Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rachelle's Big Year

I was so inspired by reading about Noah Strycker's big year that I decided to venture out on my own next year. I won't be flying around the world and visiting dozens of countries, but that doesn't mean it will be any less "big" for me. It just means that I'll be more diligent in keeping track of what I see in 2016. Luckily, I have a pretty new journal for just that sort of thing.

(Here is the link to buy the Marjolein Bastin 2016 Planner)

We have plans to visit Klamath and Humboldt refuges again and hopefully Crater Lake. My big year will be confined to the NorCal area (and maybe into Oregon, fingers crossed), but that won't make it any less fun.


Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Bird Ornaments

Every year we add to our Christmas ornament collection and this year I have more nature-themed decorations than ever. I love seeing birds on my Christmas tree as well as in my backyard!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Trees Today, Forest Tomorrow

There's a plot of land on the side of the freeway that used to be a Christmas tree farm. Now it's completely overgrown, a mini forest right there on Interstate 5. Every time we drive by that stretch of freeway it makes me wonder what happened and why it closed down.

I never really understood the reasoning behind cutting down a perfectly good tree, propping it up in your living room, and then tossing it into the garbage a month later. Sure, they smell wonderful, but I'm content to stick with an artificial one and let trees grow in the ground where they belong.

Whatever the circumstances of that tree farm closing its doors, I'm sure it serves as a wonderful haven for birds now. And that's all that really matters.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I found these cute little bird decorations at Target and my hubby and I laughed when we saw the sales tag...

Only one week left until Christmas Eve Eve!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rainy Day Discovery

I saw a hummingbird on the bird bath yesterday. I thought it was just some ordinary sparrow, but when I saw a flash of white on its wings, I grabbed the binoculars to get a closer look.
He sat at the edge and alternated between fluffing his wings and taking a drink of water. And all this was happening while it was raining!
He flew away and came back a minute later and then sat there for a while again. I wanted so badly to take a photo, but the rain was streaking down the window. Luckily he stuck around until my windows cleared up.
What an amazing thing to witness! I'm constantly in awe of what I see outside my window!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

More or Lesser

So, I saw a flash of yellow outside my window and when I looked out, I saw this...
A little flock of Lesser Goldfinches in my birdbath!!!

They stayed for about two seconds (just long enough for me to frantically grab my camera--why don't I keep it around my neck at all times???) and then they were gone. Poof, it was like they were never even here.
 I haven't seen them since, but boy oh boy, did I have a cool story to tell hubby!
I just hope I see them again for my Big Year next year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let it be writ down...

 I'm so excited about my new 2016 Bird Journal!



It was designed by the amazingly talented Marjolein Bastin (you can find her website here) and is absolutely beautiful. Here is the link to buy the planner on Amazon.


It's almost too pretty to write in, but next year I know I'd rather look back at sightings and descriptions than blank pages.

Sure, I could easily keep my bird discoveries on my computer, but there's something so lovely about a handwritten journal. The textured paper and smell of fresh ink makes me so happy :)


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Changin' It Up

We bought a different brand of seed this week. It has bits of corn and other goodies mixed in with the sunflower seeds. I wondered if we'd attract some different birds with it, but I'm more than happy to see our same visitors in the yard.

The doves love the corn and I had eight of them today, all doubled up in their cute little pairs.

Later, I saw two Scrub Jays--at the same time! I've only ever seen the lone jay and the pair seemed to enjoy the corn mix as well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Turf Wars

I've had a hummingbird perched on the hook above the nectar feeder all day. He keeps trying to scare all the other hummingbirds away and it's been quite entertaining to watch. He even had to defend his perch when a Goldfinch decided it looked like a good place to sit.

And now the goldfinches are trying to land on the hummingbird feeder and the hummingbirds keep chasing them away like, "You've got your own feeder, ya knuckleheads!"

Monday, December 7, 2015

Noisy Guests

Scrub Jays sure like to announce their arrival.

I'm here! I'm here! Everyone look at me!

The one who visits our yard on a regular basis always grabs a sunflower seed from the feeder, brings it down to the brick, and proceeds to crack it open with his beak. He's quite fun to watch. I want to get some video of him and his eating process, but by the time I turn on my camera, he's already moved on.

 I'll get you some day, Big Blue!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rainbow Times Two

Yesterday it rained on and off all morning. The birds love the rain. When the ground is wet and raindrops cling to the windows, that's when I see the most birds at my feeders.

At one point, the sun popped its face through the dark clouds and I thought, "There's probably a rainbow somewhere."

There was.

But I suppose there's always a rainbow somewhere. At any given moment there are probably hundreds, maybe thousands of colorful beams stretching across the sky.

Yes, that's our resident hummingbird (to the left of the decorative bird) keeping watch!

And then there was a double rainbow that lasted for over an hour.

What a beautiful day!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Spidey Senses

So, this is something new...

I caught the Goldfinches clinging to the wall today.

One tried it and then a couple of his friends came over to see what all the fuss was about...

They hung on for dear life for a few seconds and then flew over to the feeder to resume business as usual.

Again, I have to ask: WHO NEEDS TV???

Friday, December 4, 2015

Weed Eater

This sparrow (a Savannah Sparrow?) foraged around in the lawn for a little while today.

And then I watched him try to eat a dandelion. No, not the yellow flower, the thing that you used to blow into the wind when you were a kid. (I realize that wasn't the best sentence for a writer to use, but I don't know what those "things" are called!!! I bet you know what I meant though!)

Make a wish!