Heather Farm on Valentine's Day


Had an early start today to the park and there were about 150 Mew Gulls on the north ball fields.  When I was returning shortly after 9 AM, baseball was already in progress.

Tracy Farrington, Beth Branthaver and I had some good ducks pond other birds on the big pond, including the female Wood Duck right in front of the wooden railing.  We had a C. Gallinule, a Geen Heron, plenty of Ring-necked Ducks and some Buffleheads.

I had earlier seen two Lincoln's and two Fox Sparrows on the west side of the big pond.  Heard the Nuthatch, Downy and Nuttall's Woodpeckers and the first snippets of Ruby-crowned Kinglet song.

Before 5:30 PM yesterday, I watched a skunk in the grass near the gate to the private Seven Hills School.  It was busy nosing through the grass and leaf litter, though I could not tell what it was finding.  It would stop and scratch once in a while, then shook its whole body.  When this happened, the loose fur was beautiful to watch.

I remember petting a skunk in a park in Topeka, Kansas, in the summer of 1960.  Some people had it on a leash as a pet--no scent glands.  It was one of the softest furs I ever remember petting.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Hugh B. Harvey
Walnut Creek, CA