Pardon me while I highjack this blog for my writing course. It’s easier than setting up another whole site
Assignment #1 – A list of 5-10 nouns and adjectives observed during my lunch hour at work:
This is a treat! I was browsing photos from my son’s spring passing league football game from the photographer who volunteers to take sideline shots. In between the various sweaty teenage boys were these two shots of my most favorite bird ever!
The American Kestrel is the bird that first caught my eye and got me studying first these little powerhouse birds of prey, but then all the other lovely feathered beauties. The Kestrel is not only an awesome hunting falcon, but it is truly one of the more gorgeous birds you will see.
Thank you Anna Scipione for spotting this beauty and pausing to take a couple of magnificent shots of him!
The slate blue on the top of the head means this is a male kestrel
So sleek and gorgeous! He’s only about a foot long from beak to tail tip.
A bit of a lucky break yesterday afternoon – while sitting for a quick snack as I waited for my son to finish homework before we went out for the evening, I happened to look up and see a brand new visitor to the backyard feeder:
Focus on the larger bird on the platform vs the white crowned sparrow on the gravel. It’s a female black headed grosbeak. You can see how much bigger she is than the resident sparrows and clearly see her yellow-orange shadings on her breast and head. Here is a better photo of one that I found on the web:
I only had my Iphone near me and I did the best I could leaning across the table and pulling the zoom as much as it will go to snap the photos. Thankfully she was there long enough for me to at least get that, but of course Amber noticed MY interest in the yard and ambled over to check it out and promptly scared it (damn cats!)
Still – a very cool new siting. And yes, the white crowned sparrows are still dominating the yard. Their song is all I hear most of the time. I feel like this is later into the Spring than we usually see them in these quantities, but I could be wrong.
Also – hey – hi – I didn’t forget this space, we just haven’t been terribly focused on hiking or bird watching for awhile. I think this will always be a rather random site for updates!
This gallery contains 39 photos.
The slideshow below is from a rather late afternoon hike at the trails of Torrey Pines with friends of min who were visiting from Wisconsin. I’ve talked and blogged about this place so much that now out of town visitors … Continue reading
Snagged from You Tube, this is what I hear through my open windows every morning recently. It is also the first bird I see very morning at the backyard feeder as I eat breakfast – the bird was named very aptly:
My older son has classes this summer on Thursdays from 5-7 over near the river so I decided to take advantage and go for a 4.5 mile run/walk. I had to stay focused on the running for 3 miles before allowing myself to look for birds. Right at that 3 mile mark, a Little Blue Heron showed up at the waters edge. Further down near my car was a Great Blue Heron to provide some size contrast. Photos were taken with my iPhone using it’s minimal zoom so they are fuzzy:
Little Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
The title is my disclaimer up front that the two photos were not taken by me! My camera was inside the house charging in preparation for an upcoming trip. My phone was also inside. I merely stepped outside to water before heading out for a run this morning and I was greeted first my the unusual calls of both birds, and then rather brilliantly with close encounters with each. The first was the rather striking head of a Townsend’s Warbler:
He was checking out the peach tree while I was watering the plants in the other corner of the yard but I was able to get quite close to him to see all of his gorgeous markings. After he flew off, I went over to the peach tree to water it and heard a woodpecker calling fairly close by. I figured it was in the dense branches of the pine trees behind my neighbors house so I didn’t really look for it. Then I see something larger than the usual finch or sparrow bouncing around in the bottle-brush right behind the peach tree. As I stepped forward to look closer, he came right into clear view – a Nuttal’s Woodpecker with it’s distinctive all striped back and red crown on top:
Next time, I’m carrying the camera around my neck just in case. Which will most likely be followed by a post titled “wet cameras don’t take good pictures!”