September 22, 2013

The birds at The Stockpond decrease when come the two or three day rains, because they can find water everywhere for a few days. I have the news from Ralph W. that the beaver dam on the San Pedro at 3-Links was blown out in the floods, the pond that was behind silted in, gone, and that fact has likely had the effect of more birds and other wildlife coming to us now that the other “natural” pool is lost. It will take a few days of drying out and running water to die off for avian numbers to go up again, so still today there isn’t much to be seen but a butt-bobbing Solitary Sandpiper (acting like a Spotted) in the mud, an immature Vermillion Flycatcher and a young Western Kingbird that is a perfect small version of a cleanly plumaged adult.

As this first day of calendar Autumn winds down, I move the wheel line all the way across #1 Pasture towards the south, to have it in place when the next irrigation cycle comes as the ground dries and no more storms sweep up from Mexico. As that wheel line blunders along, it pushes before it a storm not of rain but of wings and chitin: swarms of different grasshoppers that catch a lowering sun that makes them glow white and incandescent, with larger Red-winged Grasshoppers that are incandescent pink-orange swirling through.

The evening Stockpond is lonely, quiet–no martins, no nighthawks. None of the latter have been seen for a few weeks now and I’ll conclude that they’re well gone and indeed, they will not to be seen again here until Winter is also well gone.

A second Swainson’s Hawk has this evening joined the one I see most every morning in the same mesquite on the Cascabel Road, at our northmost, unirrigated #4 Pasture.