Sunday, February 7, 2010
Today we did a combined road exploration/horse trail evaluation/birdwatching/geocaching trek. We scored one out of two geocaches (took our GPS with us this time and actually figured out how to use it), discovered where several mountain roads near us go, decided *not* to take horses up to the very nice horse trails near Lake Hebo as the 5 1/2 miles to get there is steep and curvy but I noticed another possibility closer to home... The birdwatching was slow but we did see three lovely Ruffed Grouse hotfoot it across the road in front of us. And, best of all, a pair of Red Crossbills posed on top of a short tree right by our parked truck. I managed to get a photo of the male before he flew. What a handsome bird. His crazy crossed bill is actually quite useful: he extracts seeds from cones with it. (Click on photo to enlarge and see the bill.) The females are dull yellow instead of dull red, but quite pretty, too.