Irrigation day in the pasture:

Interesting facts about cattle egrets from whatbird.com:

  • It has been estimated that Cattle Egrets are able to gather 50% more food and use only two-thirds as much energy when they feed in association with livestock as opposed to feeding alone.
  • The Cattle Egret did not exist outside of Africa until the late 19th century. They likely flew from Africa to South America and since have extended their range through Florida and then further north and west.
  • They have been observed along side the runways of airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. They also follow farm equipment to catch insects that are disturbed.
  • A group of cattle egrets are collectively known as a “stampede” of egrets.

We had a surprise snow goose visitor here a couple of days ago. She was palling around with a pair of Canada geese:

According to whatbird.com, a group of geese has many collective nouns, including a “blizzard”, “chevron”, “knot”, “plump”, and “string” of geese. We often see large blizzards of snow geese here over the winter, but they’ve been gone for several weeks now.

It was when I saw the two together that I realized the significant size difference between the species:

Wherever the pair of Canada geese would go, the little snow goose would follow:

Snow geese migrate north for the summer and breed in the Arctic regions of North America and eastern Siberia. I can’t help but wonder how our little surprise visitor was left behind.

No matter now. I’m sure her friendly Canadian cousins will take care of her until she’s reunited with her snow goose family.

3/1/13 update: Our surprise visitor wasn’t a snow goose, but rather a Ross’s Goose. http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/293/_/Rosss_Goose.aspx. Thank you, Patrick C!

A lot happened at Morning Bray Farm this year. When I sat down yesterday to reminisce by looking through blog posts, the magnitude of the changes here really hit me. 

The blessing of Patrick came to us in March, followed by our beautiful Muscovy ducklings in April. Fergus left us in July, we adopted our BLM beauty Gracie Belle in August, and Buck arrived in October.

Whoa. It all happened so fast.

Last night, Don and I went through and picked our favorite blog photos/moments from 2011. We’ll share our picks this week. If you click on any of the photos, you’ll be taken to the original blog posts.

January 2011

The fabulous four:

Fergus was such a character:

He did an excellent James Cagney impersonation:

Sandhill crane:

February 2011

Our sleeping beauty:

Our first baby of 2011: