I was not in the field–just on visit in the middle of working on my preproposal. And, after Christmas but before New Years, also gaining some sun for the small primates and myself.
As long as I am, I am
Of course, I could not help but set the traps despite the strong sensation I had that the quail were not visiting what I call the Middle location on the site. This location is most convenient for me–it is right outside of where I stay so I can set traps and head into work, returning every 45 minutes or so to check.
(Mourning dove: Zenaida macroura)
And to pull whomever is in back out of the trap.
I will be wind-awry
But I didn’t have time to walk the site and this time of year the quail are in coveys. Some upwards of 100, at least where I was staying. The coveys are glued together with a social bond like cement and move about the site, exploiting particular areas for roosting and food for days and weeks, then suddenly vanishing to exploit a different portion of the covey range. I say suddenly though I know there must be some reason–I’m just to obtuse to figure it out.
(Immature White Crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys)
gathering swallows twitter in the skies
I had no time to walk and find them. The traps were in an area covered by tracks–dove and towhee–no quail though there may have been and they’d just been obliterated by everyone else.
(White-Crowned Sparrow: Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Whatever. I never caught quail though I did, for the first time ever (in over fifteen years of trapping quail) catch a Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
He/she was unhappy and stressed from being trapped,but recovered quickly and dove into the brush.
And why into the trap in the first place? It’s a nagging question because roadrunners are carnivores–insects, rodents, eggs, baby birds, lizards. Perhaps he/she was after something that went after the seed–perhaps the roadrunner had a full meal before realizing the problem of his/her situation. It does trouble me–because it is wrong in some way but also what a magnificent creature.
but out of what began?
quotes are by Lucie Brock-Broido, John Keats, W. B. Yeats