Another 2-fer -- one for bird watchers who like mammals too -- even non-native ones like this nutria with a little blue heron. The little blue was wary of me and kept backing off. I thinking he was enjoying the bugs or crawfish that the nutria was unearthing when it yanked up the plant life in this mostly dry pond bed.
Oh my! It's been a bit since I have posted any birds. The heat is putting them into hiding. The last thread was great! I enjoyed it all.
Our place was taken over by Starlings for about a week. They seemed to have petered off for now. It was absolutely nuts the way they kept going after the windows (probably the bugs) and the roof has a new all natural coating on it. :P
Here is a mess of them bathing. Did you know a group of Starlings is called a "vulgarity" , "scourge" or "murmuration". There's a couple others, too, but I thought these were the most interesting. Never heard of a murmuration before.
Here is a Chipping Sparrow nest taken this past Saturday. Sunday the last egg was hatched. Oh, they were so sweet with heads about the size of peas.
Sadly, when my boys checked on it today, it was empty. There's no hope they could have fledged already is there? I'm suspecting something got them. It didn't seem very sheltered like they usually are. It was in some kind of flowering shrub with the bottom half dead.
ducbucin, That shower looks so refreshing. I am a bit jealous of your Wood Ducks. They are a most beautiful duck. We had a male and female pair in our tree early one Saturday morning in May, but since we don't have any nearby bodies of water, they moved on. I have been tempted to see if we could mess up the field tile system around here to get a nice pond on our place, but I a sure that would be making someone upset.
Great start! Lots of neat birds. We hiked Santa Fe Mountain this morning and flushed a covey of six Dusky Grouse. I spotted them on the ground and did a slow motion chase, following along trying to get a clear shot without flushing them, but stumbled over one I hadn't seen and they took wing. One flew into a tree and I got a pic anyway.
Some very nice pics. of nesting activity there everyone. It's such a joy to witness successful fledglings, and I do get very blue when I see those that didn't have a chance at the start. A juvie Housefinch discovering the feeder this morning.
A few evenings ago, I was at my "secret pond" location. My Green Heron kids had already fledged, and I wasn't getting any shots of them around the pond. I was taking pics of dragonflies, and had walked back one last time to the GH nesting tree to see if they would return there to roost. I saw a bird in the tree, and was trying to get a closer look when something flew in from my left and hit the bird on the limb! There was a splash, and I was thinking that two GHs just hit the water. I moved a few feet to my right to get a better look... and this guy landed on the bank at my feet, not more than eight feet away! He was stunned... I was stunned! I managed to get this one shot before he flew off (full frame). I did manage to see that the bird he had in his talons was too small to be a Greenie. A few minutes later, I spotted an Eastern Kingbird calling and calling in distress from the top of a tree nearby. I think she lost her mate, or an offspring in the encounter. ID'd as a Cooper's Hawk.
Red, welcome back home. It really terrible the market tanks! Hope things are worse -- getting bottom out before it gets better? Thank you for having shared so many interesting birds from Santa Fe. I just love it to find birds hang up side down, right side up for whatever they were going after! Bushtit would be one of my lifer if I see one. Looking forward to seeing them and Western hummingbirds on my trip out West. Nice pics. Chilly, Duc and VA.
Ah hah, finally I found someone who's enjoying my figs before they go to waste. lol The fruits are tastety, but they're too high up to reach. Not so high and out of reach for this juvie Cardinal. ^_^
elphaba, not sure what that is that Bushtit is eating. I didn't see it until I was editing pics.
lily, earlier you asked me what kind of tree the finch and tanager were in. I don't know. I asked a couple of yard guys that were doing the lawn and the one I asked said he didn't know, he is from Mexico. I asked the other guy if he knew and he didn't answer, the first said "He don't know either. He is from Guatamala." I tried.:-)
Since I'm on here and it's so hot, I'm going to post something that reminds us this will pass.
Hah, I've to look up "Hades" to read a little bit about the myth on the Greek Gods, lol Red, yes this too shall pass. Margaret, love your corollas too, and Duc, love the Oak timouse, and the Acorn woodpecker ummm, he looks like a meannyyy. lol.
I am having a hard time with this computer. Maybe it is because I haven't been using it for some time.this is the third message I have tried to write and send. Took me longer than I though to recover from the hip joint revision surgery. I finally have been able to walk without too much trouble if I am very careful . I sure don't want to fall and have to go thru it again.
My daughter came out from DC to spend 3 weeks with me for her vacation. She did lots of garden work for me which I greatly appreciated. She had to go home JUly 16 th.We did some fun things too. I have been just about able to keep up with the irrigating. Don't really have enough water but do the best I can.
There were I think more than 10 pairs of Orioles here , making nests and eating grape jelly, I could not keep the jelly containers full. Now I think only one pair still around. I have two netting type feeders for the Goldfinches, I keep a mix of finely chopped sunflower seed & nyjer see in them . There are several pine siskins fighting with them for that seed.
