Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I took the blind, nets, and bait birds out for a dry run on Saturday. It was my first day off in I don't know how long, and all the trapping indicators were wrong.
But that is alright, I just wanted to give it a try.
I set up the nets Friday night, leaving them collapsed, but ready. Bait poles were hung with lure line and ready for the bait birds. I slept roughly Friday night. Often before a big outing, I can't sleep This was like that.
I got out of bed before my alarm and made it to the trap sight as the sun crested the horizon. I finished setting up, strung up the nets, and placed the bait birds on their strings.
The wind was perfectly wrong, 10 miles an hour and coming pretty directly from the South. I only needed to trap one bird though, only one bird migrating through the area.
Everything pointed almost directly North, the nets set in a V around the bait.
Then I waited. Egrets flew into the field and started picking at the ground, and quail took dust baths in the distance.
A single merlin blew by me, paying no mind to nets, bait, or other enticements. It just winged its way south.
Then Nothing. The sun moved high in the sky, and nothing.
I left the blind to stretch, only to see a peregrine pursuing another bird. They swirled and twirled in reckless abandon, zig-zagging their way across the field, then ringing straight up to the sky, and plunging back down, skimming the ground.
Gone - over the horizon, then nothing.
I pulled and pulled on the bait pigeon. Nothing flew over, only vultures and crows.
Vultures and crows.
The day ended with a Merlin, flying low over the nets, checking out the bait. It noticed the bait, but never really slowed.
A full day listening to my own inner dialogue with no action in the nets at all.
But, the tension in my neck was gone, I was calm, relaxed.
Maybe I need to spend more time doing nothing for hours on end. It might be good for me.