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Alternative use for lunge whip.......

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vneerland
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Alternative use for lunge whip.......
Just after we moved here, I found a swallows nest on top of a light fixture outside my bedroom. The next spring, a family of swallows indeed moved in. In my enthusiasm, and hoping that they would build a new nest, I removed the old nest that next winter. Only for the swallows not to return. :( IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/vneerland/house/P3270915.jpg) Instead, they selected another light fixture, this time straight above my front door under the awning. Good spot for them, safe from squirrels and cats. One seison and two batches of babies long, we had to duck on the way to the door, because the sitting parent would inevitably fly off, and straight at us, upon our approach. But the babies grew like weeds and we enjoyed them. 8-) IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/vneerland/house/P4280006.jpg) This time, I did not remove the nest, even though it is quite ugly up there. And the swallows are back in the same nest. For over a month now, I have been having to dodge swallow traffic at my own front door. I took this picture of one of the fuzzies yesterday. IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/vneerland/house/P4220995.jpg) This morning, while I was taking my dogs out, I heard a lot of commotion. I went to look, only to find my swallows totally besides themselves. No wonder! :evil: ................. I was shocked to see what is curled up above my head. I was almost sure it was too late, but I could not stand by, doing nothing. So I grabbed my lunge whip and started beating him as hard as I could. He finally decides to drop to the ground, not making me feel much better with a very mad adversary now on the ground. But his strikes at the whip are of course useless and he finally decides that I am crazier than he is. Shooting would not have been an option that close to the house. Besides, it would have been a rude awakening for my husband who works graveyard shift. :shock: IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/vneerland/house/P4230997.jpg) I feel sure that the damage was irreparable. (I imagine seeing proof in the picture too) :? The swallow parents came back and screamed for another hour. By now, it is extremely quiet above the front door. That I will not go in or out of with a safe feeling for while, because you keep expecting your unwelcome guest to be back. How he got up there you ask? It must have been my fault. :oops: I had used a broom yesterday and left it by the front door. From the broom to the bell to the top of the door frame to the light above the door. I think. Because if not that, I would have to assume that they can climb straight walls. And that would even be worse! :x
TwinCreeksFarm
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

awww! Too bad!

Sara
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

Aww, I love barn swallows and am always sad when they die. Luckily they breed prolifically and will often raise several nests full per season. One particularly hot week in a barn I was leasing with a metal roof, all the tiny babies cooked. :(

Great photo of the snake, btw.

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Monsterpony
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

*shudder* I have no problem with snakes, but I sure as heck would not want to find one above my head like that. What kind of snake was it?

.

lipigirl
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

Thats sad..poor little chicks !

critterkeeper
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

Mother nature can be cruel sometimes - but there has to be a balance of nature, so you can't blame the snake for doing what is natural. Rat snakes frequently go after bird nests even when they are "inaccessable" to other preditors.

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rabbitsfizz
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

I have to admit I am a snake lover....I am quite good at handling them too, although they are pretty well deaf and their eyesight is not fantastic they can smell fear and other emotions through their tongues and I don't know why but they just do not scare me, I know we don't have anything more poisonous than a Viper here but I have had exposure to some more poisonous snake through my life in various ways!!
I am pretty sure the swallows will lay again, it is still early....maybe you could put a ring just below the nest, you know like you do on the shaft of a bird table???
It would probably stop this happening again.
It's sad, I know, but it is nature.
The photos are great but I would pay to see a picture of your OH roused by a gunshot!!! :rofl

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dakotakdq
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

how sad, they are such cute birds :)

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nerd
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

I also had a snake encounter recently... although I didn't get nearly as good a picture as you did ;)
IMAGE(http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd214/benzophenoneslave/zoom.jpg)
I came within a yard of stepping right on this rattlesnake. I was hiking off-trail in knee-high grass following a fence line, and apparently so was the snake. It was slowly slithering along the fence in the same direction I was, which was fortunate, because if it hadn't been moving there's no way in hell I'd have seen it, and that would have just totally ruined my day (nearest people were 3 miles' hike away through a closed-for-the-season area and the nearest civilization was 50 miles beyond that). I backed off and started carefully trying to take a picture, at which point it stopped moving and started rattling and we booked it the hell out of there.
This all happened here:
35° 8'32.95"N 119°51'45.20"W

vneerland
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

What kind of snake was it?

