Sunday, May 31, 2015

dust bath?

I came upon the strangest thing today. I'd gone out to the nearby wildlife sanctuary to retrieve the notebook I left there yesterday. Fortunately, it was still right where I left it on the shelf in the viewing blind.

See that little viewing blind (hut)? That's where I left it... You can understand how I might get distracted by all these birds and all this beauty. This is a picture from yesterday, so you can even imagine my poor forlorn little notebook calling across the pond, "Hey, you're not going to abandon me, are you?" 

Anyway, at the side of the gravel parking area, a sparrow was taking a bath in the dust. She was doing all the same moves I see birds do in bird baths, only she was flinging dust around instead of water. There were two ponds, including the one above, 100 yards from the parking lot, so it certainly wasn't a lack of water.  Anyone have any ideas? I'm mystified.

Dust Bath

While I'm at it, here are a few more pictures from today's quick stop. Should post some from yesterday, but haven't had time to go through them yet. 

Painted Turtle came out during one of the few sunny moments. I love his colors against the blues and greens.

Cedar Waxwings were there today - first time I've seen them this year.

What is this? A groundhog?
Not a muskrat - no tail visible (I have several pics - might be a short stubby one, but definitely not a muskrat one).

Audition for Angry Birds

BIG turtle in the road as I entered the sanctuary. Snapper? Looks like a dinosaur to me.

He walked under the car and settled down for a nap in the shade. It was HOT. 

There are turtles, and then there are turtles. Here are more painted turtles, the largest much smaller than the one under the car, and the little one really tiny and cute.

Heard lots of bullfrogs, but never saw one. No one has told them they're supposed to sit on lily pads.

There are barn swallows nesting in the blind where I was watching the birds and turtles (yep, same one). I made sure to stay to one end or the other so they had plenty of room to fly in and out.

This video is really shaky - sorry about that! But this barn swallow was so cute and so loquacious I had to share. Turn on your speakers.

daisies all along the path
So back to the original topic... If you have any knowledge to share about dust baths, I'd be most interested in hearing it. Please do comment.

P.S. Sparrow will not be having her dust bath tomorrow. It's now pouring down rain with warnings about minor flooding, so she'll have to settle for mud. I hear people pay good money to be caked in mud, so perhaps she'll start a spa.

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