Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Promptings and Musings

     A few communiques shake me back to reality.   I was going to observe that we have had a murder of crows and a parliament of owls beset us during the past couple of weeks.   Crows are found in some abundance throughout Mexico, but precisely where the Quinta is,  we really do not have crows or ravens.   We have jackdaws (grackles), tordos, cowbirds, and the like, but no real crows....save for the occasional one who found a load of fermenting corn-seed.
     In any regard we have had quite a few crows, mixing with the parrots, generally from the neighbouring Hacienda de la Vega and down to the Rio Corona, including the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre.   They are loud and presumptive, but seem to be "group autistic" when it comes to dealing with the various flocks of parrots while both groups work the nearby orchards for larvae and other munchies.   This is the high point for the Valencia orange bloom....so, as Yogi would say, even deaf people can smell the orange blossoms.

      We do have owls.    But I have never witnessed them in the abundance now present.   There is a particular owl the locals call "pecho colorado" or "pecho rojo" ....or red-breasted, (perhaps ferruginous?) and these seem to have decided to begin a form of watermelon-seed spitting contest during the early nighttime hours.   They make a fairly sharp, repetitive, short whistle at spontaneous moments.     This is all well, but right now....during these days....there are between 7 and 10 of them inside the grounds of the Quinta or immediately adjacent and when they all get wound up it can be quite a peculiar attempt at the Chinese Water Torture (but using sound)....and the event can go on for an hour and a half.    They are not as loud as a male peacock or a flock of chachalacas....but it would be nice if they sing in something other than one single note...identical each one bird to the other.
     We have other owls....screech, barn, and the like....who also make overnight stops at the Quinta and environs.....and while they are repetitive as birds must be....they are a little less impositive in terms of dominating the nocturnal soundscape.
      From now until October or November we shall be dealing with scores and scores of species who come down from the mountains or up from the coast...it is always interesting.

More Later!
The Old Gringo