Overnight At Webb Tract

 

After two months on the sideline, the Airstream is back in action. The overhaul included new tires, new wheels, two new windows, new floor, serious cleaning, replacing many missing pop-rivets, repairing screens, rehanging the door, ripping out all the places where rats and mice could hide, killing several hundred wasps and blocking mouse holes. I even washed the exterior.

Delivered it to Webb Tract on Saturday morning and spent Saturday night on sea trial. It did well.

Here she is as she sat in my driveway on Friday afternoon.

IMG_3923 AirstreamUpon arrival at Webb Tract, I was surprised to find that the corn harvest on our property was complete. After setting up the trailer, Lola and I went after the pheasants.

IMG_3934 Lola and rooster

It wasn’t long before we had our first bird.

After a couple of hours hiking in the thick cover, we jumped quite a few roosters, but couldn’t get another good shot. I missed a rooster that was probably out of range anyway.

Back at camp, we took some time to complete a few chores before heading out to try for geese. There were plenty flying. Before we reached the decoys, a rooster jumped and flew to my right across a large ditch. I couldn’t resist the shot and the bird went down about 100 yards out.

Another bird rattled around in the bushes and soon Lola put it into the air. The second bird headed to my left and I didn’t miss. Unfortunately, the first bird dropped in a unpenetrable patch of cockleburrs. Got lots of scratches, but not the bird.

No luck on geese, not even a close call. Slept well in the Airstream, on a new cot.

The morning sunrise was an indication of the weather to come later in the day.

IMG_3940 sunrise

The morning hunt was once again a hike through thick cover. The birds were hard to find, but I did manage to miss one rooster and jump up a couple other birds out of range.

On the way out, I stopped next to a goose grind and took a few photos.

Lola and I were pretty pooped on the way home.

IMG_3946 sleeping

Lola crashed in the back of the truck on the ride home.

Waterbirds of the Delta

Birds were everywhere last weekend and the bright sun made photographing them a little easier than usual.

Here are a few:

(click on the photo to enlarge)

This cormorant could have been bronze.

This cormorant could have been bronze.

Coots are everywhere in the Delta

Why is there no hunting on Little Franks. It no longer serves as a refuge as there’s no habitat. Before the levees crumbled, Little Franks was marsh, now it’s open water.

Seems to be more tundra swans than last year.

Seems to be more tundra swans than last year.

tundra swansSandhill cranes seem to increase in numbers each year. Twenty years ago we seldom saw a crane. 

They're called sandhill cranes for a reason. Webb Tract has lots of sand hills and cranes too.

They’re called sandhill cranes for a reason. Webb Tract has lots of sand hills and cranes too.

Specs and rusty equipment belong at Webb.

Sandhill cranes make great sounds.

The cranes are quite large. In a few states they are hunted.

The cranes are quite large. In a few states they are hunted.

Sandhills a quite a sight.

Sandhills are quite a sight.

The Delta is quite a place when all the winter visitors are present.