Monday, July 28, 2008

July 28 2008

6:45 am

Went over to field, to move JK's. Did not see much bird activity in field when I first arrived.

Moved 4 JK's and eagle.

But within 10-15 min, observed a lot of bird activity. They must have heard me coming, hunkered down, then got back at their breakfast. Pressure is definitely increasing noticeably. Observed 35+ Robins, 25 Starlings, 7 Purple finches, 2 Gold finches, of which, most were going to and from my woods. Double DRAT! Predominate activity in north central part of field.

North end squawker still not operating.

Rough-legged hawk perched and watching from my woods (get busy with your raptoring - DUDE!). Robins very persistent no matter what I do to ward them off, even jumping up waving hands, arms, hissing like a snake. Go ahead and laugh, Jay Leno is. However, the Starlings that attempt to arrive and land are much more scared ... After 15 min of my antics, Starlings gone.

Cannons going off to north, north-east and east 7:00-8:30 am, some to north and north-east still going through noon.

Walking some rows and noted one bush area had 10 berries presumably knocked down by a occasional berry here and there. I am noticing as I re-set my JK's, and touch some bushes ever so lightly, berries are dropping.

7:30 am

Much less bird activity...though I still see apprx 20 robins and an occasional starlings now.

7:45 am

Observed 1 Starling with a berry in mouth exiting to my woods; robin activity way down.

7:50- 8:10 am

While still located in the field, I heard my dairy farmer (just west of my house) fire off 2 shotgun shells. Within about 3-minutes, this presumably sent 9 starlings towards the berry field, followed by another 20... then 25 more...then finally 4 tail-end charlies. This all within 4 minutes. My antics scared them off, except for 3 that landed in the south center of field. 6 robins came in from woods about this time, I tried to scare, but never happen, bold devils they are. I hear a lot of starlings in my woods (8;00 am), I think the 300 flock moved there after the shotgun event. 6 starlings exited the field to woods. 5 robins arrived, 3 starlings too. Scared starlings to east side of field, robin undeterred..(8:06), another 6 starlings tried...scared them away. 6 Red wing blackbirds flew overhead, did not land. 5 starlings came, I scared 3 away, 2 flew overhead, 1 exiting. 1 robin exiting now too. 4 starlings exiting. Whew...that was fun!

Between 8:00-12 am

Not a lot of breeze or wind to activate the JK's. They are getting a well-deserved rest...but at the WRONG time!

8:15 am

I left the field to get the Helikites. Observed a couple robins going to/fro my woods.

9:00 am

Deployed 2 Helikites, 1 NW corner full length, 1 north center at 1/2 length.

9:38-10:15 am
One HK had a leak, and the other needed to be let out full length.

11:30 Redeployed leaky HK with new mylar balloon about 1/2 way between woods and field drove metal post and tied to it. Location was a try at disrupting the Interstate traffic of birds to and fro.

Observed a flock of apprx 20 Starlings coming out of field as I was driving to field.

Jk not op...little wind, north squawker not operating.

My Rough-legged hawk is active near and over my woods.

9:10 to 9:45 am

Observations -
2 Vultures working over my woods.
3 Starlings out woods flew north of field at 100' elevation, kept going direct to east woods.
Robins unfazed - 3 in 5 out.
Since deployed HK, only saw starlings leaving apprx 16, and none entering, yet. I think I "trapped" them in when I arrived, and then, they one-by-one chanced an exit.
10:16 am 2 Starlings circled north end of field, cautious, but did land. I scared them off.
10:20 am 18 Starlings exited field. Where did they come from? Did not see them come in!
Vulture circling at south end of field.

11:35 am

On pasture of my dairy farmer to west, observed 5 vultures and 1 immature bald eagle on or over cow placenta, the eagle trying to fly with it in claws, but dropped. Presence of starlings nil, when raptors flying , but they are coming and going right past 1 remaining eagle perched on fence post. Starlings must figure: "Perch now, miss your dinner - me."

12:30 pm

In field with shotgun, I fired once, scared one Starling, but few birds in field right now, or just hanging tight. Activity almost zero. Left field.

4:30 pm

I am monitoring north end of field w/ shotgun. Stood in 40 feet down in rows 6-7.
During 3 separate entry events w/robins (groups of 3-5) I shot (4 times-3 events) near but not at them. Every single robin was unfazed and proceeded to land in the berries. Unreal. This really convincedly demonstrates their "thick" skin, resisting even direct threats as such.

No starlings in field, or near by.

4:35 pm

Heard a dairy farmer to the south-west shoot 2 times...could see a flock of starlings scattering.

Good breeze, JK's active.

4:45 pm

Moved over to apprx 80' from east edge of my woods, shot 2 shots to flush what was there, but little showed itself...a robin or two.

4:53 pm

Observed a few starlings in top of cedar trees. I wasn't quick enough with my shotgun, but 4 of them got past me to the field.

4:57 pm

7 robins launched out of my woods for field, shot near them. Again they were not detered in the least and continued to enter the berry field.

5:50-6:05 pm

Grower monitoring. Flushed 10-15 Starlings as he drove around the north-west corner of field. Honked horn.

6:30-7:00 pm

I went out to monitor and take down the 2 HK's. Stored them in 2 appliance boxes in field. Took 15 min.

Observed 8 starlings which I flushed out of the field by hand claps; saw 25-30 robins coming and going; saw 15 finches leaving.

6:50 pm

I fired 1 shotgun discharge when seeing 9 starlings attempting to enter field, they continued on across field and did not land.

7:00 pm

Considerable reduction in overall bird activity now, 4-6 robins around, no finches, 3 starlings departing .

Busy day.


REMEMBER: The villain is the Starling. It is not the grower.

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