My neighbor and I have begun taking our cameras on our walks because we’re seeing more and more of the Spring migrating birds passing though. Last week on a longer walk to another neighborhood we spotted this guy eating those Russian Olives. Don’t they look like pearls?
They are the smallest of the Thrashers and love the sagebrush of the western states. We’re on the western edge of its breeding territory. They mimic other birds while they sing. I didn’t hear this one singing though.
I was surprised to see this one up in tree! They usually are hanging around the sagebrush and will hide in it.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you’re watching the game I hope your team wins.
I told you I would show you the beautiful Vermilion Flycatcher that I went to see in Maxwell, CA a few week ago, and today is the day! He’s a year round resident of Mexico and South America. He does come north to So. Texas and So. California for breeding season, and has been seen in the states along the gulf coast states. How this one found his way up here in Central Calif. is a mystery, but it’s been returning for 5 winters now. He’s rare there.
Isn’t he pretty?
Fuji X-T3 w/ Fuji 100-400mm lens @400mm
Almost two weeks ago He-Man went up to Washoe Co. the next county over to go on a bike ride and I went with him not to ride, but to bird while he rode and guess who I saw? The White-headed Woodpecker! This is a male. I only saw this species for the first time last year so I still do a happy dance when I see one.
This one was so busy foraging he didn’t care about me too much. Once in awhile he did check me out.
Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm @400mm
Sunday two neighbors and I went for our walk and we decided to go further than the mailbox and go up the hill and come home the back way where we saw Mountain Bluebirds foraging in the Russian Olive trees. The Olives are like little nuts that they seem to really like.
I saw this species for the first time last Spring, but didn’t have my camera with me but, by the time I raced home on foot to get the camera and return to the spot I saw one it was gone. I am so glad I had a camera with me on Sunday! Mountain Bluebird Male–
It’s been a good birdy couple of weeks that has been waylaid by weather. We’ve had snow! I won’t be out birding for a few days.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, stay healthy, and safe.
We adhered to the the Corona Virus Covid-19 guidelines by each driving their own car, and when out of the car we wore our masks and stood well apart. I can’t tell you how great it was to see friends I’d not seen in quite awhile. We had great birdy day with great weather for it too.
Upon my arrival while walking to the duck pond I crossed paths with another birder whom I didn’t know, but I ask him if he’d been seeing good birds and he replied while pointing that there was a Great Horned Owl just down there, and told me where to look. When I got to the pond I shared this info with my friends and we all headed up the trail to find the tree. While the Owl wasn’t in the tree he or she wasn’t too far away and we got some great looks, and images of it.
Here it is in its nest. Just a split in the tree.
Fun facts about the Great Horned Owl- From All About Birds.
Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls. They also eat much smaller items such as rodents, frogs, and scorpions.
When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.
If you hear an agitated group of cawing American Crows, they may be mobbing a Great Horned Owl. Crows may gather from near and far and harass the owl for hours. The crows have good reason, because the Great Horned Owl is their most dangerous predator.
Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a larger voice box and a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.
Great Horned Owls are covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against the cold winter weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey. Their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest.
Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears.
The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005.
Late in the afternoon we returned to this refuge and went to look for the Owl again. It wasn’t in the nest, but perched on top of branch.
The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. It lives in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and just about any other semi-open habitat between the Artic and the tropics. We were really excited and happy to see this one.
OT- My 11th Blogaverisary on WP was Wednesday I’d like to thank everyone who has followed me, left comments, for the conversations, lessons learned, and the friendships I’ve made with quite a few of you over the years. Thank you!🥰
I didn’t want to go all week without a post so was digging through the years images and found this gem from the Spring.
Isn’t he a showy beauty? It’s a Cinnamon Teal. I rarely see them showing their colors as they’re usually in the water or curled up sleeping.
OT- There’s a Golf Cart lighted parade scheduled tonight in my community and if it’s not raining I plan to be in the driveway photographing it. I’m so glad there’s some normalcy here with lights on the houses and this planned.
What are you doing this week-end? I hope you have a lovely week-end no matter what!
Here are a couple of images I created for the Shooting for the Season’s course I’m taking.
Cozy dining table-
This week is lighting. I hope I can come up with a couple more creative and cute compositions for that!
Last week I went to Baby Girl’s for a few days and early one morning I had my morning tea on her deck, and had my camera handy. Out in the poison oak I spied a little bird so left my tea to cool on the deck and headed down to the field and sat on a little lichen covered rock and waited to see if the little bird would return to the poison oak bush. I didn’t have to wait too long.
It was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet Female.
Baby Girl and family are settling in nicely in their new home, and the boys love the space and freedom the land affords them, and number 1 Grandson is thrilled to be back in a live classroom making new friends, he likes his teacher, and he had a huge surprise on his first day in class. A classmate of his from last year has moved to the same town and is in his class! Small world!
It’s supposed to warm up today which will be nice since we’ve been having highs in the 50’s and lows in high teens lately.
I hope you’re all having a great week!
Nikon D810 w/ 50mm f/1.8G Nikkor lens and Fuji X-T3 w/ 100-400mm XF lens| PS CC 22.0.0
I’ve been saving that White-headed Woodpecker I told you about back in May. This Woodpecker is a “lifer” for me or was back in April when I quickly saw it but didn’t get a good image of one until May. This is the Male. You can tell by the red patch on the back of its head. I’m right on the edge of their “year-round” range so with any luck I’ll see one again.
He-Man and I went down to Baby Girls on Wednesday and spent the night and yesterday when we came home we brought #1 Grandson home with us. It’s so nice having him here for a visit. The boys across the street were so excited to see him and him them. They ask about him all the time and once in a while if the timing is right they talk via FaceTime. They spent the whole evening outside playing and riding their scooters enjoying the perfect summer evening weather.
This week-end we’ve got plans to see his other set of Grandparents, and his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins who live here. They’re excited to see each other and play together too. We’re having a picnic today. Although I’m not sure how long we’ll last outside. It’s supposed to be 93° today.
I’ll be catching with your blogs soon!
I hope you all have a great week-end and if you’ve got time and interest head on over to Lisa’s Bird Weekly page to see what kinds of woodpeckers, sapsuckers, and flickers others have seen and shared.