Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yesterday's photos

Here are a few pictures from yesterday's yard activities!

Here is a Cooper's Hawk that landed in the yard a few times before succeeding in capturing a song bird (didn't see what species). I hate to see that kind of thing but the Hawk has to eat, too.

They really are gorgeous birds!

He couldn't seem to make up his mind on where to fly next.

A Red-Breasted Nuthatch. They just recently started coming back into the yard on a daily basis. These are one of my favorite backyard birds!

Very tame little guys, too! There were 3 of them hopping around our Mountain Ash tree all day.

One of the local Scrub Jays helping himself to some lunch. They have already started to bury their food already. Maybe we are in for an early winter??

Some Lesser Goldfinches just gathered around the water cooler.

I know it's almost impossible to tell, but this Black-Capped Chickadee is actually bathing in the Parasol. They use it to drink out of all the time but this was the first time we saw it used as a bath. How fun!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Photos from the last week...

Hello to all the birders out there! Hope you are all having a great week so far. Here are some more photos from around the area. As always, we hope you enjoy them and thank you for sharing this journey with us!

We got this picture early in the morning less than a week ago. It is a baby Red-Shafted Flicker in the back yard! There is a family of 6 that now visits the yard everyday!! So exciting!

2 of the immature Flickers. They were chasing each other all over the yard and squawking! It was really fun to watch.

Here's one adult and one immature. Neither one of them wanted to leave the suet cage. They bantered back and forth for almost 5 minutes. Very cool!

A Flicker defending his suet against a pesky Starling. Good for him!!

Another one of the immature Flickers trying to not fall off of the suet feeder!

A male Red-Shafted Flicker hybrid!

A Black-Capped Chickadee on a drip line of one of the bird baths.

A resident female Anna's Hummingbird (center) using the Nasturtiums for nourishment!

An American Goldfinch and a small group of Lesser Goldfinches.

We went to Mt. Hood Community College over the weekend for the Scottish Highland Games. We had a great time eating, shopping, eating, watching the games and eating. We also birded while we were there and thank goodness we did! Here is an active Bushtit nest at the college, just off of the running track. Michelle spotted it! See the little head poking out?

Here's the same nest. Bushtits were going in and out at a frantic pace. Whenever an adult flew off we could hear the nest and the babies inside it!!

Here's a different nest that we spotted near the water. Also active and also full of fledglings!! There is a little head poking out of this nest, too!

There were a lot of Cedars Waxwings flying about and singing their pretty, high-pitched songs!

We just liked the photo. Gotta love the Cedars!

An immature Song Sparrow.

This Belted Kingfisher was all over the place. It wouldn't let us get very close (not that they ever do!) but it kept flying past us.

A Dark-Eyed Junco. There were quite a few of them at Mt. Hood C.C.

We don't normally post any photos other than birds but this dragonfly was so cool looking that we had to post it!

Here's another species of dragonfly. This one was pretty cool, too.

The ever-acrobatic Red-breasted Nuthatch.

We don't know what took this chunk out of this Cooper's Hawk but I'd say that they Cooper's got pretty lucky to still be flying!

2 Bushtits and a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee.

Here is a strange Starling that has been coming into the yard for a while now. He doesn't seem to have any neck feathers and his skin is very red. When I first spotted him I actually thought that it was some rare bird. I got very excited and flustered. But upon careful and further review, Michelle pointed out that he just doesn't have any feathers on his throat. Just thought that it was kind of weird.

If you look close enough, you will see Lesser Goldfinches (top left), a female Black-Headed Grosbeak (middle) and 2 House Finches (bottom). We just thought that 3 species in one photo was kinda neat!

We saw this little guy just sitting in the grass, right under the nest box that the House Sparrows use. He wasn't moving around but his papa kept flying down with food and feeding him. We decided that we needed to get him back up to his nest, so we went next door and borrowed a ladder (our wasn't tall enough) from our wonderful neighbors. We have 4 dogs that roam the yard and Lord knows what they would do if they found a little birdie sitting in the grass?!