Texas rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) Or so I was told.
He should have stuck with the obsoleta part in his name. As far as I am concerned. :laugh1

I am pretty sure the swallows will lay again, it is still early....maybe you could put a ring just below the nest, you know like you do on the shaft of a bird table??? It would probably stop this happening again.
It's sad, I know, but it is nature.
The photos are great but I would pay to see a picture of your OH roused by a gunshot!!! :rofl

I am either going to have to remove the nest (no attempts to re-occupy yet) or come up with a little help, yes. I think Critter is right: rat snakes seem to be able to scale a straight wall. Due to a d shaped cross section they are said to possess :o I'd best get a ring for the eastern blue bird family out back, or they will be next. :sad
OH would wake up shooting, I fear. The pic would have to be found on my camera by the local police investigating my sudden violent demise.
:lol:

It was slowly slithering along the fence in the same direction I was, which was fortunate, because if it hadn't been moving there's no way in hell I'd have seen it, and that would have just totally ruined my day (nearest people were 3 miles' hike away through a closed-for-the-season area and the nearest civilization was 50 miles beyond that). I backed off and started carefully trying to take a picture, at which point it stopped moving and started rattling and we booked it the hell out of there.
This all happened here:
35° 8'32.95"N 119°51'45.20"W

:shock: Nerd! Good Lord!
The exact location would have helped your local SAR group or MP who could have come after your lifeless body. :cry: Yikes!

Sara
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

I'm glad you're alive, nerd. :-B

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rabbitsfizz
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

Are your "Barn Swallows" what we call Swifts or House Martins??
Or are they another form of Swallow altogether??
IMAGE(http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/house%20martin%20180_tcm9-23849.jpg)
House Martins...

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dd/Apus_apus_01.jpg/220px-Apus_apus_01.jpg)
Swifts.

I have House Martins in my stables at the moment, they arrived yesterday, and are quite late.
I never get Swallows, Swifts and House Martins together, only one species at a time!!!
I also have a Yaffle, some Little Owls, a Red Kite, some Buzzards, a Cormorant, Swans, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards, Chaffinches Robins and Pied Wagtails.
And the bloody Grey Squiggles...I had one pregnant female die in my arms (well, a bucket actually, ) today and make me guilty as all got out because I think she ate some of the poison I put down for the rats...I hate doing that at all, certainly did not mean to kill a tree rat, they are a nuisance but not a danger.
Oh and Grey Herons, I have them too.
And Wrens.

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vneerland
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

I cannot speak for the swallows that Sara was talking about, but the raided nest above mu door belonged to northern ( :laugh1 ) rough winged's. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/North..." onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
We *can* have (purlpe) martins. Everyone around is trying to attract those, not many of us successful. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Purpl..." onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And anyway. My martin house is leased out to eastern bluebirds. :lol:
I also house chimney swifts. In my chimney. :roll:
Plus duck, egrets, great blue herons and the much prettier little blues, hawks, owls, buzzards, and the usual array of cardinals, titmouses, woodpeckers, chicadees, bluebirds, buntings (indigo being my favorite) and warblers. If you love birds, you'd love these woods. 8-)

Sara
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Re: Alternative use for lunge whip.......

I have both barn swallows (in my barn and arena)

IMAGE(http://www.ontarionature.org/bba/images/barnswallow.jpg)

and vaux's swifts (in my chimney)

IMAGE(http://vauxhappening.org/Vauxs_Happening/Vauxs_Swift_Study__files/Vaux%27s%20Swift%20on%20wall%20082605%20KM.jpg)

They look similar in flight but can be distinguished by the swallow's forked tail and the swift's peculiar tendency to appear to be alternating the wings (I think it's an illusion).

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