Yesterday, when I dashed out to feed the chickens and our one old guinea hen, I was met by this guinea welcoming crew. They flew up unexpectedly and out of nowhere with their loud cackley chatter. I flew a few feet above my sneakers.
After they regrouped and I recovered from my surprise, they began grazing 'neath the chicken pen picking up spilled feed from the birds above.
So where did they come from?
I don't know, but I assume they are a distant neighbor's flock that homed in on my old guinea hen's calls or scent.
I don't mind them being here, but ...
... their presence has created quite a stir in the neighborhood. Miss Fluffyfoot, Ol'GuineaHenny, and Granny Barred Rock haven't been able to focus on anything except the new neighbors. They're a conservative group and all this free flying and loud cackle calling kind of ruffles their feathers.
Meanwhile, down at the pond, things are quieter, but more serious. The heron is back (every day) and the hunting is even easier as the pond continues to shrink. I laid some pond fronds around the dock to form a small photo blind. Now I can sit under the dock on an upturned bucket and be fairly inconspicious to the birds and critters.
This hawk (red shouldered?) was hunting the pond puddle when I got home Thursday evening. He was actually "walking" around at the water's edge when I first arrived at the blind, but then flew into a willow before I could photo this odd unhawklike behavior. I'm assuming the small bullfrogs were his targets. I was hoping he'd hop back down there for some "different" hawk photos, but he eventually flew off to the oak canopy and I lost track of him.
Our hawk population jumps up this time of year as migrants arrive. At the same time cooling temperatures and frosts reduce the lush plant cover that rabbits and other small mammals use to hide from predators like the hawk.
Just to even things out, I make brush piles all over the place so the game is fair.
This might be the same hawk that was gracing your neck of the woods a month ago.
I know, I know ...
... you want him back.
All in good time.