Thursday, April 26, 2012
Field Notes 4.24.12
We combined fishing with birdwatching on a trip to Smith Reservoir. I had scouted the place the day before during an unsuccessful fishing trip. I saw eared grebes on the water, along with western grebes, ducks and geese. I also knew that Smith was going to be stocked with trout.
After couple of false starts we made it out to the reservoir at about 6 p.m. Diane saw the eared grebes right away, a new one for our count.
While I working my fishing rods-- green dough bait off the bottom and a worm on a slip float--Diane intently looked over the lake.
At one point a pair of western grebes came close to me and began diving. It is true that you fish where the birds are. I cast in their general direction—and it disturbed them not a bit--one called and pointed its beak towards me as if to say—fish here, fish here.
While I was taking dinner out of the truck—sub sandwiches, chips and a sweet drink--Diane called that my rod had a hit. I caught one rainbow trout, the first of the season. And Diane got us a blue-winged teal a new bird for our count.
The sun was setting so we packed up and headed west. On the way out to the highway we stopped to identify a little brown bird flying into some cottonwoods. We never saw what it was but looking up Diane saw a raptor. It was a Swainson’s hawk, with its red shielded chest, perched high in the budding branches, a new bird for our count.
Diane was a better birdwatcher today than I was a fisherman. She saw three new birds and I only caught one fish.