March 27 – Birds of prey know they’re cool

Tuesday night I went to the Evening with Wildlife here in Canton.  The MO Dept. of Conservation puts this together in a different county every year.  I guess it hasn’t been here for 15 years or so.  There were lots of booths with different artifacts and stuff.  I enjoyed talking to the forester we had had out a Lowell’s a couple of years ago.  There was a raptor demonstration that was kind of interesting.  It was tough photography though.  I knew I should have brought my external flash.  I ran into a lot of people I knew, which was fun. 

Harris Hawk, a native of the southwest.

Whitehawk from South America.

An African vulture.

American Kestrel.

Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eastern Screech Owl.

European Barn Owl.

Bald Eagle–haven’t seen one of those in awhile!

Wednesday morning I took the Vert Field class out to the Stream Team site.  The water was so high, there was no way we were going to do stream team this week.  Moreover, there weren’t many birds or other wildlife around.  We drove about, and at one point stopped where four turkey vultures were feasting on a dead deer.  We also stopped in a driveway to look at ducks on a pond, but someone came out in a pickup truck and we had to leave to open the driveway.  We stopped at Quinsippi Island again, seeing wood ducks, American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants.  New species all for this group. 

Friday I had no classes.  I did a WalMart run for supplies, then went to a meeting.  After the free lunch I went back to my office and worked.  Stacey and Savannah came to town and we had dinner at the Abbey.  We ran some errands and went to QU to see the play, “The Wizard of Oz.”  Two of my students were in it, and I really wanted to see one of them sing.  Unfortunately, tickets were sold out.  I couldn’t believe it.  We went home.

A Common Flicker was hanging out in the back yard.  I took 200 frames, but it was overcast–not enough light.  This was the best shot, except for the darn grass.

I love the red Y on the back of the neck.

The black markings are very contrasty.   Looks like a funny mustache and bib.

Saturday morning we took Savannah to QU for a Discovery Day.  I think they made a favorable impression.  I saw places I’ve never seen, like the inside of the dorms, and learned a few things I didn’t know.

Grey squirrel burying something in the prairie.

Sunday we woke up to snow.  My plans for fishing or cutting wood were pretty much over then.  We stayed home and dinked around.  I filled the bird feeder and got some response from our birds.

Apparently, robins can catch worms in the snow.

The squirrel found the feeder.  He’s either shedding or mangy, by the bare patches on his shoulder.

Mourning dove.

Tufted titmouse takes a sunflower seed.

Monday the photosynthesis lab actually worked.  It was the first time we had actual CO2 consumption in a couple of years.  I had gotten 100W compact fluorescent lights.  Most of the students had plants that were in pretty good shape, except for a couple that just had stems with no leaves.  They’ve been raising them from cuttings since the beginning of the semester.  I think we had one CO2 sensor that was wonky. 
Tuesday was the last day of classroom work for the scuba class.  Yay!  The instructor mentioned my unbroken record of perfect quiz scores.  I said I had to do that or I’d get a lot of crap from my students in the same class.  Next week we get in the pool and get familiar with our gear.

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