I got a tour of the red “Chinese Castle” today. Easily the most iconic building in Jacumba, it sits perched up on a rock pile just south of town. Its undergoing a process of rehabilitation, which wil probalby take several years. The living room has an almost-level boulder for a floor. An indoor pool needs a lot of work, but will be nice when its completed.
View of Jacumba from the castle.
The outdoor pool and “bobcat manor.”
Perched on Boulders
I’ve seen yellow-headed blackbirds numerous times including two previous sightings in Jacumba. But this is the first time that one has stopped by for a visit. Yellow-headed blackbirds are related to Meadowlarks and are in the same group of birds as orioles, the Icterids. There are records of this bird breeding in Jacumba in the 1960s and 1970s. These birds are often seen with large mixed flocks of blackbirds, especially at dairies, stables and feeding lots.
Below, the yellow-headed is feeding with tricolored blackbirds and a house finch.
Yellow-headed Blackbird and Tricolored Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Tricolored Blackbirds and Brown-headed Cowbirds
And a pair of adult male Bullock’s uneasily share the feeder.
Two Bullock’s Orioles
This morning my neighborhood was swamped with hungry western tanagers. They seemed to like the dessicated berries from last fall’s crop of pyracantha. One male discovered the jelly feeder and allowed a close approach while he gorged. Many black-headed grosbeaks in my yard – mostly females. Three adult male Bullock’s orioles at the same time. Several male hooded and a few females of both species. One yellow warbler, a dull warbling vireo and a shy female blue grosbeak, a Swainson’s thrush and a getting-late white-crowned sparrow. The tricolored blackbirds were either roosting in the trees or scrounging for seed on the ground with the house sparrows, black-headed grosbeaks, brown-headed cowbirds, house finches and Brewer’s blackbirds.
At the lake there was a very bright warbling vireo along with the tricolored blackbirds, Pacific loon, Virginia rail, a pair of killdeer and the usual characters.
The spa is nearly ready to open. I was given a tour of the place and I was impressed by the overall finishing and detail. The southwest style, especially the dining patio, is very inviting. Nice bar which will be popular if only because its the only watering hole in town!! Its supposed to open May 8. We’ll see.
Warbling Vireo 5-7-13
Western Tanager 5-7-13
Western Tanager at the jelly feeder
Western Tanager female 5-7-13
Swainson’s Thrush 5-7-13
Yellow warbler 5-7-13