Some random thoughts from perusin’ the web…
Jobs Report Doesn’t Bode Well for Obama – Not a good jobs report today. Unemployment inched down, but only because so many people have left the work force. It’s a damned tough environment for a sitting president to win re-election. Frankly though, there’s just not much Obama can do to get things going on the economic front. This is a global downturn, and U.S. government economic policy isn’t the key to our economy. Romney says he’ll create 500,000 jobs a months and drop unemployment to 4%. That’s about as likely as Gingrich’s promises to lower gas prices to below $2.00 a gallon. However, it’s pretty obvious Republicans SHOULD have the edge given 1) the down economy, and 2) an American public who is stupid enough to actually BELIEVE some of the crap Republicans shovel down their throats. The only thing working against them is 1) their OWN ineptitude and 2) a complete lack of any strong candidates.
Redneck Massachusetts Man Attacks Hawk - No South Dakota, we do NOT have a monopoly on redneck losers. In Massachusetts, a man was arrested when he attacked a Red-tailed Hawk who had captured a pigeon…presumably to “protect” the pigeons in the park? The story also notes other memorable Massachusetts losers, such as a fish hatchery operator who shot herons, Osprey, and even Eagles that hung around his hatchery. Never underestimate just how incredibly cruel, selfish, and evil people can be.
Sioux Falls Man found Guilty of Raping 7-year Old – See the story above, multiply the horror and disgust by a factor of, oh, around 1,000, and you have this story of a Sioux Falls man raping a 7-year old. About 99% of the time, I’m against capital punishment….but BOY do stories like this make me at least pause and consider it for a second.
First Hummingbird of the Year - Like clockwork since we’ve moved into our current house, the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the year arrives sometime during the first week of May. Today was the day for 2012, when I saw a beautiful male hummingbird flitting around the yard much of the day. The link at the top of the paragraph shows the migratory progress of the Hummingbirds for this spring. I will GREATLY enjoy having them around my yard for the next 4 1/2 months, until they depart by mid- to late-September.
Posted in Birds, Politics, Sports
Tagged attack, baseball, child, closer, economy, government, Guilty, Hawk, hummingbird, jobs, man, Mariano Rivera, Massachusetts, migration, New York, obama, pigeon, policy, rape, Red-tailed Hawk, redneck, report, Romney, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, save, Sioux Falls, spring, Yankees
Another incredible day for Snowy Owls here in South Dakota. Some of them are incredibly tame, such as this guy, who I watched at very close range (obviously!) for quite a long time. He couldn't have cared less, and napped with his eyes closed for most of that time!!
In late December, I twice went down to the Lake Andes area in south-central South Dakota, to look for the incredible numbers of Snowy Owls being seen. Both days were very memorable, and I saw around 30 different owls the one day, all in a relatively small area. I really hadn’t been out birding since then, but took today off and went out to try my luck in the central part of the state.
Where I go in winter in the central part of the state is always incredible for raptors, and today was no exception. I started near “Presho, drove north, through the Fort Pierre National Grasslands, and up to the area around Lake Oahe north of Pierre. There were all the “usuals”…several dozen Rough-legged Hawks, quite a few Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks, more Golden Eagles than I think I’ve seen in one day (maybe 15 or so?), and a handful of Bald Eagles, Ferruginous Hawks, and Prairie Falcons. Also one Merlin.
Another Snowy, doing his "king of the roost" pose.
THAT part is a typical winter trip in that area. But again, the story this winter continues to be the big numbers of Snowy Owls. They weren’t concentrated like they were in the Lake Andes area back in December, but I still saw 7 different Snowy Owls, a number which in ANY year would be a truly awesome day for them. They were scattered around, but in one spot near the shores of Lake Oahe, there were three, including 2 that were completely unconcerned about my presence. One was sitting on a billboard, and after watching from a distance for awhile, I drove by, then parked RIGHT by the billboard. For the most part he just kept on sleeping. I watched him at very close range for quite some time…quite a treat to be THAT close to a wild Snowy, where you can see all the little details in his feathers, his brilliant yellow eyes (on the occasions he opened them!) and those massive, powerful talons.
Terrific day! Certainly THE year folks will always remember for Snowy Owls!
Posted in Birding, Birds
Tagged Bald Eagle, birding, Bubo scandoacus, Ferruginous Hawk, Fort Pierre National Grasslands, Golden Eagle, Merlin, Northern Harrier, prairie falcon, presho, raptor, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, snowy owl, south dakota
A Golden Eagle taking flight.
I had a wonderful day yesterday birding the Fort Pierre National Grasslands in the center of South Dakota. Winter on the Grasslands can be downright spectacular for raptors, and yesterday was no exception. I saw at least 50 Rough-legged Hawks, at least that many Northern Harriers, 12-15 Ferruginous Hawks, a couple dozen Red-tailed Hawks, a Merlin, 5 or 6 Golden Eagles, a pair of Bald Eagles, and the highlight for me, 9 Prairie Falcons.
A brilliant sunny day…wide open spaces on the Grasslands…and raptors filling the skies, fenceposts, and telephone poles. I can think of few better ways to spend a day!! I still haven’t processed a lot of photos, but am working on putting photos from the trip on my website.
Posted in Birding, Birds
Tagged bird, birding, Ferruginous Hawk, Fort Pierre National Grasslands, Golden Eagle, grasslands, Merlin, Northern Harrier, prairie falcon, raptors, Red-tailed Hawk, south dakota