Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Surprise Visitor

We arrived back from Austin on Sunday afternoon, just ahead of a cold front moving in from the north and west. Within a few minutes of unloading the car, some activity outside our living -room window caught my attantion. A Carolina Chickadee made a few trips to our seed feeder and then flew down to the birdbath. The light was poor but I managed to get a recognizable photo.

Almost immediately, another bird quickly flew to the feeder and away again. Did I really just see a Red-breasted Nuthatch? I thought so but the look I got was too short for me to be sure. Luckily the bird return a minute later and settled on the birdbath. It was a Nuthatch.

No sooner had the Nuthatch disappeared than another bird appeared on our fence: Our first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season.

The cold front is due to fully reach our area Monday night, so I'm hoping that Tuesday and Wednesday will bring lots of new birds into our area.

Campus Casualty
Monday morning I was driving around the campus when one of our groundsmen waved me down. He had stopped to move off the road a snake that had been run over and largely disembowelled. The groundsman was going to pick it up when I warned him to be careful, because the snake was a cottonmouth and was (somehow) still alive.

Although I hate killing any living thing, I knew we couldn't leave the snake in such a terrible condition. So I went off and found a heavy dead branch. I hit the snake on the head as hard as I could and was amazed when it reared up and opened its mouth in a defensive display. I hit it half-a-dozen more times and it kept rearing up and warning me off. In the end I had to drive my car back and forwards over its body several times before I managed to put the snake out of its misery.


Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Loved all the precious little birds! Cotton mouths are extremely aggressive once attacked. I've seen one rare up 2 feet off the ground and charge full steam ahead at my husband when he missed it with the first shot.

Jeff said...

They certainly are tough snakes!