Monday, April 19, 2010

Just When You Thought There Could Be No More Turkey Photos

The other afternoon, , I decided to head down to the river and the second bridge where I went last week. I wanted to see if I could get a better picture of one of my subjects, which I still didn't but I had a lot of fun birdwatching through my big lens as there were birds going in and out of my subject area (Bullocks' oriole, yellow-rumped warbler, finches galore). Anyway, while I was fiddling around with one composition, I noticed this wild turkey walking alone upstream. Did you know that turkeys will wade? I didn't.

One of the finch couples - the ones in the higher status lantern nest - have had their babies hatch. There are at least three; I'm going to try to get some pictures which should be interesting given the height of the lantern. The other couple - the two who were so recently blatant in their passion for each other - have five pretty blue eggs in their nest.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Else? Birdwatching

Even with the rain currently pouring down, it's a fine time to watch some birds. There are still a swarm of hummingbirds at the feeders stoking up for the night. A few moments ago, I watched a pair of lark sparrows plucking bits and pieces from the greenery in the front yard, for their nest I suppose.

And this morning, I inadvertently got a display of house finch porn. While I was doing the breakfast dishes, I looked out the window at the planter where the Birdbrain finch family have their nest, and there they were - in flagrante delicto. It only lasted a second or less - a couple of wiggles, some wing flapping. Then the male gave the female a seed or some other delicacy to eat, as if to apologize: "I know the earth didn't exactly move for you honey - here, eat a little something, you'll feel better." I guess it worked because the female then settled happily into the nest.

Note: they are referred to as the Birdbrains because this pair built their nest in one of the succulent plants hanging from the eaves. That makes it difficult to water. Competition for nest sites must be fierce this year.

I digress. We are the happy hosts of a rufous hummingbird, who spent the day guarding the hummingbird feeder on the back of the house, just outside the office window. Well, maybe it's a rufous. Maybe it's an Allen's - they are very similar, and the difference has something to do with the tail feathers, but of course this one refuses to let me examine his.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Getting Back to Normal (Whatever That Is)

After a week and a few days of recovery from some medical issues, including a couple of overnights at Fresno Community Hospital, Dino is feeling much improved. I am ever so grateful that things weren't worse and appreciate my wonderful husband even more than before.

Yesterday, we finally got out and about for a lovely spring walk. The wildflowers are still profuse and as usual we're stumped by some of them. The bird watching was pretty good, though no eagles of any sort this time. Saw some Canada geese, which aren't usual around here, and a male merganser. We're hoping his mate is sitting on eggs. Plus the usual wood ducks and mallards. We also saw a flock of lark sparrows, which seemed unusual - we typically see them only in pairs or as singletons. Closer to home, the house finches have been extremely busy building nests underneath the front porch eaves again, and one dumb pair built in one of our planters on top of a succulent. Sigh, it's going to be hard to water that one now.
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