Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pine Siskins are back!!

We were so excited last night to see a small flock of Pine Siskins fly into the yard. We have missed them in their absence. There were about 15-20 Siskins in the yard and they stayed for quite a while. I hope they are here for the winter! Last year, we didn't see any Pine Siskins until Dec 1st. It's great to have them visiting again.

Other than the Siskins, we have also noticed the Cedar Waxwings hanging around again, White-Crowned Sparrows are daily visitors and we even had a Black-Crowned Night Heron fly over the house 2 nights ago!

So, here are some pics from the yard this week and we are keeping an Eagle-eye out for new visitors ('tis the season). Good birding.

The first Pine Siskins that we have seen in months! They have quite a bit of yellow on them this fall.

They were always one of our favorite, and most numerous, visitors.

They didn't hesitate about going to the birdbath. They weren't in the yard more than 1 or 2 minutes and they swarmed the water.

The Downy Woodpecker is also a daily visitor now. He prefers this suet log more than any of the other feeders (obviously, I have not been putting enough suet in it).

A female Bushtit holding very still for the camera.

After making a "pishing" noise, she came out to see what all the fuss was about.

A large flock of Cedar Waxwings over the house.

Our newest resident Male Anna's Hummingbird. He seems to have claimed the yard.

His life is much easier since the Rufous Hummingbird has departed.

I like the little lightning stripe down the side of his head.

This is (I'm assuming) a House Finch. He just has the oddest tail I have ever seen on one. He seems to have the tail from 2 different birds. Weird.

A Lesser Goldfinch bathing while 2 Pine Siskins look on.

The Lessers will only drink this way now. The will use the water to bathe but, if they want a drink, they fly up to the drip line and drink.

The are always fun to watch.

A Scrub-Jay begging for peanuts.

A Scrub-Jay not begging for peanuts.

I just liked the odd look of this American Goldfinch. His plumage change is really striking.
The photo doesn't show it too well but, his head is almost white, while his body is still winter Goldfinch yellow.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Here are some photos from our picnic at Chapman School to see the Vaux's Swifts. There are also two videos. Nothing too great but you can kind of get the idea about how many Swifts show up to roost. If you get the chance you really should take a couple of hours and head over there. It's at 26th and NW Pettygrove. Be forewarned, a lot of people show up. It is very noisy (with all of the kids) and some people don't really seem to be interested in the Swifts at all. But still, it's a must see. It was incredible to see that many birds at one time. The Peregrine Falcon also made a few appearances!

There are also some photos of recent activity in the yard. As always, we hope you enjoy.

Just a couple of photos so you might get an idea about how many birds there are.

Somewhat hard to see but every little black spot or fleck you see is a Swift.

another shot

Scrub-Jays getting peanuts to bury for the wintertime.

The Steller's Jays have just recently come back into the yard. It's so nice to see them again.

This one, I believe, is a juvenile.

They come and knock the peanut container over and then proceed to bury the nuts about 5 feet away.

As the peanuts get fewer, the Jays get closer to the porch. Here's one just off of the patio.

The juvenile Steller's with the bad haircut.

One of the Lesser Goldfinches that keep us company throughout the year.

A Northern Flicker looking in the backyard.

A juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow

Here's video number one. In the last few seconds of the video, a Peregrine Falcon will come from behind the chimney and the video will end when the Falcon is in the middle of the frame.

Here's another video of the funneling that they do.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A little bit of everything...

Here are some pictures from the last week and they aren't in any particular order. But, we have been to Smith and Bybee Lakes, Salish Ponds and, of course, our own backyard so the pictures are staring to stack up! We hope you enjoy these and thank you for stopping by!

A juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow from a couple of days ago. He was only in the yard for about 5 minutes but it was still great to see them again!

A Turkey Vulture out at Smith/Bybee Lakes.

A juvenile male Rufous Hummingbird. We have at least 2 juve Anna males and 2 Rufous males!

One of the female Rufous

Here's the other male Rufous

The Hummingbirds really like the bird bath! They drink from it frequently.

Another shot of the male Rufous

Starlings flying to roost for the night out at Salish Ponds.

The next 2 photos are pretty much the same but the one above I focused on the Song Sparrow and the Lesser Goldfinch in the background, and in the one below, I focused on the Anna's Hummingbird in the foreground.

A few ducks enjoying Salish Ponds at sunset

A Red-Tail Hawk soaring over us at Smith/Bybee

One of our regular Red-Breasted Nuthatches. He really enjoys drinking from the hanging bird bath. None of the Nuthatches will drink from the ground waterers. Just this hanging one.

A Nuthatch enjoying some home-made suet

One of the juvenile Male Anna's we have. He is very distinguishable from the others as his red head pattern is starting to come in and it makes it look like the red is running from his right eye.

Another of the Male Anna's

This little guy is furthest along. He has almost all of his red.

Such awesome little birds!

A Scrub-Jay and a Cedar Waxwing together catching the sunset at Salish Ponds.

A Scrub-Jay eating a peanut in the yard

If you look close, you can actually see the bulge in the Jay's throat. It's the whole peanut he just swallowed.

We have seen the normal, red House Finches and we have seen the Orange-Variant House Finches but this little guy seems to be a bit of both. Is this normal coloration?

A Great Blue Heron drying himself off near the Smith/Bybee canoe launch

The Black-headed Grosbeaks are still hanging around!

Some type of frog at Smith/Bybee. There must have been a million frog there. Now we know why the Herons like it there so much!

The Northern Flickers will only visit the bird bath if the drip line is taken off.

A Northern Flicker checking out the neighborhood in the back woods of Salish Ponds.

One of the many Flickers we get in the yard. This one's tail feathers almost seem blue in color. They are such gorgeous birds.

One of the female Anna's just taking a rest.

Lots of Egrets and a Blue Heron. Notice the Egret has a fish in it's bill and, maybe it's the lighting, but the Blue Heron's bill looks black. Maybe my eyes are just playing tricks on me?

A Cedar Waxwing at Smith/Bybee. Such beautiful colors!

A female Bushtit. I was amazed that there was only one Bushtit in the photo!

A Blue Heron at Salish Ponds

Whenever the Herons are around, I can't stop taking photos of them. I'm addicted to Herons!!

This is what happens when a Black-Capped Chickadee gets wet

Two Lesser Goldfinches sitting and chatting on the drip line (the line that the Flicker doesn't like).

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