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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
qetzal



Posts: 309
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 30 2008,21:10   

OK, I really don't have much of interest in my backyard these days. Am I allowed to indulge my inner geezer & reminisce?

We lived in southern Illinois for a year in junior high. There were probably 20 chipmunks living in the back yard. We'd hand-feed them peanuts; they got quite tame. We gave them all names and learned to recognize them on sight.

We had a great horned owl that nested in the woods behind us. I climbed an adjacent tree to see the chicks, and the female strafed me. Almost fell out of the tree.

There were also flying squirrels. We discovered them when we heard little chirps in the trees at night. At first, we couldn't see what was making the noise, but it didn't sound like a frog or cricket. Took a while before we saw the dark shapes gliding from tree to tree.

Best was the time we caught a coatimundi in the field across the street! Turns out it was an escaped pet from down the street, but still.

Those were the days, I tell you! (Get off my lawn!)

[/geezer]

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 30 2008,22:27   

Quote

Northern Fulmar and chicks, Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides)


You saw Louis's butt?

I can understand why you didn't post pictures. You need satellite photos for something that big.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
bystander



Posts: 301
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2008,02:11   

I'll have to grab a camera. The most common non-bird critters around our place are red bellied black snakes. Even though they are poisonous, they leave you alone unless you step on them. I always think that these guys are pretty cool and like to watch them until they disappear.

Blue Tongued lizards under scrap sheet metal (until the Dogs get to them).

We sometimes find  Echidna's curled up next to the house and in the mountain behind us there are Wallabys. There are a lot of Wombat holes around but we haven't seen one yet.

As for birds, Where I live is supposed to have the highest diversity of parrots in the world. Our favourite is the Black Cockatoo. Their call is not as raucous as the white Cockie.

Wes would like the Wedged Tailed Eagle. Another bird that is fascinating to watch, especially when the dive to grab a rabbit or lizard.

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2008,05:28   

Wedge-tailed eagles are cool, one of the dozen or so raptors on my oz list from my three week visit there.  The Oz Aquila, closely related to the northern hemisphere's golden eagles and the (spanish or otherwise) imperial eagles of europe.

This was my favorite Australian raptor, though ...

Not sure where you are in Australia, but the parrot diversity is great.  I remember leaving the airport at Cairns, driving toward a place we were staying on the edge of a state forest as a base for a week of birding (cassowary male with chick on one of the dirt logging roads, how cool is that?).  We passed a very large plowed field full of white birds that back home, in winter, might've been mew gulls or the like.  Sulphur-crested cockatoos, a thousand or so of them, more than I've *ever* seen in a pet store in North America! :)

Black cockatoo are cool, won't disagree with you on that score.

Lorries, parrots, cockatoos ... nice.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1008
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2008,11:38   

My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
nuytsia



Posts: 131
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2008,17:32   

Quote (bystander @ July 30 2008,18:11)
(snip)

We sometimes find  Echidna's curled up next to the house and in the mountain behind us there are Wallabys. There are a lot of Wombat holes around but we haven't seen one yet.

As for birds, Where I live is supposed to have the highest diversity of parrots in the world. Our favourite is the Black Cockatoo. Their call is not as raucous as the white Cockie.

Wes would like the Wedged Tailed Eagle. Another bird that is fascinating to watch, especially when the dive to grab a rabbit or lizard.

Bystander what part of Australia are you in?

Blue tongues are cool as are echidnas.
This was my very first echidna I saw in Tassie. :-)


I also agree on the black cockies. Their call is just so eerily gorgeous. Here in Tassie they tend to be a mountain bird, but during the winter they come down into Hobart and strip the cones of the pine trees and ring bark the branches of elms.
All good fun! :-)

 
Quote (dhogaza @ July 30 2008,21:28)
(snip)
We passed a very large plowed field full of white birds that back home, in winter, might've been mew gulls or the like.  Sulphur-crested cockatoos, a thousand or so of them, more than I've *ever* seen in a pet store in North America! :)

Black cockatoo are cool, won't disagree with you on that score.

