a nearby cottonwood. On the way back I saw a Flicker, a squadron of crazy Cormorants, a bluebird of some type, and another sparrow feeding on buds in Marina’s pear tree. The clouds were beautiful in the low sunlight about 30 minutes before sunset.
Muskrat nibbling on grass near its den.
Muskrat swimming with its mouth full of grass.
Nora Owl giving me “mad dogs”.
Osric Owl on his lookout branch.
Sandhill Cranes still hanging around.
Intermission: My desk we moved from the office downtown to the new office. I build the desk in 1990. That is a light table on the left-hand side I used for sorting slides and transparencies before digital cameras. The desk on the floor is Dede’s desk that she designed and I built for her in 2007, I believe. it will go in the corner to the right of my desk. I will build Bruce’s desk in the corner to the left of my desk.
A squadron of crazy Cormorants.
A hover dove.
Clouds over the Sandias.
Nora Owl is still sitting. Either her owlets have hatched and they are not showing their cute faces or they will be hatching very soon.
Nora Owl in side-view.
Crane gliding above the Sandias. We saw a handful of cranes tonight.
A cute bunny greeted me when I got home. He was still hanging out when I left to check on Nora Owl.
The Sandias from the Beach at sunset.
Daddy Owl was hooting when I walked up to the tree he was in. Mama Owls was answering him.
When I walked over to Mama Owl’s hole in the tree, she stopped answering Daddy Owl and ducked into the hole. If you look carefully you can see the tipity tips of her ear tufts.
The painter was working on a soft sunset for Marina.
By late afternoon there were no clouds, no owls, no Pteradactyl, no squadrons of fighter ducks. Simply blue skies, a little snow lining the crest of the Sandias, a ragged Cormorant, a lonely crane, and a time-lapse video.
Above is a time-lapse video Tristan took of the balloons and clouds this morning. This video really shows how the winds blow in different directions at different altitudes in Albuquerque, which makes it easy to navigate hot air balloons around the Albuquerque area.
A little bit of snow along the top of the Sandias with the towers.
The cormorant looked ragged under its wings.
Towers in focus.
A lonesome crane flying around looking for other cranes.
When I went out on a walk this morning, I found Daddy Owl in the tree he sits in when he watches over the owlets. Mama Owl’s ear tufts barely stuck up above the edge of the hole in the tree. A few cranes flew over close to the tops of the cottonwood trees. Most of the cranes have headed north. Only a few cranes are holding out.
Then I saw something moving in the cottonwoods. It was a female Wood Duck hopping and flying around between branches. A male Wood Duck soon followed. That was the first of three pairs of Wood Ducks I saw in the cottonwoods as I walked in the bosque this morning.
A couple of months ago there were some birders looking for the elusive Wood Ducks. I told them they were too early. They looked at me like I was crazy. The birders acted like the Wood Ducks are rare. Well, they were quite rare in the middle of the winter, but they are not rare now.
I took a lot of photos of the Wood Duck pairs. I was thinking about the best way to show a lot of Wood Duck photos and decided I’d write a song and put the photos to music. The song is not very polished, but I had fun doing it. I hope you enjoy Wood Duck Daze and the all photos of the Wood Ducks.
Morning clouds at dawn
Sandhill Crane doing a swan dive @ 5:00. “Banzai!”
There are fewer cranes as they are starting to head north.
pTerodactyl at dusk.
Daddy Owl is not perching for long at dusk. He is flying off in search of food for Mama Owl.
The pTerodactyl looking beautifully blue-gray in the twilight.
Are you there in the darkness Mama Owl?
Yes, she is there sitting on her eggs.
Whirlybird with a game warden looking for a coyote that attacked a runner.
Daddy Owl: “¡No me gustan los whirlybirds! ¡A mí tampoco me gustan los coyotes!“
Flicker: “Whirlybird? Is that what that thing is called?”
Mama Owl: “Stupid coyotes! Stupid whirlybird!”
I thought the doves flew up out of the cottonwood because of the helicopter.
But a second look revealed a Cooper’s Hawk had flown up in the tree where the doves were perched.
“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! IT’S a WHIRLYBIRD! Stupid coyotes!”
Blow up of Mr. Cooper.
Whirlybird hovering before flying south. A crane flying north.
Mr. Cooper flew north to another tree.
Mama Owl: “That’s better now that the whirlybird has flown south!”
Clouds at dawn looking north.
Daddy Owl: “Mucho mejor sin el whirlybird.”
Like a sunset at sunrise looking southwest.
Black and white of snow under dawn’s dark light turns to snow black and white under a dark street light.
Cranes fly into darkness in the sun’s waning light.
Clouds break up over the Rio Grande and the snow-covered Sandias.
Mama Owl and Daddy Owl perched in a different tree.
Crows fly in the final light of dusk.
The pTerodactyl reflects in the darkness.
The pTerodactyl posed perfectly in the Tangle Heart Tree for Valentine’s Day.
Miss Stripy Sparrow
Daddy Owl snoozing at sunrise.
A congregation of cranes at dawn.
Cranes celebrating the frosty sunrise.
The other side of Miss Stripy Sparrow.
A pTerodactyl takeoff.
A silly duck on takeoff.
“¡Hasta la huego you silly goose!”
As a thunderstorm blew in this evening lots of crows were flying all around us.
Looking west @ 5:31 pm February 10, 2021
Mama Owl @ 4:23 pm February 10, 2021
Looking south @ 5:42 pm February 10, 2021
Cranes @ 5:44 pm February 10, 2021
Looking east @ 5:45 pm February 10, 2021
pTerodactyl with ducks doing vespers prayers. 5:53 pm February 10, 2021
Looking west @ 6:01 pm February 10, 2021