I love observing and learning about the critters right in our own back yard. There is always something going on if you take the time to look…
The last few days, I moved my portable perch over to the only thing in our yard that has autumn colors…the pomegranate bush…which didn’t produce any pomegranates this year. That’s too bad because birds love pomegranates. Adding a few peanuts to the perch draws them in, though.
House Sparrows, female and male
This very strange looking little creature dropped by. Someone on Facebook was able to ID it for me. “Tylospilus acutissimus is a species of predatory stink bug in the family Pentatomidae. It is found in the Caribbean, Central America, North America, and South America.” (Wikipedia)
This moth was found floating in a tub of water in the backyard. I thought it was a goner but it flew away after a couple hours of rest…look at its cute face!
A Honeybee was upside down in a container of grape jelly filled with rain. I put her in a dry spot and gave her some jelly which you can see she is sucking up here and she flew away after awhile, too. Both took off to pollinate the world!
My favorite winter visitor also loves grape jelly…
Lesser Goldfinches, male and female (they love baths and thistle)
Here’s a few citizen scientist things you can do in your yard (click to go to articles):
- Don’t rake your leaves as much.
- Join eBird and record your sightings.
- Feed the birds, especially in the winter.
Powdered Dancer Damselfly
Fiery Skippers (click to see larger)
We’ve had the best October ever, weather-wise. Due to some Pacific tropical storms, we had over 3 inches of rain in early October and it’s been far cooler than normal. Usually it’s still unbearably hot in October…not this year!!!! It’s been awesome.
Although I didn’t see any migrating birds in our yard and no new yard birds lately, we have had some colorful and more occasional visitors this month.
Ornate Tree Lizard
The rain brought fungi, gnats, and mosquitos. No fairies under those ‘shrooms.
Rosy-faced Lovebird and Lesser Goldfinch (click to see larger)
Anna’s Hummingbirds, males
Gila Woodpecker, female
Look who’s getting excited about Halloween Trick or Treats!!!
Curve-billed Thrasher, House Finch, Northern Mockingbird (click to see larger)
And the most exciting visitor is this little bird (“Tink”). This is his/her 4th winter to come to our yard and this year she showed up a couple weeks earlier than last year. She loves grape jelly and usually stays until about April. I’m so glad to see her back. I know she will pose nicely for me several times this winter. According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “The oldest known Orange-crowned Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 7 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California.” I just find it amazing that a bird can find its way back to a specific place year after year but it does happen. I feel flattered that she likes the accommodations.
Hope your October is as awesome as ours is!
Wilson’s Warbler, male
Wilson’s Warbler, female
It’s that happy time of year again, Warbler Season, when the migrating warblers pass through our area on the way to their northern summer breeding grounds. These two Wilson’s Warblers were in my yard. I only saw the female once but the male has been around a couple days so far.
I saw some at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG), too, where I also saw this warbler (which I think is a female but I’m not positive). I saw one of these last year in the same exact Mesquite tree but the photo I got was pretty bad):
Warblers are really hard to get photos of because they never stop moving and they like to hide behind branches and leaves all the time.
The following warbler was a lifer and a lot of people are trying to get looks at him! I succeeded on my first day of searching for him at the DBG, flitting around in some Texas Ebony trees.
Hermit Warbler, male
I also saw some Townsend’s Warblers at the DBG but didn’t get a shot. This is what they look like (from last year at the DBG):
There are many, many other kinds of warblers so I hope I get to see something else new and exciting before spring migration ends.
As tiny, bright, and yellow as warblers…these guys were all over at the DBG although I’ve never had any in my yard:
Lesser Goldfinch, male
Lesser Goldfinch, female
Yellow is such a happy color. Happy May Day!