I saw 2 pair of parent quail with about 15 or so maybe 3 day old chicks bringing them into the yard to show them where the free seed is, this morning. The phoebes have raised at least two family's of young.
I went for a short drive up in the hills this morning and caught a glimpse of a Western Tanager, couldn't get a picture tho.
Also I have a problem animal in my yard. I haven't seen it for a couple of weeks but am afraid it is still around. It is too fast and quick for me to get a picture, it is a small long tailed weasel. It killed one of my banty hens and several quail, and also a packrat, for that I am thankful but not for the kills.
I should tell you all that on July 29th I had to have an emergency appendectomy. There were no surgeons available closer than130 miles. All of my friends were also busy with previous plans, so I had to go by ambulance to hosp. Arrived there 7:30 pm and the Doctor removed the appendix at 10:30 that night. Luckily my son could again make a trip from the coast 6 hours from here but 3 hours from the hosp. to take me home. All okay now.
Maybe soon I will be able to contribute a photo or two. I really appreciate the you all take photos and send them along for the rest of us.
Donna, I'm glad to see you're back and that your're doing well after surgery. Thank you for taking the time to write. Looking forward to seeing your pix. Burn, congrats on your 'lifer'. such cute expression on that warbler. Nice bird house for perching. Hi IrisMA
I should save this one for Halloween, but if you're like me, you won't remember it if I post it again on Halloween! In fact, I won't remember to post it on Halloween. In fact, when Halloween rolls around I'll probably say to myself "gee I wish I had a pic of a bird on that witch weathervane." Totally losin' it!
Elphy, that last post is priceless! I volunteer to remind you to repost that pix at Holloween. Here goes: Elphy remember to post that adorable cardinal pic on the witch weathervane for Holloween! ('cause leave it up to me, by then I'll forget to remind you. lol
We actually got a break from the 100+ temps today. It has been overcast all day, so I thought I'd get out and see if any wildlife was moving. Some turkeys that were out in the open mid-afternoon. Unusual, but nice.
A crop of a photo in sequence with the one above. These are both gobblers. Although it is not mating season, I did some soft hen yelps from my hiding spot and got one of the gobblers to display. Made for a much more interesting photo.
Duc, beautiful! I'm about to share a wren and an oriole pic that are so beneath the bar you've set, but that's my job -- to make the less talented feel welcome.
I was hoping this wren was a Bewicks b/c no buff coloring on the breast and very dark tail and wings, but I'm sure it's just an ugly Carolina. It's especially ugly in this pic. No idea what he was doing in this hanging basket that messed up his hairdo. He was in there a long time though. It's kind of washed out, but so funny lookin' that I had to share anyway.
Enjoy those hummers, teddy! I had a Black-chinned male on the feeder outside my study window yesterday, got a good look at him, but can't take pics through the shutters.
I passed a couple of juvie Scissortails on our drive yesterday and did a double-take on the female. She had the most orange color on her I've seen on one of these birds. I turned around and went back and both birds continued to sit on the cable fence for shots from the car.
When it's super hot and the lake is low, there are always dead fish for the clean-up crew and they were out in force. Note the one black-headed vulture, this is not a Black Vulture, but a juvenile Turkey Vulture.
[quote="reddirtretiree"]I passed a couple of juvie Scissortails on our drive yesterday and did a double-take on the female. She had the most orange color on her I've seen on one of these birds. I turned around and went back and both birds continued to sit on the cable fence for shots from the car.
The juvie female.[/quote]
Hi Red - those are both adults, in post-breeding moult. Juveniles only have pale yellowish flanks and underwing, not orange at all, and also (being in fresh juvenile plumage) would be much neater and 'cleaner'-looking. It is the loss of the old feathers that makes them look tatty and dishevelled, and in one of them, short-tailed. When they have finished moulting in a few weeks, they'll look neat and fresh again with fully developed tails.
[quote="reddirtretiree"]When it's super hot and the lake is low, there are always dead fish for the clean-up crew and they were out in force. Note the one black-headed vulture, this is not a Black Vulture, but a juvenile Turkey Vulture.
This message was edited Aug 8, 2011 4:59 AM[/quote]
Actually, it is a Black Vulture ;-) note the 'lawyer's wig' it has
Thanks, resin. Sometimes I summarily dismiss a close look at birds like that vulture. I'm used to seeing juvies with older birds this time of year. We do have both TV's and Black Vultures around Lake Thunderbird, but rarely do I see them perched together. I need to pay closer attention.
Just had breakfast on the patio and saw the pair of Scissortails that frequent the field back there. They flew into the yard and landed in my little Live Oak tree. Both of them were molting and neither had the tell-tale scissor-tail. Guess it's that time of year. No pic, didn't have a camera.
