Birds

Hummingbirds

What a surprise! Here it is September 11 and I had a hummer come to the feeder! I thought for sure they would all be well on their way to their winter homes somewhere way down south by now. I had actually looked at that feeder this morning and thought I should be taking it down so it was on the list of “To Do” things.

The hummer today didn’t stop for a drink – it just came to within 4 to 6 inches of the feeder, took a look and then flew away again. I don’t know why it didn’t take a drink as the feeder is relatively fresh and I made it a bit stronger for them at this time of year.

Pure fluke that I just happened to look at that particular moment, for sure! No pics :( …  it was all too fast.

A Late Hummer

So … here I was thinking the hummers had all gone because I hadn’t had any at my feeders for the past two weeks. The nights are cool enough now and the dreariness of wet fall weather has made things rather dull and chilly.

Today I had a single visitor to the feeder – actually it didn’t go to the feeder, but was checking out the red Christmas light behind the feeder. It didn’t drink so maybe the juice is too old now.

I will make fresh just in case it comes back or in case there are more still around or passing through for fall migration.

This is the first time I have seen a hummingbird past the middle of August.

No pics today :( of this hummer. It didn’t stick around long enough for that.

Cheers,

Sue

Reflections at Chichester

I took the camera to Chichester yesterday – not much for bird life so I took some reflection shots. The water was very still and there’s quite a bit of fall colour still there.

There’s something about water that is so peaceful.

Cheers,

Sue

First Robin this Year!

Another visit to Chichester and more evidence Spring is on the way …

First Robin of the year

There were also 4 Bufflehead males and a female floating in the Sumac pond. Two of the males were vying for pairing rights with the female and their antics were quite humourous to watch. She’s playing hard to get, though, and paid them no attention while they scooted and flapped and strutted their stuff.

Male Bufflehead showing off

Two male Buffleheads competing for a female

Bufflehead Ducks - she hasn't made a choice yet :D

Spring is Springing!

The Red-winged Blackbirds are showing up again – must mean Spring is on its way!

I stopped in at Chichester today and a male was yelling his head off from the bullrushes. I haven’t seen one there for a few months.

First RWBB at Chichester in 2010!

I am soooo ready for Spring!

A Herd of Quail

Lots of California Quail at Chichester today.

Frozen Pond

Not much room for swimming at Chichester these days. These mallards will take what they can get, though.

Winter Goldfinch

A tiny visitor to the feeder today. When breeding season comes, he’ll be a brilliant yellow!

Chichester in the Fall

Mallard Pairs on the East Pond

Mallard Pairs on the East Pond



Late Afternoon Glow

Late Afternoon Glow



Wild Rose Hips

Wild Rose Hips



Snowberry

Snowberry



Permanent Resident

Permanent Resident - This female Canada Goose will not be heading south this winter - thanks to some idiot humans who broke her wing



Green-winged Teal Ducks stopping in on their way south

Green-winged Teal Ducks stopping in on their way south



Autumn Splendor

Autumn Splendor - The Centre Pond



Mallard Drake

Mallard Drake



Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries

Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries

Leucistic Canada Goose and Friends

I stopped in at Munson Pond today and found this leucistic Canada goose there amongst all the other geese, ducks and what-have-you at this time of year.

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At the other end of the pond, I found some Bufflehead Ducks and Redhead Ducks in with a herd of Mallards. I’ve never seen so many Buffleheads in one place before and the Redheads are a new bird for my list – am up to 118 now, I think.

Redheads, Buffleheads and Mallards

Redheads, Buffleheads and Mallards



Redheads, Buffleheads and Mallards

Redheads, Buffleheads and Mallards

The List Grows to 112

At Chichester today I added to my Bird List. The list I keep is a little different from most birders’ lists in that my species only count if I have photographed them.  Some birders keep Life Lists, some Yearly Lists and some Monthly Lists – or all three. While I may see them and identify them, or hear them but not see them, they don’t count until I get a picture of them and add them to My Bird List. Simple, eh?

It is always exciting when I can add to my list.

I have five new birds to add today, plus new pictures of some already on my list.

Here’s the new ones:

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

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RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET

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Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8638

Ruby Kinglet-2009-10-06-DSC_8644

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ROCK PIGEONS

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DOWNY WOODPECKER (female)

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I already had a Male Downy Woodpecker on my list from last winter when one visited my suet feeder but I got this new one today, too …

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BELTED KINGFISHER (female)

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GREEN-WINGED TEAL DUCK (female)

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Among the other birds I saw and photographed today, but which were already on my list, were Black-billed Magpies, Yellow-rumped Warblers,  Song and House Sparrows, dozens of Mallard Ducks, Northern Flickers, Gulls, Oregon Juncos (the first I have seen since the spring so winter is coming :( ), …

… and this scene from “The Birds” …

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Cheers,

Sue

A New Bird for my List

I was at Chichester today looking for a Red-necked Phalarope, but couldn’t find it.  Instead I found this small seclusive Brown Creeper …

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This little fella makes 108 on my Bird List.  Maybe I’ll find the Red-necked Phalarope next time I go.