Lorries, parrots, cockatoos ... nice.

When I first got to Tassie I saw a field full of Sulphur crested Cockies and Forest Ravens. It was a most bizarre site.
According to my local guru, in Tassie you rarely see these birds feeding with any other species, but when you do it's almost always this combination. He reckons there's some kind of stand off between them.

Think my favourite parrot has to be the galah.
On my very first visit to Australia I spent an hour watching a flock in Kalbari play on a climbing frame and in the sand pit below (and I do mean play). It was the first time I'd really seen a bird expend so much energy doing bugger all.
It was fascinating!

Apparently the locals don't like them that much as they keep destroying the lawn and they killed the top of the Norfolk Island Pine in front of the police station.
I read a report that a flock of Galahs was observed to fly straight into a twister, apparently just for the hell of it.

   
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: July 31 2008,18:25   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ July 31 2008,12:38)
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

I saw a Coopers grab a finch (sparrow?) out of mid air near the bird feeder.

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1008
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,08:42   

Quote (khan @ July 31 2008,18:25)
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ July 31 2008,12:38)
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

I saw a Coopers grab a finch (sparrow?) out of mid air near the bird feeder.

This could have been the case in my sighting as well. I saw the hawk swoop down, disappear behind a fence, and then come back up with the finch in its talons.  It went flew into a large evergreen tree nearby and although I couldn't see the hawk, I could see small feathers floating down from the tree.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,12:38   

Quote
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

Or sharpshinned hawk, which are considerably smaller.  They're easy to distinguish once you know how but ...

Cooper's hawk have much more robust legs.  The sharpshinned hawk gets its name from a prominent ridge on its "shin" (metatarsal), which gives it a bit more fore-and-aft rigidity, otherwise its legs are glorified toothpicks.

Cooper's hawks also have blockier heads due to longer feathers on the rear of the head, that they lift to make their head "look big" (and scary, I guess) when nervous/scared see here.

Sharpshinned hawks are more heavily streaked (though there's a great deal of variation in Cooper's hawks - I've banded literally thousands of north american accipiters).

If you've got a kid - a brown-backed bird with brown streaking on the breast - the plumage is going to be grown in and fresh (migration cometh soon).  A Cooper's hawk will show a distinct white terminal band.  A sharpshinned will normally show a greyish terminal band though quite white (but narrow) is not totally unknown.

With an adult bird at this time of year, it's hard to tell, their tail will be molting enthusiastically and the old feather that haven't dropped yet beat to shit (i.e. any white band likely to be worn off).  Sharpies are farther along in molt than Coops at this point (it's a size thing, male sharpies, the smallest, will be very far along now in august).

Far too much data, right?

Go find that hawk and look again!

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,13:15   

Quote (dhogaza @ Aug. 01 2008,12:38)
Quote
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

Or sharpshinned hawk, which are considerably smaller.  They're easy to distinguish once you know how but ...

Cooper's hawk have much more robust legs.  The sharpshinned hawk gets its name from a prominent ridge on its "shin" (metatarsal), which gives it a bit more fore-and-aft rigidity, otherwise its legs are glorified toothpicks.

Cooper's hawks also have blockier heads due to longer feathers on the rear of the head, that they lift to make their head "look big" (and scary, I guess) when nervous/scared see here.

Sharpshinned hawks are more heavily streaked (though there's a great deal of variation in Cooper's hawks - I've banded literally thousands of north american accipiters).

If you've got a kid - a brown-backed bird with brown streaking on the breast - the plumage is going to be grown in and fresh (migration cometh soon).  A Cooper's hawk will show a distinct white terminal band.  A sharpshinned will normally show a greyish terminal band though quite white (but narrow) is not totally unknown.

With an adult bird at this time of year, it's hard to tell, their tail will be molting enthusiastically and the old feather that haven't dropped yet beat to shit (i.e. any white band likely to be worn off).  Sharpies are farther along in molt than Coops at this point (it's a size thing, male sharpies, the smallest, will be very far along now in august).

