Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Flying Flowers

It's been raining pretty hard for the last few days, but that hasn't kept away the birds. There are quite a few Goldfinches flying around. They really seem to like the cedar feeder the best. It's neat to see them fly because you can see these little flashes of yellow. They look like flying flowers.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Sharing is Caring

Today we saw something out front that, until now, I only ever saw in pictures...

We had FOUR Anna's Hummingbirds sitting at the kitchen feeder eating together--at the same time! It was quite a sight!

We couldn't get a picture because it happened so fast, but I'll never forget how cute they all looked sitting there together. It was amazing because I usually just see them competing for the feeders by chasing each other off.

There's always something going on around here!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

The Place to Be

Well, we headed out to the bird place again today. We got an annual pass so we can just go back whenever we want. We saw a few new things and it was still an incredible experience. It seems to get better every time. I can't imagine going in the fall when everyone comes back for winter. It's supposed to be the best time to go, but we've been going when there's hardly anyone left and we're still seeing tons of new stuff every time.

We saw a few Common Moorhens. They look like a Coot, but have a red bill instead of white. We saw more American Avocets with their scooped up bill, brown head and black/white body, Green-winged Teals and American Wigeons. Northern Shovelers have a huge spoonbill!

And I figured out that the gray herons we keep seeing are actually Great Blue Herons. We heard the Least Bittern and it sounds like a jungle bird. I don't think we've actually seen one though.

And best of all, we saw a whole flock of American White Pelicans. They are huge! I never even thought pelicans lived anywhere but on the coast.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Playground for Birders

Today we went to "the bird place" again!! I didn't think it was possible, but we saw so many new things! I think we'll end up going about once every month or two to see all of the changing seasons.

Most of the Marsh Wrens had made nests in the grasses. We saw lost of swallows flying overhead, but they were really hard to identify. We saw a Spotted Sandpiper and a male and female Cinnamon Teal. The Pie-billed Grebe kept diving underwater to hide from us. We also saw a HUGE crow-like bird with a white diamond on his chest. We couldn't figure out what it was, but it was mammoth!

Gadwalls, Meadowlarks (they seemed a lot bigger out here!), Canada Goose, Brewer's Blackbirds were very blue with black heads, American Avocet. The Ring-necked Duck had yellow eyes and a black and white striped bill. We heard Mourning Doves, a frog, saw more rabbits and three deer (a mom with her two babies). The White-faced Ibis had a curved bill and was reddish, but mostly dark. There were gulls flying over, but those are probably the hardest thing to identify. The Snowy Egret and Great Egret are very similar and we saw lots of both. We saw a dark (blackish) heron that looked like a Little Blue Heron, but the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge brochure doesn't show anything like it. The Eurasian Wigeon looks a lot like Cinnamon Teals and there were several sets of males and females.

And I've saved the best for last. The American Bitterns were incredible. They make an outrageous bloop-de-bloop! sound that we heard all day but couldn't put two and two together until we heard the sound later on the computer program. They freeze with their head straight up to blend in with the grass because of the stripes on their necks. They think if they stay still enough you can't see them. Wow!

What another awesome day!!

Friday, April 4, 2003

Cray Cray Scrub Jay

Spring has sprung! There is so much bird activity outside, it's crazy. The Scrub Jay is taking the food I put out and hiding it in the yard. He puts the bread in the grass and the corn in the flower bed dirt.

The hummingbirds have all come back, though it's hard to identify them. I saw an American Goldfinch on the hummingbird feeder this morning. Later, he was with all the House Finches at the seed feeders. He's a very pretty bright yellow and I hope to see more of him.