We carefully picked him up, climbed up 20 ft (way too high if you ask me!!) with the ladder and tucked the little guy back in. His mom and dad were squawking big time, but they calmed down after we backed off.

Papa bringing a nice, big bug!

Here's papa coming to feed the little guys.

All the House Sparrows are tucked safely back into their nest!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Michelle and I went to Vashon Island for her birthday in June. We stayed at a cottage up near the very top of the island. It was beautiful. We stayed in Washington for 3 days and had a great time! We also went down to Des Moines, WA and took a charter out to go whale/wildlife watching. Also awesome!

So here are some of the photos we took. Hope you enjoy!

Point Defiance is where we ferried over to the island from. Gorgeous views from there.

Here is the view from our cottage. We could see for a hundred miles in every direction.

We took a walk down to the beach our first morning there and this is one of the first birds we came across, just down a couple of hundred yards off the main road on an overgrown path. A Barred Owl! Not only a Life List bird for us but also the first owl, of any kind, that we have ever seen in the wild.

We were walking down the path and we turned around to watch a Jay flying by and... BAM! It was only about 10 feet from where we stood. Is was amazing!

It didn't fly away or make a single sound. Just sat there watching us closely. We couldn't believe it.

Here is a Great Blue Heron (he was in full breeding plumage) preening itself on a jetty near where we launched the charter boat.

Here is a different Heron along the docks just outside of Olympia, WA.

A Tufted Puffin. Another Life List bird for us!

This is a (grainy) photo of a Rhinoceros Auklet, not yet in breeding plumage.

Another of the Auklet.

A very friendly Pigeon Guillemot!

Here is an Osprey that we watched fly lazily down the waters edge, then suddenly, turned it's wings downward and plunged into the water. It actually submerged itself completely and stayed under water for 3 or 4 seconds. Then it popped up and slowly hoisted this fish, what looked like through the binos to be a flounder, and flew into the tree line. It was so cool to watch!

Another photo of the same Osprey.

Not far from the Osprey was this Kingfisher fishing just off shore. It was very interesting to watch exactly how he gets his fish.

On the docks where the charter was moored.

Michelle woke up that first morning (about 4:30am) and looked out the window to find this little doe!

She knew we were there but she stayed around for quite a while. There eventually ended up being 4 deer total. The Doe and Stag and two fawns. I want to go back!

That dark mass in the center of the photo is actually a juvenile Hump-Backed Whale! We saw him (or her) a few times out on the water. New one for us as well!

Here is a Harbor Seal. There were about a dozen of them playing and sunning pretty close to the boat.

The black and white fin you see sticking out of the water there is a Dahl's Porpoise! There were also quite a few of these guys playing in the boats wake.

Here is a strange little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee that has been coming into the yard for a while now. There are 2 that visit that have these odd, dirty looking marks. Any ideas?

Same little guy.

Here's the other one. They look pretty similar but, after watching them for a while, we can tell them apart.

A Cooper's Hawk that swooped in the other day.

Such gorgeous birds!

In the left corner we have: Cooper's Hawk! and in the Right corner (actually, right hand side about half way up) we have: Rat. See the little gray spot on the right hand side?

About 30 seconds after this photo was taken our cat Gem (on the ground) jumped straight up in the air for the Cooper's. He just lazily flew off with no harm done. We were actually worried that he might decide to take her for lunch.

An orange variant House Finch on one of our many thistle sacks. He was a vibrant orange!

Most of the birds in the yard are happy to just drink out of the bird baths the "normal" way. But not the Lesser Goldfinch. They will line up on the drip lines (we have two) and wait their turn to slip down the spout and drink the drops coming out. Very fun to watch.

My personal favorite American Kestrel photo that we have taken. He was a very inquisitive little fellow.

Here is a photo of about 30-40 Crows attacking a local Red-Tail Hawk. They don't ever seem to bother any of the other hawks in the area. Just the Red-Tail. The Red-Tail never seems to notice all of the Crows, though. Good for him!

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