Monday, December 8, 2014

Yesterday The Hat Lady, Today The Bird Lady




This morning we were up at 5:00AM and on the road at 5:30AM headed for the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge Our GPS tried to tell us it was an 80 mile drive when in fact it was more like a 50 mile drive. So we were there way  early for the 8:00 AM Bird tour with none other than.......
someone I have been looking forward to meeting since I started following her blog. None other than "The Bird Lady," Judy Bell. She is so nice and knowledgeable about birds all wrapped up in one package! She is a volunteer at the Wild Life Refuge.
We waited for just a few minutes for two other ladies which gave us time to start getting acquainted.  Then we were invited to climb into a brand new Ford Explorer (I think) the Refuge got the day before. Nice Ride. The tour took us around five ponds that are not accessible to the general public. One of the endangered fish the Refuge is trying to protect is the Puff fish.
Our first stop was at her RV Site where she  has her tripod and telescope set up to watch the birds.  Personally, I think her recent move was a great move!

Now. I have to tell you there wasn't one bird Judy couldn't identify.  She spotted birds I couldn't even see.  She gave each of us a pamphlet of all the birds that have been spotted at this refuge and as we saw them, We could mark them off.  If she gave us a test on the names of all the birds, I would have failed. But I think she would have given me an A for marking each one she and others saw, on the pamphlet. She is also a very patient lady, because more than a few times, I asked her, when she said the name of the bird, what heading it was under on the pamphlet and she always kindly told me where to find it.

Now if I remember right, this is a Great Blue Heron

I don't remember what the little bird on the left is but the one on the right is a Coot.



Judy asked us if we had any idea what these tracks could be. Then she gave us a hint it was a water animal but not a fish. I guessed Beaver and I was right. These tracks are Beaver Slides. Interesting thing though, there are no trees around. They slide across the road from one pond into another.

And how about this. A bobcat paw print

Joe, contemplating the beauty and quietness of it all.

After the tour we went into the visitors center. We watched a very nice video about wildlife. Just outside the Visitor's Center was this Cacti with a beautiful bloom.  What a way to end a nice morning. Thank you Judy! You are the best.