Sunday, November 30, 2008

redtail whimsy

Tis the season to be trapping. Actually, that started in October, but we see most of our passage birds in early November. There seemed to be quite a few immie redtails and Swainson's hawks coming through. Just for the hell of it, I put together a new balchatri a few days ago, bought a hooded rat (a little more expensive but so much more cooperative than feeders) last night, and went trapping this morning.

It got some interest from a mature female RT but she wasn't interested enough, which was just as well. I moved on and set it for an unusal bird I couldn't quite identify until it flushed, and I realized I was looking at a very contrasty peregrine, perhaps a tundrius but more likely a Peale's. It moved to another power tower, where another peregrine, which had the look of an anatum, was munching on a pigeon.
(The light one is at the bottom of the photo.)

The third time I set the trap was for an obvious immature RT perched on a road sign. S/he was hungry and went for the trap as soon as I drove away. S/he overflew it, though, a little nervous, and perched on another road sign directly across from the trap. S/he was there just long enough for me to get turned around and park the car. Within 20 seconds s/he hit it.So now I have a redtail without any plan whatsoever. She weighed in at 1220 gm but he has a calmness I associate with tiercels, as well as some of the delicate look. Of course, I'll do all the usual things, hooding, walking him/her around, training to come, but there's limited joy in chasing jackrabbits. I think I may just train a little for the fun of it, then let him/her go.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

raising the stakes

I used to max out at 3, now it's 4. We've done it twice now, but it's largely a matter of finding enough quarry. I'm going to have to trim his take-off pieces a bit smaller...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We WIN!!!

I first saw Obama on Charlie Rose's show in October 06, a few months before he announced his candidacy, and was (and remain) impressed by his intelligence.

As always, a certain amount of healthy skepticism about politicians is simply wise. Campaign promises do get broken by both parties. But to have someone who at least can pronounce "nuclear" correctly is gonna be refreshing.

293 to 152, and it's not even 9pm PST here yet.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

i'm so psychic

I'm glad to see us finally getting drenched. Two days of rain, on and off, pretty solid at times.

This morning was clouded dark but strangely warm. I drove out to Livermore late-ish morning, went at it for an hour or so, and headed home with two in the bag. Just as I was driving back the rain began in earnest and hasn't stopped since.

It's hard to know if we can fly tomorrow but we'll be ready to go again, hopefully the weather cooperates as nicely as it did today. But if not, there's food to tide the hawk over until Wednesday.