Far too much data, right?

Go find that hawk and look again!

which one tastes the best?

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1008
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,13:43   

Quote (dhogaza @ Aug. 01 2008,12:38)
Quote
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

Or sharpshinned hawk, which are considerably smaller.  They're easy to distinguish once you know how but ...

Cooper's hawk have much more robust legs.  The sharpshinned hawk gets its name from a prominent ridge on its "shin" (metatarsal), which gives it a bit more fore-and-aft rigidity, otherwise its legs are glorified toothpicks.

Cooper's hawks also have blockier heads due to longer feathers on the rear of the head, that they lift to make their head "look big" (and scary, I guess) when nervous/scared see here.

Sharpshinned hawks are more heavily streaked (though there's a great deal of variation in Cooper's hawks - I've banded literally thousands of north american accipiters).

If you've got a kid - a brown-backed bird with brown streaking on the breast - the plumage is going to be grown in and fresh (migration cometh soon).  A Cooper's hawk will show a distinct white terminal band.  A sharpshinned will normally show a greyish terminal band though quite white (but narrow) is not totally unknown.

With an adult bird at this time of year, it's hard to tell, their tail will be molting enthusiastically and the old feather that haven't dropped yet beat to shit (i.e. any white band likely to be worn off).  Sharpies are farther along in molt than Coops at this point (it's a size thing, male sharpies, the smallest, will be very far along now in august).

Far too much data, right?

Go find that hawk and look again!

Thanks for all the information. I was guessing Cooper's based on size alone (and pictures/descriptions from Peterson's field guide); our bird seems a little larger than a big crow. The banding on the tail is clear.  It's making fairly frequent appearances now, so it shouldn't be long before I can get a good look. He was perched on the neighbor's TV antenna yesterday, but was gone by the time I'd gotten my binoculars out.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,14:20   

Quote
which one tastes the best?

The chicken hawk, of course.

That's the cooper's hawk, honest!  Cooper's hawks have a fascination with pigeon-sized and chicken-sized birds that has to be seen to believed.  If one shows up outside a locked coop (nice pun) made of chicken wire so the birds are visible, a Coop will sit and stare forever.  And try to figure out how to get in.  "mmm ... all that food ... if I only had a brain I could figure out that door-like contraption and eat for hours!".

Jim - crow-sized+ points to not only Cooper's hawk, but a female one (they're larger than the males, in the western US typically 450-550 grams weight, eastern US a bit heavier).  And that broad band, yes, Coop.  A kid, I imagine (brown not grey-brown), if it's that obvious - an adult female, esp. one that laid this year, would be looking pretty ragged in the tail by now I should think (they start dropping flight feathers after they lay, males get an earlier start and their smaller feathers grow in faster, too).

So drop the "he" bit :)   Believe me, it's the female Cooper's hawk that has the mentality of an NFL linebacker, they're amazing - the boys are chickenshit chicken hawks by contrast.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1008
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,16:56   

Quote (dhogaza @ Aug. 01 2008,14:20)
Quote
which one tastes the best?

The chicken hawk, of course.

That's the cooper's hawk, honest!  Cooper's hawks have a fascination with pigeon-sized and chicken-sized birds that has to be seen to believed.  If one shows up outside a locked coop (nice pun) made of chicken wire so the birds are visible, a Coop will sit and stare forever.  And try to figure out how to get in.  "mmm ... all that food ... if I only had a brain I could figure out that door-like contraption and eat for hours!".

Jim - crow-sized+ points to not only Cooper's hawk, but a female one (they're larger than the males, in the western US typically 450-550 grams weight, eastern US a bit heavier).  And that broad band, yes, Coop.  A kid, I imagine (brown not grey-brown), if it's that obvious - an adult female, esp. one that laid this year, would be looking pretty ragged in the tail by now I should think (they start dropping flight feathers after they lay, males get an earlier start and their smaller feathers grow in faster, too).

