Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Buster Hunts Critters

Our dog Buster is photographed yesterday during a bird walk at Fairview Wetlands. He is watching intently for any movement in the dirt to give away the location of a critter.  Fairview Wetlands located near the Salem Airport is one of our regular birding hangouts, and one of Buster's favorites.   He recognizes the location before we even stop the car, and demands to get out of the car and get started on the hunt. Birding for us is a family affair, it has to work out for all three of our family, suitable for me, Jeanette and Buster.  There are several National Wildlife Refuges close by with lots of outstanding birding opportunities, but because dogs are not allowed,  they are not suitable birding locations for us.  Instead we seek the city, county and state parks, where dogs are allowed and we can all enjoy an outing. At Fairview, Buster always patiently waits for us when we pause to identify and count birds along along the circular route around the ponds. But his preferred area is the section along the west side bordering Fairview Industrial Drive that is riddled with holes and mounds of earth left by the critters, here is where his hunt begins, and he searches intently for the scent of any fresh activity. Once a fresh mound is selected he stands rigidly still in total concentration.  He may ponce and dig furious in an effort to catch his intended victim.  But his attention is always broken as we walk on, he then gives up and moves to the next possibility. It's a winning combination, while we hunt for birds to identify and count, Buster hunts for critters.

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