Monthly Archives: December 2013

Mountain Bluebirds and Common Goldeneye 12-20-13

This morning I found a female adult Common Goldeneye at the pond.  It was very shy and flew off as I tried to get some decent photos.  This bird is mentioned in the creation tale in The Kalevala – Poems of the Kaleva District.  

Common Goldeneye - female

Common Goldeneye – female

Later I was going about my rounds and I found birds that I’ve been expecting – Mountain Bluebirds – in the disturbed agricultural fields across Old Highway 80 from the Mobile Home Park.  A loose flock of about 100 birds. These birds love crappy disturbed bare-earth type habitats.  And the spot I found them is perfect.  This is just about my favorite bird.

Mountain Bluebird - adult male

Mountain Bluebird – adult male

Mountian Bluebird

Mountian Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

 

 

Williamson’s Sapsucker 12-17-13

Williamson's Sapsucker - female

Williamson’s Sapsucker – female

Williamson's Sapsucker - female

Williamson’s Sapsucker – female

Birding has bit a bit slow in Jacumba recently.  But today things perked up a bit.  First- I found a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the area just north of the east part of town.  This is the first gnatcatcher I’ve found in the vicinity.  I expected that gnatcatchers would be easy to find around Jacumba, but they are either rare or have just avoided me. The spot that I found the bird was not perfect – lots of discarded furniture and junk littering the disturbed semi-desert chaparral habitat.

Later I was very surprised to find a lovely female Williamson’s Sapsucker in my yard.  It was hanging out with the Red-breasted Sapsucker that’s been visiting in the afternoons for a couple of weeks.  Williamson’s are considered very rare winter visitors in San Diego County, but they have been regular in small numbers in the area around Lake Cuyamaca for the last several winters.  This is another in a string of very good birds!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

On December 18 I found a Harris’s hawk just west of town perched on a utility pole.  This is the first I’ve found since October 25.  The same day I found a golden eagle soaring above Boulevard and a Merlin hunting over the ag fields east of town.

 

 

Cold December

Zombies invade Jacumba

Zombies invade Jacumba

Zombies in Jacumba? Sometimes its hard to tell- but probably not.  Perhaps some day, if we’re lucky.  Would this be an improvement?  I don’t know.

The pond AKA "Lake Jacumba" mostly frozen over 12-10-13

The pond AKA “Lake Jacumba” mostly frozen over 12-10-13

Cold! Yes.  23F on December 10, 2013.  The lake was mostly frozen over.

 

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

A family of red-shouldered hawks has occupied the area around the swamp and lake for some time now.  These attractive small raptors are a common woodland species seen often in  parks and neighborhoods.  This bird is an adult.

Gray-headed Junco

Gray-headed Junco

Tricolored Blackbird

Tricolored Blackbird

Tricolored Blackbirds and Red-shouldered Blackbirds and riffraff

Tricolored Blackbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds and the riffraff

These guys disappeared in August just after the last of their chicks had learned to feed themselves.  They started to trickle back into town in mid October. Since the beginning of December I’ve been seeing about eight tricolored blackbirds at my feeders along with red-winged, cowbirds, and occassional Brewer’s blackbirds.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted sapsuckers can usually be seen in the area around the old bathhouse.  Their close relative, the red-naped sapsucker can often be found in the trees just north of town west of Campo Street’s extension.