Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Mr. Quail kept his jet black eyes firmly on me as I walked through the vineyard late this afternoon, ensuring that Mrs. Quail and their 8 tiny quail-ettes could make a safe escape up the hill into the neighbouring horse property. Usually extremely timid, in this instance Mr. Quail let me get rather close to him perhaps sacrificing his safety for the survival of his brood. This mating pair of quail have been hanging around Vinoland for several months now dodging marauding crows, jays, and the Vinodogs - they were obviously determined to set up home here despite the perils of doing so. Sure enough, close by to where Mr. Quail and I stared each other down, I found an abandoned nest in the middle of a clump of weeds. The nest, which is filled with discarded egg shells neatly broken into two like someone had made a tiny omelette and placed the shells back in place, is tangible evidence of the tenacious and resolute nature of Callipepla californica.