The thermometer got up to 64.6 degrees today! It was the second-busiest day so far, with over 40 visitors in the building. The visitation record still belongs to the Mennonite Disaster Service event of February, 2008.
I had a wildlife first today. As I was returning from dropping off one of the patrol rangers at his start point for a fence checking expedition, I noticed a bird that looked different. It was perched in the top of a juniper tree, and I could tell from its flight that it wasn't something I was used to looking at. It wasn't quite as big as a robin, it perched like a waxwing but I could tell its tail was too long for that. I was sort of looking into the sun and could only tell that the bird was gray. A later photographic analysis showed that I had seen a Townsend's solitaire, a bird classified as RARE in this park in the winter. Score!
There are some geese that have returned to the area now, also. They camp out on the bluffs just north of town. They sit there like pigeons and get agitated whenever someone walks around on our street, flying huge laps while honking. It takes a long approach pattern to land a bird of that size on a small pedestal of flat ground on an otherwise nearly vertical slope, so they are pretty awkward about landing there. Geese have such a high stall speed that they have to come in pretty fast and drop down onto the small flat spot. Sometimes they overshoot, and I can see their feet hanging down and their wings pumping furiously to try and save it, but they have to go around.
Also, last night, I was in the bathroom reading Newsweek, and I swore I heard this scritching sound in the wall. Then it sounded like feet scuffing on the sidewalk. Was a stalker lurking outside my bathroom window watching me "dial long distance?" I looked out the window and saw nothing. I went around to the back door and opened it, and there was a deer standing right outside the window. I didn't see it until it jumped and bounded away. Needless to say, I was glad I had evacuated my GI tract beforehand.