25 September 2015

Rain Event Suppresses Avian Activity at Bluebird Shack

The rain on Wednesday started soon after what would have been sunrise time. It was a steady downpour spread across the creek valley and beyond, and certainly too much to venture forth via a bicycle. Despite an intent to attend a public hearing on a Nebraska legislative resolution.

Rain continued during the entire 22nd day of September. Usual antics and activities of the local birdlife were not seen.

Species that should have been around were several Eastern Bluebird, a few Mourning Dove, a bunch of House Finch and perhaps a glimpse or two of other sorts of birds.

It was late in the afternoon until the first American Robin was seen, perched individually on a power line outside the north window. During the hour, a Northern Flicker with variable feather coloration flew across the canyon. Even the diminutive and resident House Wren was not vividly skulking amidst the weeds about the corrals to its usual extent.

Drop by drop, the falling water continued unceasingly, with a continual patter on the roof of the shack.

Before evening, some other bird types seen were a Clay-colored Sparrow and a Lincoln's Sparrow. An American Crow deliberately flying south was the only dark spot against the shades of gray sky.

At 7 p.m. there was a complete rainbow in the eastern sky, so obviously some sunlight was shining somewhere.

Got sort of drenched cleaning up about the shack and while taking the trash can down the lane to Lake Shore Drive so it would be suitably placed for the ca. 6 a.m. arrival of the working man.

Rain continued after the time of official sunset, meaning the result was more than a dozen hours of continual precipitation. And then came some lightning and thunder, notably about 8:40 p.m., even though some faux clearing sky was seen to the west. Using the folklofe axiom to consider the distance of the rumblings, the weather was about ten miles west in Cherry county. A few minutes later another duo of a thunderstorm occurred, again to the south.

Counting a number for each second and then using division is only an approximation is just approximate, but it can still be indicative.

With lightning and thunder at 9;25 and drizzle the storm seemed to be lessening. Yet, by 10:30 p.m. there was a steady downpour with the falling drops enough to rouse a guy from his sleep in the bluebird shack.

A known tally for the locale was 3.58 inches in the nearby heart city. Further to the south, 30 minutes according to the pen man, there fell 7 inches.

In the morning on the 24th, there was a bunch of birds about, with moisture in the air either as a fog or slightly bit of active drizzle.

A new addition to the bird list was a male Indigo Bunting. There were a bunch of House Finch, as usual. Several Eastern Bluebird were subtly vocalizing as perched above the shack. One, on the wire, had a green worm-type bug it was going to devour. After thrashing it against the wire a couple of times, it finally wrapped the prey around the wire, as if waiting for it to be well done. The juvenile bluebird was still not satisfied so the edible was grabbed and tossed about and placed back on the wire. It was not a good choice, as the bug fell to the ground. The somewhat blue bird did not follow so the food item was lost. This bird was later seen nearby going after something else to eat.

A diminutive Eastern Phoebe perched on the fence, looking for a bit to eat. There was a bunch of activity going on.

Other typical species of the morning included American Goldfinch, a flock of House Finch, the raucous Blue Jay, and Mourning Dove on the wire. The House Wren was much more active.

After a jaunt, following a hard ride, and after the stop at the stupid library, and, at the auction barn, it was a soaked place. When it began to drizzle about the noon hour, there was a joke about the rain would help "settle the dust." The pens were already drenched, so Shirley's comment was an obvious paradox of commentary.

It was beneath grey lead skies and drizzle that my return to the shack occurred. The place was not welcoming in the afternoon due to efforts to "tidy up."

Information from the National Weather Service office conveys:
"Officially at the airport on September 23, the total precipitation in Valentine was 3.58 inches. This shattered the daily record 0.66 inches set in 1941. This also set the record for wettest any September day. The previous record was 2.92 inches set on September 1, 1909. Finally this was the 4th wettest calendar day every recorded. The wettest day was 4.00 inches set on May 25, 1920."