The last week of March along the Guadalupe River in San Jose, CA was full of the common indications of Spring: heavy rain, mating rituals, nest building, and chick rearing. I observed a Mocking Bird collecting man made materials along the river bank. It then flew to a near by tree were it started weaving the fibers into an existing nest. The nest was made up of many other man made materials like plastic and cotton. Another evening I came upon 3 Great Egrets and 2 Great Blue Herons hunting in a close proximity to each other, in the same grass field. It was an exiting experience to be surrounded by the Greats. They were snapping up insects and frogs while cackling back and forth to one another. That evening, I also witnessed a pair of Red Shoulder Hawks canvasing the orchard together looking for rodents and resting periodically.
The trash piles along the Guadalupe River grew larger during the last week of March due to heavy rain storms. Debris were found at six feet high, wrapped around trees. Large collections of trash, 20 feet in diameter, were visible from the trail. The largest pile contained shampoo, household cleaner, medicine, spray paint, sports balls of every kind, propane tanks, a pallet, plastic bottles, motor oil bottles, and much more. We will have our work cut out for us at the Guadalupe River Clean Up on April 30, 2011. (see article below)
On the evening of March 30th, 2011 I spotted a pair of adult Kill Deer watching over two new born chicks. As I approached, the mother pretended to be hurt to distract me from the chicks. She began flopping around and calling loudly. She would then fly a short distance away from the chicks to try to get me to follow. The father flattened himself on the ground and did not move a muscle. The two chicks stayed close to father, but as I got closer the father joined in and began putting on his show. As to not aggravate them further I got my shot and left the parents to tend their young.