May 3, 2011
O.K. So, I took another swing around the Refuge Auto Tour Route last evening...and MAN what a difference a few days makes! The Western kingbirds have definitely arrived...lining the fences and hawking for meals. And - only a week a go or so - I'd get excited seeing some of the early Cinnamon teal pairs, but this week...it was hard NOT to see them..as they were in almost every little pond and pool and bit of water they could find along the road...the males head-bobbing and squacking (yes - squacking) to attract the ladies. AND...the numbers of White-faced ibis has easily quadrupled over the past few days. BUT, although the birds are amazing and plentiful . . . the most numerous creature was easily the flying Midge! The bugs were FIRMLY in charge along the wetlands..keeping me inside my jeep most of the time. Now - don't get me wrong - I dont' want to discourage anyone from birding the loop - it's still outstanding, but just be aware...that cloudy grey film you see in the air is not smog...but midge! Check out the air around this Yellow-headed blackbird photo...and you'll get the picture. Happy bugging and birding!