And a few more from Christmases Past…
Amazingly, four Wood Ducks have been hanging out about half of a mile away from our house in an odd little office complex pond (see a photo of it here). There are 3 males and 1 female. This was another lifer for me! They are not really common here and I’ve been trying to see one for a long time. I never thought I would see 4 at once! And so close to home!
I’ve been there twice so far. The security guard said they fly in and out so they are spending their time somewhere else nearby, too. I’m hoping they plan to winter here. So beautiful!
I’ve been trying to get the backyard birds to pose for holiday shots. Herding cats is easier than herding birds. I should have stuck with cat holiday shots.
Not surprisingly, only the sparrows are participating so far.
Last year I only saw our wintering warbler eating oranges but this year it is digging the suet, too.
My birding has been almost non-existent the last few days even though I keep meaning to go out. Mornings are now cooler although it still gets to around 100° in the afternoons so it’s best to be an early bird. I hope to step it up this week. This is FALL migration, after all!
So many people in my Facebook birding group are getting exciting migrants in their yards but not us, yet…I keep looking, though.
All of the hummers in this post are Anna’s Hummingbirds. Other people in the area are getting Rufous and Black-chinned passing through so I hope to see something different soon. I am very glad that we have our Anna’s year-round, though. It would be lonely without them.
And completing the Quadfecta of Doves:
So I did possibly (probably) get a new yard bird recently that is also a Life Bird. Many experienced birders agreed that this is a Clay-colored Sparrow (below), which would be somewhat out-of-range, but a couple identified it as a Brewer’s Sparrow which would make it not a Lifer and not a new yard bird.
I submitted it to eBird but never heard back and I’ve seen a few other people reporting Clay-coloreds in the area so I’m going with that for now. Yard Bird #30. Isn’t he cute and inquisitive looking? I’ve only seen him once; he must have moved on.
Be on the lookout for new and unusual birds in your areas during this migration period. You might see something awesome.
If I waited until it was pleasant outside before I took any photos, it might be a looong time, so I forced myself to make a small effort in my hot and humid backyard today. This is a Mesquite tree but it’s our Hippie Tree. Many bird-attracting or bird-photo-enhancing things hang in this tree in our far backyard. It has also become the place to hang some found objects or things I don’t want anywhere else. I’m sure the collection will grow. The Mesquite provides shade, of course, but also has edible pods and tasty insects, too, or so the birds indicate. It’s an active area.
A few of my favorite perch shots:
And this is the “bistro,” where I (and occasionally, Tony) sit and watch the birds in the Mesquite, under the shade of the Goldwater Pine.
More like trying to beat the heat. Everyone seems to be surviving but looking a little miserable and some of the birds are a little ragged-looking. We have a bird bath, a little pool, and many containers of water all around and the sprinklers go on everyday so they have access to plenty of water and shade.
My no-melt suet…melted.
I wrote about this guy, above, back in April; he or she is still doing well and I see him often. We had a mini-dust storm and this empty nest blew out of my neighbor’s tree. I think it was this mockingbird’s nest as it is always flying into that tree.
My hibiscus has had tons of buds and blooms although they are slowing down now with the intense heat. I also haven’t seen many butterflies around. I did see 2 this morning but couldn’t get a good shot.
I don’t know if these female hummers are Anna’s or Black-chinned. Female hummingbirds are hard to distinguish. We have both kinds in our yard so I’m not sure but leaning toward Black-chinned. I’m open to correction, though.