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OT: groundhog, birds, sprouts, eagles

  • Subject: OT: groundhog, birds, sprouts, eagles
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@cox.net>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 19:20:23 -0400

The groundhog was right, it turns out.  A week after the big birds left the river, thousands of coots showed up and have remained.  I don't know which direction the big birds went, after all.  It has remained cold here, except for a couple of isolated balmy days, and the mercury is heading into the 20s tonight.  I just came in from feeding several beds.  The wind made me stop early.  But the sprouts, if there are any yet, are still snuggled under their pine straw mulch.  I haven't checked in a few days.  The neighborhood eagle is on his evening perch, right above the duck blind at Sheridan Point.  I think he's the male of the pair that is nesting about 6 1/2 miles upstream at the edge of a golf course, within 75 yards of the George Washington Parkway.  Eagles are famous for their keen eyesight, of course, but their literacy level is very low.  Were it better, they would have known, from reading the testimony of the American Humane Society's eagle expert in a court case here some time ago, that nesting eagles can't tolerate human activity within a quarter of a mile of the nest.  The nest is located just south of Alexandria, where the Parkway, which runs along the banks of the Potomac, crosses the mouth of Great Hunting Creek.  Just past the bridge, on the west side of the road, there is a wide gravel berm about the size of a couple of tennis courts, where fishermen used to park.  After the road was re-surfaced a few years ago, no-parking signs were erected and have been observed, reluctantly but nonetheless, by the locals.  When the nest was spotted a few weeks ago, bird watchers flocked to the site, covering the berm with their cars, ignoring the prohibitions.  Police arrived and dispersed them.  The police left.  The birdwatchers returned.  The police dispersed them again and erected a snow fence barrier.  The birdwatchers tore down the snow fence and re-occupied the site.  The police have reinforced the snow fence with a jersey wall, leaving just a nook at the edge of the bridge into which a police car can tuck itself to catch speeders. (First things first, after all.) That worked.  I imagine the eagles found it all quite curious.  --  Griff 
----- Original Message -----
From: Linda Mann
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 4:47 PM
Subject: [iris-photos] HYB: sprouts

Not taking any chances!

Linda Mann

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