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An Entry To Pass The Time

I’m excited to learn that my blog is on the Blogs of Note list on the blogger start page–I’m so excited, I feel like I’m sitting at the big kid table. It’s certainly a silver lining to my snowed in, stranded day in Nebraska.

The local weather man is saying that we are getting an average of an inch an hour. Check out one of the hotel snow drifts:

So, how am I passing my time?

By fighting over a bag of almond salad garnish with my bunny while watching reruns of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Walker Texas Ranger. I just discovered that Little House on the Prairie will be on later this afternoon–my life is complete. Actually, I am getting quite a bit of work accomplished since the hotel has internet access and I can work on processing some of the booth receipts from the Rivers and Wildlife Show. Plus, I have a couple of articles due (okay, make that a tad overdue) and I will for sure finish those today.

I have to hand it to the Fairfield Inn in Kearney, they are taking good care of their stranded guests. The restaurant next door, Carlos O’Kelly’s (potato tacos anyone?) decided to closed for the day, but worked with the hotel to provide lunch and dinner for us. I asked at the front desk if it would be possible to get some fresh veggies for Cinnamon and extra lettuce was provided.

I wonder how all the cranes are doing? I would imagine that they are sticking pretty close to Rowe Sanctuary. The crane cam is running, but I’m not getting any sounds from it. It’ll be interesting to check at dusk to see what they are doing on the camera. Today is the first time since I’ve been here that I can’t hear them when I am outside. The wind is just too strong and again, I don’t think they are straying to far from Rowe. I know birds have nictitating membranes over their eyes to protect them, but it still must be a pain to fly in this weather.

Speaking of birds, I got a response from Bud Anderson about the long-billed red-wing blackbirds we say yesterday. Here’s what he had to say:

“Incidentally, Pat Redig says there is another long-billed peregrine currently breeding in downtown Minneapolis.

As you can see, I have forwarded your message on to the people most involved in the long-bill work, Colleen in AK, Julie in MI and Chuck in OR. Colleen is collecting records of all LB birds in AK and now further afield, Julie has been working with LB passerines for over 10 years (and wrote the first comprehensive article on the problem) and Chuck is currently trying for funding from USGS to study it here on the west coast.

I am getting about a record a week now. Although I have not counted them up in 6 weeks or so, I think I am around 115-120 raptors, mostly here in WA where I live.”

Incredibly interesting and disturbing all at the same time. Again, if you notice any long-billed birds at your feeders or anywhere, let Bud know at bud@frg.org or let me know and I will forward it along.

I forgot a couple of highlights of the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration. I met Gary Lingle, (pictured above) who helps surveys the cranes in the area. If you ever plan on birding this area on your own, I highly recommend his book, Birding Crane River: Nebraska Platte. I learned from him that a whooping crane has already been spotted in the area this year (which is very early) and another group found a common crane (also known as Eurasian crane)–highly unusual to get this Asian species here on the Platte River any time of year. Gary is tough on binoculars, he accidentally melted a pair (and I thought I was tough on binoculars). Apparently, he was working a controlled burn and accidentally burned his truck. He ended up buying two pair of binoculars, an Audubon HP 8 x 42 and a Vortex DLS 10 x 42. These at least have a good replacement warranty.


Of course, a festival, just isn’t a festival unless I buy some souvenirs. Cinnamon helped me realize that I wanted one of Mark Urwiller’s photos by nibbling the frame. I didn’t know it, but I really wanted this snow goose image. I really do like it, it reminds me of the massive bird traffic you see during migration here. He also had a really cool western meadowlark photo too. There she is in the above photo, lurking under his table. Poor Mark, he thought she was being friendly, but she had sinister intentions. Perhaps she was getting even with him for picking her up the day–her disapproval knows no bounds. Anyway, I’m very happy with my snow goose photo. Thank you, my naughty bunny.

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