Sparrow in my beans

This little female House Sparrow has been playing in my beans …

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The Ravens

Not great photos. Lots of cropping and post-processing in these to try to bring out some of the detail that was in the shot, but needed a lot of “help” … some burning and dodging, levels, sats adj, brightness and contrast, a small amount of sharpening otherwise it was VERY noisy and a hard light layer for the trees with a layer mask to bring back the detail in the ravens …

They are not really gray, that was how the light was hitting them. Their eyes were there as you see them – I just burned them in a bit better.

Then we had “lift-off” !!!

Thanks for looking …

The Buffleheads are back …

These ducks were at Chichester Wetlands when I went there yesterday. They are male Bufflehead Ducks. I didn’t see any females. As you can see, they are quite small (compared to a mallard) and they were very shy – I had to hide behind a tree in order for them to come out where I could shoot them. Even so, these are not great pics – but I do get to add them to my Bird List.

Thanks for looking – hope you enjoy them, too!

Red-tailed Hawk – Dark Morph

Got this fellow yesterday coming home from the Chichester Wetlands …
I shot these in RAW and pp is a real b!tch on my puter – everything crawls to a halt. Even just trying to see them with a RAW image viewer is painfully slow.

I have an awful lot of shots – probably over 100 – just of this guy. But, in RAW, they will take a long time to edit. These few were just the tip of the iceberg of great shots I got of him. You should see the one where he’s ripping the guts out of that mouse – eeeewwwww.

This fellow was not even remotely concerned that I was standing so close to him – I was only about 12 – 15 feet from him. If there hadn’t been a snowbank and a ditch between us, I probably would have gotten even braver and tried to see how close he actually would let me get. I had to finally quit shooting and go home because I had filled all my cards and he got tired of me just standing there looking and talking.

It was a good day’s shooting, eh???

A Robin – it’s SPRING!

Found this fellow at Chichester yesterday – he was in no hurry to run from the camera.

These guys are all over the place here now … YAY!!!

Sharp-shinned Hawk – IN MY HOUSE!

Was home sick from work yesterday and was outside in my flannel nightie and slippers chasing this SSH around the yard.

He started off in the neighbour’s grape arbor, then went into my woodshed, to the fence beside the woodshed, then through the open door INTO my house!

He’s been hanging around here lately looking for an easy meal of Songbird Delight – has a damaged wing, so may be having a tough time of it. He didn’t get any dessert yesterday, either!

Too bad I am not a faster shooter! Just managed to get these ones – alas, none in the house!

Here’s where I first see him – on the grape arbor …

From there he flew towards me! … past my van on the other side – then into the woodshed, where I tried to get his pic but he saw me getting closer so flew out the other end and back towards me onto my fence made of pallets. I was still IN the woodshed, but could see him through the field-wire fencing about 6 feet from me …

From there he rounded the bird feeder poles and went straight through the open door INTO my house! The Dawg was out on the porch laying down watching my shenanigans (outside in my nightie and slippers in the snow) and the hawk missed him by only a couple of feet – if that!

The look on the Dawg’s face was priceless as this bird flew over his head and into the house. Dawg looked at me as if to say, “Did that really happen?”

I could see the bird inside, cruisin’ past the open door several times, but there was no way I was going in there – not even for pics of a hawk in my house!

The Dawg and I looked at each other for a few l-o-n-g seconds, just a little stunned, then the Dawg decided to go check it out. When the Dawg went in to investigate, the hawk decided outside was safer so flew out and up into a tree where he paused to ponder where he’d just been – bet he was as surprised as I was!

Along with the chickadee eating out of my hand last week, this day will stand out in my memory.

Hope you enjoy him!

The Great Backyard Bird Count – Day 4

My tally for Monday, the 16th

Number of Species: 15

Checklist:
Mallard – 200
California Quail – 32
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Ring-billed Gull – 7
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) – 2
American Crow – 9
Common Raven – 2
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
European Starling – 50
Song Sparrow – 5
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) – 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) – 12
House Finch – 25
American Goldfinch – 8
House Sparrow – 25

I am soooo excited! Look what I did !!!!

Yeehawwwwwwwww!!! What a thrill!


I have been working really hard to get my feeder birds used to me, but for the most part, they keep their distance while I am outside.

Today was different for some reason. I went out to fill the feeders and try to get pics of a new little bird I didn’t recognize but which had been hanging around the past few days. Got the pics of it, and will post them separately, but then I decided to take a pan of water out for the birds and as I was setting it down on the table, a chickadee came and sat on the feeder about a foot away from my shoulder. So I grabbed a small handful of black oil sunflower seeds out of the train engine and held it out for him.

I thought my heart was gonna stop when he landed on my finger!!! WOW!

Then I picked up the camera again and was just getting it focused on the seeds in my hand when he came back for more. Just caught that shot, then he came back time and time again and each time I managed to get one or two shots of him.

At one point, I just stood and watched him. He sat there on my hand and looked back at me for quite a long heart-stopping moment. We just stood there quietly looking at each other, making eye contact, we blinked and I talked softly to him Then he picked up another seed and took off with it. He wasn’t in the least afraid of me. The Dawg was even right out there with me and there was no fear of him either.

This has got to be one of those days that goes down in history for me. It’s four hours later and I am still in awe.

Now to work on those brilliant male house finches! I bet it’s not impossible …