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Pond Pugilism

Sunday, 1 December 2013

After taking care of my weekly laundry this morning, I decided to get out of the rig and take another drive on the refuge roads.  There were no brilliant blue skies like there were on Friday, but I’ve found that after countless drives down these roads over the years I always see something different each time.


With the big cold fronts that have moved through from the north in the last couple of weeks, the snow geese numbers are rapidly increasing.  This is only a portion of the flock that was in one of the moist soil units.  Mixed in with the geese are ibis and black-necked stints.


There are also plenty of sparrows on the refuge, but they seldom sit still to have their picture taken.  This Savannah sparrow was an exception to the rule today.


Along with Black and Turkey vultures, the Crested Caracara helps keep our wild places cleaned up.  They are generally carrion eaters. 

As I made my way around the auto tour route of Shoveler Pond, I encountered the usual cast of characters including hundreds of American coots.  But all was not tranquil on the pond this morning.  When a vehicle approaches, the coots usually run along the top of the water to get to the safety of the marsh grasses.  Today however, one small group was too preoccupied to be concerned with my approach.

IMG_5139 Two of the small group of three seemed to be having some sort of disagreement that was leading to the bird version of fisticuffs. 


They were grappling for some kind of dominance.  You seldom get to see the long green toes of these birds, but they were using them to gain advantage over their foe.


The third bird just casually floated around observing the melee.  Makes you wonder if the two in front were male combatants vying for the wing of the fair maiden.  Winking smile


                   As I was snapping away, it seemed like the bird on the right was gaining an advantage.


                                    I didn’t know if its intention was to drown its opponent or what.


The winner finally climbed on top of its opponent and shoved it completely under the water.  Eventually the defeated bird came back up and the other two chased it away.  Tranquility once again reined.  I found it exciting to witness this little drama play out right before my eyes.  Like I said earlier, I always see something different no matter how many times I make this drive.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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