There are occasional benefits to working through the weekend (very occasional…almost nonexistent…arg). One is the relative silence. The construction stops on Sundays and holidays, and although the sound of traffic is unavoidable, it’s still much easier to selectively listen only to birdsong when there’s not a dump truck idling outside the gate.
My strident friends the killdeers built another nest—I don’t know if this was the same pair trying for extra fitness or a pair of latecomers. Anyways, they later apparently abandoned it, so I was able to snap a picture of the eggs—which are still sitting there a week later; I don’t know why they haven’t been eaten.I find this nest extremely comical. It’s little more than a patch of gravel, yet the birds have very carefully used the smaller and paler pieces of rock, as if they’re more comfortable to sit on, and there are a few token bits of twig. It’s also surrounded by vicious-looking blackberry branches, like a kind of barbed wire fence.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the bald eagle nest, but it seems that the pair hasn’t laid any eggs this year, perhaps because of the delay caused by rebuilding their nest.
A more tuneful cousin of the killdeer, the spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius), arrived this past week. They are tiny wading birds, barely bigger than a swallow, and even the shallow parts of the ponds are too deep for them to wade in! It doesn’t help that the pond edges are sheer plastic, so they also have trouble foraging from shore. Yesterday I watched one methodically march around the perimeter of two ponds trying to find a place to hunt from. Today it had figured out a solution: perching on the edge of my enclosures.