Originally, my friend Rick and I were tentatively scheduled to walk Nisqually Wildlife Refuge Wednesday, but Rick had to work, there was a light rain, and I resolved to save my rainy-day walks for later in the year when they become a necessary part of my everyday conditioning.
As it turns out, though, I doubt that I would have seen any more birds at the refuge than I saw in my own backyard. There were an unusually large number of birds at the feeder and all over the yard.
We even had a highly unusual visit by the neighborhood flicker, the one who refused to have his picture taken until I’d already gotten a better picture of his cousin last week at the refuge. Still, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get another picture:
Of course, most of the visitors were the usual thrushes and wrens, but their visit was cut short by the sudden appearance of:
this Merlin falcon who stuck around long enough for me to take nearly thirty shots before he decided to chase down one of the visitors to our bird feeders.
While I love to see an increase of such predators, I generally chase them off and take down the feeders for a few days so as not to unnecessarily and unfairly endanger my little friends by my dismal attempts to make up for having built my house on their habitat.
I even felt a moment of remorse when our visitor went after one little guy who apparently arrived for lunch at the worst of times because I’d become so engrossed in trying to get its picture.
Still, it wasn’t long before the local family of crows who own this neighborhood could be seen in the distance divebombing the falcon, attempting to reclaim the ‘hood.