So drop the "he" bit :)   Believe me, it's the female Cooper's hawk that has the mentality of an NFL linebacker, they're amazing - the boys are chickenshit chicken hawks by contrast.

SHE is very brown.  Just a little while ago I was walking the dog and she (or another one just like her) was standing in a neighbor's driveway, not much impressed with the presence of me or the dog, even though we were no more than 20 feet away. It was the first really good look I've had, and I think it's indeed a Cooper's.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4511
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,17:53   

A Cooper's hawk figured out how to get into our pigeon/quail house... The Curse of the Blue Streak.



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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,17:59   

The favorite prey of Coopers Hawks & Northern Harriers is doves (at least in my front yard).

I'll see if I can dig up some photos of feathers.

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
jeffox



Posts: 546
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,22:12   

One of the advantages of being a former medical secretary who once worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN was that I got to see the resident (no pun intended) perigrine falcons hunt and eat the local pigeonry.  :)  It was an easy task, as long as one worked at the 10th story or higher.

Occasionally they'd land on one of the window ledges with a freshly killed pigeon and proceed to (quite literally) tear it apart eating it.  The feathers literally flew, and it usually took about 30 seconds to 1 minute for the hawk to eat a full-grown bird.  

If you were anywhere downtown, you could tell that the perigrines were hunting by observing the way the flock of pigeons flew.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 01 2008,22:22   

Quote (dhogaza @ Aug. 01 2008,10:38)
 
Quote
My neighbor has a lot of bird feeders in his backyard, and it resulted in periodic visits from a small hawk. I think it's a Cooper's.  Yesterday I got to see it grab a Goldfinch off of one of the feeders.

Or sharpshinned hawk, which are considerably smaller.  They're easy to distinguish once you know how but ...

Cooper's hawk have much more robust legs.  The sharpshinned hawk gets its name from a prominent ridge on its "shin" (metatarsal), which gives it a bit more fore-and-aft rigidity, otherwise its legs are glorified toothpicks.

Cooper's hawks also have blockier heads due to longer feathers on the rear of the head, that they lift to make their head "look big" (and scary, I guess) when nervous/scared see here.

Sharpshinned hawks are more heavily streaked (though there's a great deal of variation in Cooper's hawks - I've banded literally thousands of north american accipiters).

If you've got a kid - a brown-backed bird with brown streaking on the breast - the plumage is going to be grown in and fresh (migration cometh soon).  A Cooper's hawk will show a distinct white terminal band.  A sharpshinned will normally show a greyish terminal band though quite white (but narrow) is not totally unknown.

With an adult bird at this time of year, it's hard to tell, their tail will be molting enthusiastically and the old feather that haven't dropped yet beat to shit (i.e. any white band likely to be worn off).  Sharpies are farther along in molt than Coops at this point (it's a size thing, male sharpies, the smallest, will be very far along now in august).

Far too much data, right?

Go find that hawk and look again!

Also, I get the impression that Cooper's Hawks are more common than Sharp-Shinned Hawks, and much more adapted to heavily built up, residential neighborhoods. I see Cooper's Hawks around town here pretty routinely, but I've never seen a Sharp-Shinned anywhere except out in the countryside.

Two years ago I got to see a female Cooper's Hawk scarfing a Common Bushtit in a Chinese Elm tree in front of my house. I was first alerted to her presence by these little feathers drifting down from the tree. I found her in the tree and started watching her, first as she de-feathered it, and then as she started ripping hunks off it and eating. At one point she seemed to have swallowed too big a piece and started gagging, but she soon got it down and resumed. All told, she was in that tree for around 25 minutes. She stared at me with her beady red eyes a couple times but otherwise didn't seem to much care that she was being watched.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,02:06   

Quote
A Cooper's hawk figured out how to get into our pigeon/quail house

Nice big 'ole adult coop photo there.  You can see she's (I think) molting one or more inner primaries.

Where I've banded most frequently, in Nevada, our pigeon/dove/starling coops are Coop- and Gos-proof.  It took us years, though, to figure out how to thwart ...

