Monday, December 15, 2008

How cold is TOO cold??

Still having trouble putting #2 in the bag (lingering effects from the curse I suppose) and this weekend didn't do me any favors. Saturday was super windy with winds 25-30 mph and there were reports of others losing their birds to the wind but I headed out anyway. Didn't see a single starling but it was probably better that way, I imagine Dulci would've been blown into the next county.

Sunday was COLD. Not just "Burrrr, it's cold" kinda cold, I'm talking a HIGH of 9F (-12C) kinda cold. It was 3F (-16C) when I went out at 1:00pm!! Did that deter me? Nope. The car has a heater, right?

It took me awhile to find the starling though. I finally found a good group hudled underneath an evergreen bush in a Home Depot parking lot. It looked to be an absolutely perfect slip. Unfortunately there was no way I could do it safely. The bush was right at the corner to turn in to the parking lot from a busy road. I wouldn't have been able to stop safely driving by the bush from either direction. I did find a few hudled beneath another bush across the intersection in a safer, albeit less accessible, spot but it was a really difficult slip uphill and the starlings were already so close to cover all they had to do was hop up to be out of the way.

Having scared the starling out of that spot however, they congregated in a couple trees above the islands in the neighboring Walmart parking lot. A much better slip...if cars weren't parked right where I needed to drive!! Don't these people know I'm hawking here!! Finally a few floated down to the bushes beneath the trees and a parking spot opened up right next to them. I didn't get a moving slip and all the eyes in the trees above the bushes alerted the starlings on the ground as soon as Dulci went out the window but a good 50 yard tailchase ensued. She got beat fair and square.

After breaking off the chase she went and stooped a raven that was sitting on a light post in the middle of the parking lot and then landed briefly on a neighboring light pole. I think the metal pole was too cold on her feet though and she glided down to a bush another 20 yards away. I lost track of her when she went down and it took me a minute to navigate the car through the lot packed with cars but she came in immediately when I swung the lure. When I got her on the fist she immediately sat down on her feet. I can only assume she was trying to warm them up. I got back in the car and turned the heater on and held her near the vents for a couple minutes until she stood back up. She'd only been out for a total of maybe 5 minutes! Too dang cold, so I fed her up and we headed home.