Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Electrified! And strange bird sightings...

In my last post I mentioned that as we were leaving for the wedding, we met the electrician on the way in to work on the new house.

We now have a circuit box, and power to two outlets in the house near the box. He is coming to wire three rooms tomorrow. The new house is that much closer to being livable!

As The Hermit and I were driving out to get a very last minute wedding present of locally made pottery Saturday morning, I noticed a white bird in our neighbors' cow pasture, about the size of a chicken but more slender, and acting like a heron. Ohmigod, it was a Cattle Egret, a rare sighting in Minnesota! And me without binoculars or camera! I'm absolutely, positively sure it was a Cattle Egret, but I was never able to get enough documentation to list it as a state record. I think the strong easterly winds Friday may have brought it in from somewhere, and now it has left for somewhere else.

And today when I was out on a lake, I saw a strange looking loon. It was a loon all right, by appearance and behavior, but it didn't have the markings of our state bird, the Common Loon. It was brownish gray on the back and had a white throat. I think it may have been a common loon in juvenile plumage, but why would there be a juvenile here this time of year?


Floridacracker said...

Great news about the house!
Won't be long now.

Anonymous said...

Deb, that's such exciting news about the house. I know you must be thrilled. The anticipation must be wonderful!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Deb,
I looked in my BIG Sibley's guide to birds and I wonder if your loon is "first summer" plumage?
The cattle egret sighting is pretty cool too.

Deb said...

RuthieJ- I don't have the "big" Sibley's, but I would not be surprised if this was just a bird in first summer plumage.

I think it should be required for all Fisheries folks, such as myself, to be trained in basic aquatic bird identification and to report any unusual sightings. I mean, I took our office car today and I had to remove the body of a Common Yellowthroat from the grill of the car. It just does not look good, driving a DNR car with a dead bird on the grill.

jan m said...

I remember seeing my first cattle egret when we visited Louisiana right before Katrina. It was in the pasture among the cows. Our hosts didn't see anything remarkable about it, but I was quite excited. And how exciting to have electricity in the house!

Pam in Tucson said...

Great news about the house! So exciting to watch its progress and your anticipation, Deb. Cool about the Cattle Egret. Nice wedding present, too - I try to buy from local artists and craftsmen whenever I can.