Skunks!

(not for the faint of heart ...)

Problems with them digging under pigeon coops - ours tend to be about 8 feet high and first attempts were just on the ground, skunks would get in, and it would be like a dog in a herd of sheep.

Then we tried chicken-wire flooring to keep them out, one dug under and left us with some legless pigeons (even with plenty of things to roost on, there will always be a few that prefer to roost on the ground, hey, they're domesticated, you expect smart?)

Anyway, we finally figured it out.  And now the skunks no longer hang out around our camp, which is too bad, because we no longer have skunk stories to share.  Like the time our cook fell half-asleep in our central tent, in the rocking chair I used to carry up there, in front of the wood stove on a cold october night at 9,000 feet in the Great Basin ... stroking the back of the cat that was rubbing up against her leg ... wait ... cat?  There ain't no cats in field camp!  SCREAMING "oh my god I've been petting a skunk!" ... poor skunk, just wanted a little lovin'!

Quote

Also, I get the impression that Cooper's Hawks are more common than Sharp-Shinned Hawks, and much more adapted to heavily built up, residential neighborhoods. I see Cooper's Hawks around town here pretty routinely, but I've never seen a Sharp-Shinned anywhere except out in the countryside.

Depends on where you live, really.  Sharp-shinneds are common around feeders in new england in winter.  Where I live (portland, oregon) both are common in winter.  Only coops nest here in the city, though, and are  doing so with increasing frequency over the last couple of decades (true throughout the willamette valley).

Coops nest throughout the lower 48 and southern Canada, while the sharpies range extends much further north and they don't nest in the more southern parts of the US.  So depending on where you live, and the time of year, you may be much more likely to see a Coop than a sharpie.

While plenty of Coops and sharpies winter in the US, most of our band returns from eastern Nevada are from Sinaloa and Sonora, probably due to our banding site being east and south of where most Coops and sharpies migrating to winter in western OR/WA/CA are headed.  And a lot of our wintering sharpies are just coming down from the Cascades, like many of the yellow-rumped warblers and other small birds they like to prey on.

  
bystander



Posts: 301
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,02:08   

Quote (nuytsia @ Aug. 01 2008,05:32)
Quote (bystander @ July 30 2008,18:11)
(snip)

We sometimes find  Echidna's curled up next to the house and in the mountain behind us there are Wallabys. There are a lot of Wombat holes around but we haven't seen one yet.

As for birds, Where I live is supposed to have the highest diversity of parrots in the world. Our favourite is the Black Cockatoo. Their call is not as raucous as the white Cockie.

Wes would like the Wedged Tailed Eagle. Another bird that is fascinating to watch, especially when the dive to grab a rabbit or lizard.

Bystander what part of Australia are you in?

Blue tongues are cool as are echidnas.
This was my very first echidna I saw in Tassie. :-)


I also agree on the black cockies. Their call is just so eerily gorgeous. Here in Tassie they tend to be a mountain bird, but during the winter they come down into Hobart and strip the cones of the pine trees and ring bark the branches of elms.
All good fun! :-)

   
Quote (dhogaza @ July 30 2008,21:28)
(snip)
We passed a very large plowed field full of white birds that back home, in winter, might've been mew gulls or the like.  Sulphur-crested cockatoos, a thousand or so of them, more than I've *ever* seen in a pet store in North America! :)

Black cockatoo are cool, won't disagree with you on that score.

Lorries, parrots, cockatoos ... nice.

When I first got to Tassie I saw a field full of Sulphur crested Cockies and Forest Ravens. It was a most bizarre site.
According to my local guru, in Tassie you rarely see these birds feeding with any other species, but when you do it's almost always this combination. He reckons there's some kind of stand off between them.

Think my favourite parrot has to be the galah.
On my very first visit to Australia I spent an hour watching a flock in Kalbari play on a climbing frame and in the sand pit below (and I do mean play). It was the first time I'd really seen a bird expend so much energy doing bugger all.
It was fascinating!

Apparently the locals don't like them that much as they keep destroying the lawn and they killed the top of the Norfolk Island Pine in front of the police station.
I read a report that a flock of Galahs was observed to fly straight into a twister, apparently just for the hell of it.

I live on the coast 140km south of Sydney. Another strange bird when you see it in the wild is the lyrebird. I often see them crossing the road when I go to customer's houses further up in the hills (almost ran one over yesterday). They have a strange hopping run using their wings for balance and speed. It reminds me of some of the CGI reconstructions of feathered dinosaurs, very much unlike any other birds.
Although it is probably the animators using a lyrebird as a model for the dinosaur.
Another thing about Lyrebirds is that they are fantastic mimics and it is common to hear them imitating a chainsaw.

The cassowary is another bird that seems ancient. I was bicycle riding through FNQ and when I heard a loud noise in the forest, I always wondered if it was a Cassowary, although I don't know if I would want to meet one.

Galah's are funny but do a lot of damage.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,06:02   

Alas, it seems that Louis has been called away to France on a work-related trip, so we will not be meeting up with him for a visit to Hutton's Uncomformity (Siccar Point). Professor Steve Steve was disappointed to learn of this change of plans, and so was I.

I'll append below a couple of other pictures from the trip thus far. The first is not a wildlife shot; it is the Standing Stones of Callanish (Callanais), on the Isle of Lewis. This structure is about 4000 years old.



The second is a female Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). We've been seeing large flocks (up to 300 birds) of Lapwings, but they seem quite camera-shy. This is the best shot I have to date, and it was taken this morning near Rattray, north of Aberdeen.




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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4511
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,08:23   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 02 2008,06:02)
The first is not a wildlife shot; it is the Standing Stones of Callanish (Callanais), on the Isle of Lewis. This structure is about 4000 years old.


Hmmm... let's turn up the drama...



--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,11:33   

Quote

I'll append below a couple of other pictures from the trip thus far. The first is not a wildlife shot; it is the Standing Stones of Callanish (Callanais), on the Isle of Lewis. This structure is about 4000 years old.


Alby, did you hear much Gaelic spoken on Lewis?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,12:00   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 02 2008,11:33)
Alby, did you hear much Gaelic spoken on Lewis?

Yes, we did hear a bit of it on Lewis, and also on North Uist, where we spent a couple of days. Actually, we didn't run across lots of people very often, but on the ferries it seemed that lots of folks (families with kids especially) were speaking Gaelic. One of the other guests at one of the B&B's where we stayed on Uist seemed to speak it fairly well, and gave us some hints on pronunciation (sorely needed). All of the roadway signs gave place names in Gaelic as well as the Anglicized versions.

It's an interesting part of the world...

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,12:17   

mmmmmm Gaelic




proof that asheville has done something right, every once in a while.  god dam hippies.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,12:23   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 02 2008,10:00)
   
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 02 2008,11:33)
Alby, did you hear much Gaelic spoken on Lewis?

Yes, we did hear a bit of it on Lewis, and also on North Uist, where we spent a couple of days. Actually, we didn't run across lots of people very often, but on the ferries it seemed that lots of folks (families with kids especially) were speaking Gaelic. One of the other guests at one of the B&B's where we stayed on Uist seemed to speak it fairly well, and gave us some hints on pronunciation (sorely needed). All of the roadway signs gave place names in Gaelic as well as the Anglicized versions.

It's an interesting part of the world...

Nice news that you were hearing kids speak it. And yes, the pronunciation of Gaelic, especially Scots, is VERY hard. Definitely one of the weirdest European languages, setting aside Basque, Finnish & Hungarian.

I've always wanted to visit that part of Britain. Once upon a time very long ago I was considering doing linguistic fieldwork in the Inner Hebrides, but my grad student path took a very different direction.

In 1985, I visited the Isle of Arran (as a tourist), which is a gorgeous, spooky place (and the hotel restaurant at Brodick served the best curry I'd ever had), but from what I gather Gaelic died out there in the 70's. The island is basically a huge, densely wooded mountain with a little 1-lane road going around it. When I was there, it boasted the largest nesting colony of Golden Eagles in Britain.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
khan



Posts: 1484
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,18:30   

A rebuttal to the nature crunchy granola types: it's a jungle out there.

Cats killing birds squirrels rabbits chipmunks.

Grackles killing finches.

Hawks killing finches sparrows doves.

Blue Jays stealing worms from robins.

And all just in my front yard.

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 02 2008,20:05   

Quote (khan @ Aug. 02 2008,16:30)
A rebuttal to the nature crunchy granola types: it's a jungle out there.

Cats killing birds squirrels rabbits chipmunks.

Grackles killing finches.

Hawks killing finches sparrows doves.

Blue Jays stealing worms from robins.

And all just in my front yard.

Well. None of that happened before the Fall, though. Back then, T-rexes ate coconuts.  :angry:

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 05 2008,01:25   

Well, Louis didn't make the trip, but two other friends accompanied us to Siccar Point, the site where James Hutton found the evidence that the earth had to be more than 6000 yrs old. We had a stunning day to visit, and the tide was out, so we could clamber down to the rocks and wander around a bit. The red sandstones in the picture overlay the folded and eroded gray stone (greywackes in the local vernacular). That original deposition and folding, followed by erosion and then deposition of the red stone, would have required much longer than 6000 years.

So here's a picture, with evidence, so that FtK can finally make up her mind about the age of the earth.



--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 05 2008,04:03   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 02 2008,12:02)
Alas, it seems that Louis has been called away to France on a work-related trip, so we will not be meeting up with him for a visit to Hutton's Uncomformity (Siccar Point). Professor Steve Steve was disappointed to learn of this change of plans, and so was I.

Don't blame me, blame a) recalcitrant French "chemists"*, b) insistent boss and c) an incipient pay review date!

No one is more disappointed than I. First and foremost meeting the REAL Prof Steve Steve as opposed to some cheap panda knock off (which I have met many times) would have been the culmination of my hero worship. Also meeting some Kansans who are ACTUALLY reasonable would have been nice too. And of course to collect my winnings for a certain bet about a certain Kansan who is most certainly not reasonable at all (despite claims to the contrary). Although the latter is vastly less important than the former two reasons.

Of course this means I now have to schlep over to the US of A for a combined Howlerfest/PTfest/AtBCfest at some point in the not too distant future. Make sure you have warm beer, indifferent cuisine and bad dentistry ready for the event.

Anyway, since this is WILD(life)LY off topic thus far I shall redeem myself slightly by mentioning that my Dad telephoned me upon my return to inform me that he has adders in his pond. This is not a euphemism.



An adder, yesterday.

He then asked me (since I used to keep a snake, although I'm no Lenny Flank {snicker, giggle, shrug}) how best to deal with them since they were eating all his fish.

Leave the poor buggers alone and buy new fish in the autumn, was my advice.

Louis

* I have no desire to speak ill of French chemists in general. Many of my most capable and brilliant chemistry colleagues and collaborators have been/are French. This band of merry muppets however were trying to pull a fast one on we Rosbifs and claiming things they could not support as part of an outsourcing collaboration. Naughty naughty. They have been duly, but politely and diplomatically, dealt with.

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4368
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 05 2008,19:33   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 05 2008,01:25)
Well, Louis didn't make the trip, but two other friends accompanied us to Siccar Point, the site where James Hutton found the evidence that the earth had to be more than 6000 yrs old. We had a stunning day to visit, and the tide was out, so we could clamber down to the rocks and wander around a bit. The red sandstones in the picture overlay the folded and eroded gray stone (greywackes in the local vernacular). That original deposition and folding, followed by erosion and then deposition of the red stone, would have required much longer than 6000 years.

So here's a picture, with evidence, so that FtK can finally make up her mind about the age of the earth.


That is totally beautiful - Do you think Walt Brown has seen this?  FTK?  Have you sent this to him yet?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
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