22 de enero de 2022

Dreamy Observations

Does anyone else have reoccurring dreams about making observations?

I have these frequent little "micro" nightmares. Things going wrong in my dreams, but not really scary per se. One dream was being in the attic of my parents house discovering this little biome in there, with amazing flowers and butterflies, and excitedly moving to document... but my phone camera refusing to focus properly, and these beautiful creatures eluding my lens.

The other night, I can't remember what I was looking at, but I couldn't get the phone out of my pocket to take the picture.

If only -- it would be interesting to take a snapshot of my dream flora and fauna. What inventions my mind cooks up, whether it anywhere compares to the glories of actual nature.

Publicado el 22 de enero de 2022 a las 08:15 PM por adrained adrained | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de febrero de 2019

Superb Owl Pool?

My IT director always has a Super Bowl pool running, and as I posted on Twitter, it seems like there's a need for a Superb Owl pool.

Past iNaturalist observations (observers) of all owls on Super Bowl days over the years have been:

  • 2018 - 27 (23)
  • 2017 - 25 (24)
  • 2016 - 18 (14)
  • 2015 - 10 (8)
  • 2014 - 14 (11)
  • 2013 - 8 (8)
  • 2012 - 4 (3)

What's your guess for 2019 observations and observers? So far as of 12:45am Feb 3 we are at 7 observations and 7 observers on the U.S. East Coast, Eurasia, and South America. I might need to let a few days pass before the final numbers are in.

My favorite so far, this Ural Owl found West of Moscow.

If I had the time time, I'd head off to see if I could spot the one owl that I know lives in Knowland Park (which I strangely do not have an observation for). But today, I won't be skewing the numbers.

Publicado el 03 de febrero de 2019 a las 08:53 PM por adrained adrained | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de septiembre de 2018

Cooper's Hawk and the Ground Squirrels

The ground squirrels were out in force today. The Cooper's Hawk sat for less than a minute before it made it's first attempt (and came up empty). The next attempt followed in short order, a short way up the hill from the telephone pole the hawk started upon.

What was surprising was not the hawk's quick work, but the squirrel's reaction. I would have expected them to run and hide. Instead they stood and watched, 4 or 5 of them, erect and still as the hawk killed the prey and began to eat. At first, it looked like they might be gathering to drive off the hawk, but it was not the case. A couple of them returned to foraging.

Maybe knowing where the enemy is lessened their fear, or they were shocked into stillness, or they really didn't like the squirrel who was being eaten! Overall, it seemed like a horrible strategy given that there were three white tailed kites also working the hill.

Would be curious if anyone has witnessed the like...

Publicado el 24 de septiembre de 2018 a las 07:44 AM por adrained adrained | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de julio de 2017

Brooklyn Basin Osprey Nest

Down along the Oakland "coast" line, there are all sorts of odd little bays and inlets the result of former shipping infrastructure now gone to seed. One such of these is Clinton Basin, a channel by Brooklyn Basin -- a site currently being developed into a large set of condos.

There's a little bit of public shore here, a couple hundred yards of a dead end path surrounded by fences. On the side close to water there is a wall of sweet fennel in the summer. Amid the fennel there is a gate, with a lovely heron sign (with no words) and behind the gate a small little park a bit of shore, a bit of beach. To get to it, you have to go down a driveway labeled private, and one has to be careful about staying there too late (aka anytime past 6).

I've never met a soul there, though there are signs that people light fires there, someone has left some bins full of clothes, and the beach debris trash is occasionally cleaned up (it is sometimes a little overwhelming).

It's a lovely spot to sit and see what comes by, but its main attraction for me has been an Osprey nest that has been there at least the last couple years. Built on a light post -- it's unclear if it will still be there post construction, it was a shipyard of sorts when I first explored the area a few years ago.

This past week was particular fun. The pair hatched one nestling, who has grown rapidly, and seems to call constantly (I have to admit that the sound gets a little grating after awhile). Both adults were present. I've previously seen one adult delivering a lovely large fish after it seemed to have devoured the head.

The adults seemed to play for a little while chasing each other, but the nestling also flew (potentially -- now that I think about it -- the chasing was teaching, and it was one of the parents who remained in the nest?)

One adult was also intent on clearing threats and spent a fair amount of time chasing western gulls about, including one long sneak attack from high. It also noticed me, and came in fairly close to check me out -- such that it was a little disconcerting to be the narrow focus of such a large raptor! I retreated a little up the beach to show my apologies for attracting their attention.

I expect the next time I might go by, they'll be gone, but I hope that I'll see the pair next year. The channel hosts at least one other Osprey nest... amid the a shipping terminal. If you take the ferry across from the Alameda terminal towards San Francisco.

Publicado el 08 de julio de 2017 a las 07:13 PM por adrained adrained | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario