Three Weird Sitings and Sightings
I have been observing wildlife, birds specifically, showing up in the oddest places. Is this the signs of things to come? I have had robins in my garden in February and January, snow on the ground and robins desperately searching for food. But that is not what I have been seeing lately.
A couple of days ago, I was traveling on a very busy 4-lane highway (sorry no photos because of this). My camera is always with me, wrong lens often, but the camera is handy. So this particular time I was driving home from a job and what is on the opposite side of the divided highway? A gang of turkeys. They were busy foraging the grass for food and seemingly oblivious to their precarious predicament. I could not pull over, luckily for them, because I would have likely spooked them into a frenzy and they would have been promptly roadkill. Turkeys are very wary of people and run for cover very quickly, hiding disguised in the brush. But no brush was around! I would not have wanted to be responsible for their demise.
This was right in front of a huge Mall in our area, backing them was more busy commercial streets and a crowded housing development. They occupied a small patch of grass between all this confusion. How they got there is beyond me and how they were going to leave seemed quite improbable. There was no where for them to take off, no clear runway to gain speed to lift that bulky body. And… there was about 25 of them too. So this is odd spot number one.
Next we have another head scratcher with five Turkey Vultures. They were moseying around a small park in the middle of Lewiston, right off Center Street, people, businesses and danger everywhere. This is a very bustling, scenic town and turkey vultures do no fit in any shape or form.
They were not afraid of me either. I only had a 135mm lens which does not get that much distance and is certainly, no lens to shoot wildlife. Plus, not a great lighting condition either with the shadowing on a dark bird. They are sitting atop the historic Frontier House, built in 1824-5. It was a former hotel.
I pretty much walked right up the vultures to grab some shots. Some of them were on the ground, while others rested on the fence.
But this is not even the oddest part of this nature story. They had what I believe was a feral cat with them. You can see the cat hiding from me in the second image. Of course it was a black cat too, so all creatures being black with unfortunate lighting made for barely there photos.
Not like the birds and cat were friends or anything, they just happen to be in the same location at the same time, neither one scaring the other. The cat ran from me before the vultures took flight. It makes you wonder what is going on lately.
They were in this park below then flew up on top of the multistory building. I must have amused them because they gathered to see what I was doing on the ground below. Of course, they tired of me before I tired of them, and then moved on.
I caught the turkey vulture right as it took flight.
Is it possible that the turkeys and turkey vultures I have seen came to these heavily populated areas to seek shelter in town because the coyotes have taken over the rural areas? Makes you wander. I can tell you, I want neither in my yard. I see enough of them on the farm thank you.
The park is the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden. A small courtyard park, it celebrates the friendly relationship and friendship between the US and Canada.
The yellow house is also a historic structure, it is the oldest standing building in Lewiston, NY, built in 1816. It has remained mostly unaltered in over 190 years. These vultures must have some class to be hanging out here.
But here is another oddity I saw but did not photograph. My husband and I were going out to dinner at a restaurant in the Lewiston area, traveling along the Parkway. He was driving and as usual, I was on the lookout for hawks and large raptors just because I like to see them. No camera along, and the iPhone could have never captured this odd scene up next.
What I witnessed left me a little dumbfounded. For about a mile, right up against the highway was robin after robin, all lined up pointed toward the roadway, like they were hitchhiking or something. So many robins about a few feet apart, and everyone was a male. This was so bizarre. Males are pretty territorial and usually are not here in March. There they were, about eighty of them, standing right at the roadways edge for about one miles travel. Ever see something like that?