Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wild In The Urbs.

Went birding again this weekend. This time to Old Mission Dam at Mission Trails Regional Park in a suburban neighborhood of the City of San Diego. The park is at the end of a large nature corridor that stretches from the mountains east of the city. These nature corridors are one of the reasons why rural brush fires in San Diego County can find there way into the city and nearly all the way to the coast. But that's another topic.

There wasn't a whole lot of activity when I went. All good birders are supposed to list what they saw. I'm not too keen on being shoulded on, but here's my list anyway.

Common Yellow Throat (first time for me)
House Finch
Cooper's Hawk
Black Phoebe
California Thrasher
California Towhee
Bewick's Wren (first time)
Mourning Doves

There's another consequence of the nature corridors in San Diego: wild four legged critters can be seen in backyards and on streets. My house is on a street that dead ends at an undeveloped canyon. As you may remember, a possum has been living in my backyard off and on for about a year now. Well, no longer. The other day, I found the little guy dead and partially eaten on my front walk. It looked very much like it had been killed by a coyote. Coyotes apparently often consume only part of their kill.

I didn't want the possum's carcass to lure the coyote back for more. So, I buried the possum in my backyard. No such luck. The coyote came back again the other night and came right up to my front porch where it made some scary wild noises. I turned up the TV really loud. It was Keith Olbermann bombasting away. The coyote ran off and I haven't heard it since. I've read before that coyotes are pretty smart. Seems right to me.

Not to be ghoulish, but here's a picture of the dead possum. Okay, I guess that was ghoulish. Sorry about that.

Not to be maudlin, but here's the possum's grave in my backyard. Rest in peace, little guy. Yeah, that's a fake Mt. Rushmore in the background. So?

-tdr

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