Friday, May 16, 2014

Birds, Birds & More Birds

 The last couple of days have been amazing! We can't look out the window without seeing Western Tanagers (half a dozen at a time), Bullock's Orioles, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warblers and a nice variety of other birds. I've taken too many pictures. The Western Tanagers decorate the bushes in our backyard, but I know they will only stay for a short time before moving on.

To add some variety, we decided to see if the warbler migration extends beyond our backyard. We went walking at the Fountain Valley Nature Center. They have made quite a few improvements since out last visit including a large viewing patio behind the center and lots more feeders along the main trail. This House Wren was foraging for insects to feed his youngsters.

I believe this is a Veery but welcome discussion.

Another view of the Veery showing the upper chest markings.

The House Wren found a tasty insect to feed his family.

I don't get the chance to photograph a House Wren too often so bear with me.

And look who popped out while I was looking at the Wren!

I think I take this same picture of a Barn Swallow every year at the center.

There were a couple of Downy Woodpeckers playing in the pines.

Down by the lake, the Red-winged Blackbirds are all over - yelling back and forth to each other.

Well, my sister is right: Yellow-rumped Warblers are everywhere! This one is a "Myrtle" variety with a white throat.

The Yellow Warblers like to stay in the tree tops.

But every once in a while I can catch one closer.

I always forget how colorful the Song Sparrows are.

Another Yellow-rumpted - but this one is an Audubon's variety with the yellow throat. He was no where near as colorful as the ones in our yard.

This pompous looking female is a Red-winged Blackbird.

I believe this is a Hermit Thrush. He looks very similar to the Veery.

A nice group of White-crowned Sparrows. We only saw them in one spot - down by the river.

These bushes were beautiful and smelled delicious - but there were no birds on them.

Our find of the day - a Great-horned Owl! We talked to another birder along the trail (thanks Luis!) who told us where to look.

The Yellow Warblers are just so cute.

I thought this was an interesting shot.

Just a common American Robin - but isn't she beautiful?

I didn't expect to see White Pelicans on the lake! One of the other walkers told us there were about a dozen earlier in the week and they huddled together during the cold & snow - looking like an iceberg.

American Avocets way on the other side of the lake.

This one came a little closer.

Bill spotted this Wood Duck almost out of reach of my camera. I need a new lens like my sister has!

I was excited to see a Spotted Sandpiper on the island.

...and a very common Killdeer.

This one had me baffled until I posted the picture on one of the birding sites on FB for identification. I was looking for thrush and was directed to warblers. It is a Northern Waterthrush - a new life bird for both Bill and me. I wish the picture was better, but he was sneaking along the shore of the creek hiding under brush.

Another Yellow Warbler.

I started this entry yesterday and today (again) the Western Tanagers are everywhere. I literally cannot look out the window without seeing one or more.

At some point I have to stop taking their picture - but they are just so beautiful!

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