Monday, February 2, 2009

BACKYARD BIRDING


House Sparrows, House Finches feasting at the feeder. The White-crowned Sparrows foraged on the ground below--a lot less crowded!


American Goldfinches vie for position on a 4-port feeder. A House Finch kept butting in, but the goldies were pretty persistant.



Female American Goldfinch.



Male American Goldfinch

Sometimes good birding can be had right in one's own backyard. Saturday morning Paula and I birded her yard and were amazed at all the birds jamming the feeders. Our list from the morning:
  • American Goldfinch (a flock of at least 40 altogether)
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • Anna's Hummingbird
  • Scrub Jay
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Red-tailed Hawk (soaring overhead)
  • American Crow
Later on we headed to Whitney Canyon (taking along her year-old puppy, Cinnamon, on her first hike) and saw even more birds:
  • Western Meadowlark (flock of about 30)
  • Band-tailed Pigeon (flock of about 40)
  • Common Raven
  • Red-tailed Hawk (soaring overhead)
  • Oak Titmouse (heard several calling)
  • California Quail (heard calling up in hills)
  • Scrub Jay
  • Acorn Woodpecker


I sat for a while in a beautiful oak grove, listening for sounds. The longer I sat there, themore I heard and saw. I heard quail calling from the hills and Acron Woodpeckers drumming. While focused on all that, another unexpected sound startled me. It was sort of like a whoosh of water--a real unusual sound. It turned out to be a large flock of Band-tailed Pigeons that had been flushed from their roost. I've seen these birds before, but never in such numbers.

Up the trail a ways I caught up with Paula and Cinnamon, who had found the skeletal remains of a deer. No doubt a meal from a mountain lion and a reminder that we could all be food for some predator while out for a walk. I took a few photos of the skeleton, but they weren't very pretty so I did not post them.

On the way back Cinnamon got to see her first cottontail rabbit--I think it was about the same size as her!

2 comments:

Tabor said...

What a wonderful list of birds. I keep promising myself I will do that for two days...but am too busy taking photos and enjoying them.

Linda Navroth said...

Photos are a great way not only to capture a moment, but to also refer to later on if there's a bird I'm sketchy on. I also have a little moleskine notebook that I jot down my bird sightings in everyday and have been doing so diligently for abut 2 1/2 years. Sometimes I list them right away, other times I do it at end of day. (Birding is a great way to improve one's memory!) It's a great way to keep track of the birds year to year, to look at trends, etc. Additionally, I note location, time of day, weather, and/or anything that might be unusual about the event.