This little lady was getting the ants off of the feeder, when they eat here, they get ants as well as nectar, yesterday I was sitting next to the lattice and you know those two single feeders at the corners of the flower bed? I was not two feet from that feeder and the hummers came and ate out of it with no problem, this one even turned and looked at me and then went back to eating, it might have been my red hat that they were attracted to, but they were all around yesterday, it was great!
That has happened to me a lot lately, I was outside with a container that had nectar in it, it was orange, one of the hummers was almost drinking out of it but got spooked and flew. One was real curious and was almost in my face, although the bright red shirt might have something to do with it. I was putting some more nectar in the single feeder and one was checking me out.
I was trying to take pics after the storms rolled through, there were two hummers that had been playing all day together and around us, and they were flying and chittering around me because I had the red shirt on again, and I got one with the flash on the camera, I was standing just about that close and there was another one on the other feeder but it flew when I turned around. I also got good pictures of the hailstones we got and also the rain when the second one came through.
Here is the rain, I was surprised to get good pics of rain. Usually it is very hard to get pics of it, but I got lucky, I wanted to get the steam rising off the pavement after the hailstones, but had a problem getting focused.
Congratulations on the lifer, Elphaba! That's a beautiful bird.
I also enjoyed all the others, too. We're not seeing a lot of birds, but still hear the Dickcissels and Chipping Sparrows. Surprisingly, we did see what we believe is a Red-tailed Hawk. It was facing away from us as we drove up the road. Here is when it took off. It actually was the best pic of the bunch.
Great photos everyone. Sorry I've gotten behind once again.
We spent the day yesterday on the coast searching for birds that might not come to our lake. The town of Mendocino (CA) is known as a tourist spot, but it also sits along one of the state parks. Fortunately the foul weather that was predicted changed to warm and sunny by mid morning and it was great for photos. The only problem was we couldn't locate many birds even after searching another state park down the road. I was only able to locate one oystercatcher which was on my list and it was really too far away.
Sunbird looking for nectar in Holmskioldia flowers. It's my dream to capture that still wing on camera. I had no time to adjust the speed 1/200 which was set. It suddenly came in and it changes places so quickly it is hard to focus, leave alone adjusting settings. But I'll plan to plan a wait for that one!
Success! I have been trying to hand feed Hummingbirds for the last 3 years, tonight I had partial success, I have been sitting as close as I could without spooking them, and tonight I thought if I could get any closer, I took one of the single feeders and held it in my hand, and they ate out of it! I could not believe it, I was sitting in my chair and holding the feeder pretty close and the hummer came and flew around and ate out of the feeder while it was in my hand, of course no camera, but I would not lie about anything like that, tomorrow I will try to feed them from a cap that I have, it is not very big and I will see if I can do that and maybe my hubby can get a picture. My feet won't touch the ground for a week!!!!!!!
Sweet looking Purple Finch figuring out its obstacle, Burn. Is the Downy a juvie? Sweet Black cap Chickadee, and the one legged Sparrow, he didn't let his handicap slow him down on rearing his young. Love that pic.
Good shots, burn. Even if you are picking on cripples. :-) Took a drive around Lake Thunderbird this a.m. Saw the regulars and notables Yellow Warbler, Bell's Vireo, Baltimore Orioles and this Mississippi Kite eating a cicada.
Think I am going to stop trying to feed the Hummingbirds from the cap, there is too much traffic this weekend, and too many feeders and flowers, so they probably won't be interested in a red cap. What month do they start to migrate? If I did not know better, I would say it was now, they have been hitting the single feeders like mad, we may have to start using sugar water because we are almost out of nectar. The only problem we have is bees and ants, I put some Vicks on the shepherds hooks that they are on and that stopped them for a few minutes but then they started again, and the bees are a problem too. The hummers are smart, they stay away until the bees go away and they zoom in and eat, this one little lady yesterday must have been real hungry, she hovered there for I know must have been at least 3 minutes eating, until a bee interrupted her meal. They have gotten real used to us, they buzz around us all the time, the other day one landed on my hubby's knee and perched there for a second, it was so beautiful. Any advice on how to keep the bees away would be appreciated, thanks.
Thank you Mrs._Ed, I was wondering about the time, it seems earlier this year, I hate to see the time come because I spend the whole winter wondering if they made it and if they will come back. Our Mama Hummer always comes back every spring and she always goes to the same spot. She usually has a nest made in the Cottonwood Tree out front and when her babies are born, she brings them down to teach them how to eat out of the feeders. We have a small hummer(I know, I know they are all small), I mean really small, I got a good look at it as it was eating next to me, it is half that size of the adult hummer. I had my fingers so close to the feeder that when she came to eat, I could feel the air off her tiny wings as she hovered. But the bees chase them away sometimes so they just go to the other feeder that does not have bees on them.