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Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Ramble with Storm: Snappers, hummers & green herons

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

A buddy stopped by last night with this big snapping turtle to show my kids.

In his cooler, it didn't look that big; but when we took it back to the pond where he caught it late in the night, it was bigger than we thought: Probably pushing 20 pounds.

We had to keep a sharp eye on my 7-year-old because he was drawn to it like those little doggie magnets I, as a kid, used to play with between hymnal sheets.

Finally, it waddled down into the water.

The hummers I threw in just to see if it search engines would pick it up.

But, while on the topic, of ruby-throated hummingbirds I should make plain, it has been an odd year in that regard, too.

We had hummers show up earlier than we ever remember. Then two weeks ago, we had as many as four at one time at our feeder and my wife's hanging baskets. We never had that many before.

Another relatively quiet morning--no doves, only one squirrel when we came back into town--for the morning ramble with the meathead.

Until we got to the back side of the town pond. I am still ground baiting for a buddy and I was startled when a green heron flew off a few feet away from us as I tossed the dissolvable bag of ground bait.

Then the meathead nearly freaked when another green heron flew off right in front of us when that loud squawking they do while at the same time a great blue heron flapped off the corner of the town pond.

It was a moment.

I thought we might have a chance at patches of light frost. Not even close. It was only 43 degrees when I checked.

Still cool enough that I was glad I put on my black insulated Goshen College hood coat for the first time in months.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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I have 5 hummingbirds that I know of that have been hanging around since spring. They are on a feeding binge with the cooler weather. Fascinating to watch. Meanest birds around, won't share with others and chase each other off the feeders and flowers. Extremely territorial. One was chasing down and harassing a cardinal.

They do this odd dance around each other. I can't tell if it's for dominance over the others or to impress the opposite sex. Hard to explain in writing how it looks. Large swooping arcs directed at another hummer that sits there in mid air watching the show. Sometimes the swooping will drive the other hummer down to the ground, other times it's happening 30-40 feet up in the air. I should look it up.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 19, 2012 8:39 AM.

Stray Cast: Sox/Bears/Cubs & Wildcat Rapids/Burnham Harbor/North Shore Channel was the previous entry in this blog.

Ramble with Storm: Squirrels is the next entry in this blog.

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