Goats zone
Wednesday August 10th 2011, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

The trash and recycling trucks came through today and I know they sometimes brush the lower branches on my flowering pear. Picking this up off the ground, glad nesting season was over, I marveled at its intricacy: the dried grasses up top, the thicker weeds down below, the tiny down feathers woven perfectly spaced throughout. Birds are such natural artists. Cupping it in my hands, I marveled at how much the little thing instantly warmed them; I had not expected that.

I was telling Neil yesterday about the adult zone-tailed hawk I saw fly in that one time, so huge. It was such an incredible moment not just for me but for some of my fellow bird enthusiasts; they are so very rare and new this far north. Then I wondered out loud to him if being near the Bay were the reason I got to see it.

Today I needed to get myself to the recycling center and finally ditch the self-exploding microwave. Extra sun time, but we’ve all got nesting syndrome around here with the baby coming.

The center was next to the Baylands preserve, near the post office that I go to specifically to enjoy the drive past the restored wetlands area–where a magnificent black-stockinged, strikingly-white great crane once swiveled its head and stared eye to eye with me as I drove slowly past it on its high-footed walk down the suddenly magical sidewalk.

The reeds in the marsh have been getting high and dry as the summer has been getting long. And there they were: the goats. Cute as you could ask for, teddy bears with horns, some of them, very small goats (and sheared. Yes I noticed), trimming away at the brush.

The shepherd had arrived.

Right at the eventual light. Right and again, right. I pulled into the center. Put my microwave on top of someone else’s old one for it to be stripped of its parts, offered some good and usable stuff way up high to the fellow manning the Goodwill trailer, not daring to climb his ladder with my funky balance and my arms full; headed out and on my way.

And coming back, there at the edge of the marsh, flying overhead, I saw it.

I took a good look, glad to have zero traffic around me. Surely it couldn’t be. Rather than the next errand on my list, I went straight home first to look it up in my bird book: I flipped through the hawk pages again and again, thinking, nahhhh, a lot of the hawks have dark-morphed individuals, but still, there was only one that matched that. And I had seen an adult.

As far as I could tell, this one was a juvenile zone-tailed. Right there at the edge of San Francisco Bay.  I guess it heard about the blueberry and cinnamon chevre and was trying to find a local source.

Honey, I think we’re going to need a bigger nest.

4 Comments so far
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You are a bird magnet? Feed them and they will come?

Comment by Channon 08.11.11 @ 6:21 am

I like Channon’s comment.
Birds of all kinds and sizes are wondrous to see. And to think that some people believe they are descendents of dinosaurs!

Comment by Don Meyer 08.11.11 @ 9:34 am

Getting an early start , I see cranes, Sand Hills and some Browns, across the street from our home. The park borders the Marsh and we see all sorts of wildlife, when the sun comes up in the morning , just as sunrise we can see them standing in the creek, On a side note, sad as it is, ,When you see something black and white, laying on the road, and everyone has avoided hitting it, you know it’s a skunk, we observed people swerving quite widely to make sure nothing touches there tires.The smell is overwhelming.

Comment by kristy phipps 08.11.11 @ 2:12 pm

I’m chuckling Channon’s comment, as my own on your last post mirrored it. How wonderful for you to have seen that bird!

Comment by twinsetellen 08.11.11 @ 10:38 pm

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