Climbing Around the Dam

Some people don’t have a great relationship with their in-laws. There is a lot of in-fighting or scheming going on to the detriment of their children’s relationship(s). My in-laws, however, take to practical jokes as a past-time, which means we get along just fine. This month, the other half and I were treated to a tour of an area north of us which contains…

Prairie dogs! Care to see a picture of the little buggers in their natural habitat?

Yeah, that’s the view I got. We pulled up to the colony, stepped out of the truck, and then got a warning that they only like cars, not people. At least they had the right idea being in their burrows; it was only about 40 degrees while we were out exploring (Yeah, I’m a total wimp about the cold).

At least we got to see some other things, like these double-crested cormorants, which were playing in the water near a blue heron and a few teals.

As I was walking to the shore to see the cormorants, I kept hearing a woodpecker tapping away at a tree. After I got a few shots of the frolicking waterbirds, I turned my attention to finding the woodpecker. I finally just walked up to the tree, only for this little downy woodpecker to jump out from some brush underneath it and start yelling at me. She definitely wasn’t happy I’d intruded on her hidey hole.

We also found a bald eagle (which flew away as soon as I pulled out the camera, of course) and several red-tailed hawks.

I also saw a pileated woodpecker and a flock of juncos in this same tree, but we were birding out of the father-in-law’s truck, and I couldn’t convince him that it was a life or death situation for me to have a picture of a red-tailed hawk and a pileated woodpecker sitting five feet from each other. Definitely the only time I’ve seen that happen. Oh, well, I’ll just have to make sure I’m driving the next time.

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