Lesser night-hawks are usually seen at dusk and early morning in the late spring and summer. This year I started seeing them in the morning on April 29.
OK.. one day early. In any event, this is my favorite faux holiday. A drunken revel.
The myrtle warbler and Audubon’s warbler are sub-species of the too-common yellow-rumped warbler. The myrtle warbler is the eastern variety, which we see in small number, usually in the fall and winter. The western variety is Audubon’s warbler.
On El Centro Ave. there is a fruiting mulberry tree which attracts tanagers, grosbeaks, starlings, orioles and waxwings.
This is a crappy pic of a very shy bird. I started hearing it sing, loudly, on May 1, and finally saw it on 5-4-15. Last year the same bird, I suspect, showed up in mid-May and sang seemingly non-stop, until July 2. This morning I heard the bird calling rather than singing. I soon spotted him with what appears to be a female summer tanager.
The evening grosbeak has become erratic, disappearing for several days and then showing up at my birdbath for a couple of days. This morning I found her in the mulberry tree. This bird may spend the summer here. The male has not been seen in about a month. He may still be around. I dunno.
Today, I found 5 of the 6 “possible” hummers for San Diego. Besides the birds pictured, all males, I had Rufous hummers and lots of Anna’s. The only one that I missed was the Allen’s. The tiny Calliope is the least common.
Musicologists might recognize this as the tool used to tune the orchestra for an obscure work by composer Charles Ives, The Cat’s Meow. A trombonist friend, who has perfect pitch, told me that she’d rather be deaf than listen to most of Ive’s works.
Orioles, and other common spring migrants have recently picked up the pace. Today I had 13 orioles in my yard at the same time. Perhaps 20 birds total of the three local species, Hooded, Scott’s and Bullocks. The Bullock’s, seen in the center is an adult male. The hooded on the right is a first-summer male, and the Scott’s is a first-summer male or adult female.
Lawrences Goldfinches, after being scarce last year, are much more numerous this season. This may be due to the patches of their favorite food, common fiddleneck. The abandoned next-door house’s yard includes a large patch. I’ve been collecting the dry ripe seeds from the stalks.
First of season Cassin’s Vireo showed up at the swamp this morning. It was busy dining on bugs. The bird’s back was a nice green-yellow. March 23 is a bit early for migrating Cassin’s Vireos.
Another first of season bird also showed at the same spot, a crisp male Townsend’s warbler, a common spring migrant. Also, an early bird, these birds usually filter through in mid-april.
The wintering pair of Evening Grosbeaks that showed up on February 16 continue. In December 2012 a female showed up and stayed all winter, being seen every day at my seed feeder until early April.
Orioles, Hooded and Bullock’s, have been freeloading off of my jelly feeders. I’ve had as many as 9 in the yard at once yet the peak of their migration is still a while off.
Rather than using old- fashioned engineer’s scales to depict the size of an artifact, modern archaeologists use beer cans. But you’d expect that they drink better beer.
We’re beginning to see the early Spring migrant birds, as well as lingering Winter birds. Lawrence’s Goldfinches showed up several days ago, the same birds, I believe as the three I saw this morning.
This Hooded Oriole showed up on March 8, pretty much right on time. Last year, they arrived on February 24. This stunning male has been in my yard most of today, partaking of hummingbird nectar, orange slices, and grape jelly, as well as hunting bugs in the yard.
This pair of Evening Grosbeaks showed up a couple of weeks ago, and were last seen on February 25.
Alfredo Binda was, arguably, the greatest bicycle racer of all time. He dominated the Giro d’Italia so much that he was offered the first place money to not race. Other riders would not care to compete against him. They all used drugs.
I thought perhaps, that there might be a male Cassin’s with the two females that showed up at my feeders. This is the male that caught my eye – large bill, pink on the chest, fine streaking on the flanks. Pretty subtle differences when compared to the House Finch.
The Sibley’s Guide illustrations show a narrow white bar at the base of the bill, this bird has the band. The other similar finches, House and Purple, are shown in the illustrations without the little band. It may not mean anything.
Cassin’s Finch is a a bird usually seen in the higher mountain areas of the county, and while it is not uncommon, it can be difficult to find. I’ve seen them at the Laguna Park HQ, and along the trail from Sunrise Highway out to the Laguna Meadow. They were not on my radar for Jacumba. But here they are. Go figure. On the 20th I was birding with others, and we saw these finches which we passed off as the more common and similar Purple Finch. Nancy Chistensen posted a pic online and Terry H. suggested that it was a Cassin’s. Nancy’s bird seems to be the first Cassin’s Finch seen at Jacumba. Maybe yes, maybe no.
On Monday, 2-23-15, I was at the pond and noticed a small gull. I got some decent shots, and consulted my Sibley’s Guide. I knew that lit was not one of our very common gulls, and found that it matched Bonaparte’s. It also looks like the ultra-rare Little Gull, so I went back to the lake to see if I couldn’t get some better looks. Alas, it was gone. We often get oddball birds at the lake after a big wind. I don’t know of any records for this bird in Jacumba. The Bird Atlas shows no local records.
The pair of Evening Grosbeaks still tease any birder who trys to find them. This morning I noticed them up in one of my trees. I expected them to come down to feed, in competition with the Tricolored Blackbird mob, or go to water feature. No, they just flew off. I found them later in a tall pine near the north end of Campo Street.
Anslinger was our first drug czar, a real piece of work. He was appointed by Herbert Hoover in 1930 and fired by JFK in 1961. He was personally responsible for boatloads of problems that we are not yet over. He looks just like my grandfather Goldstone. Enjoy.
A pair of large goldfinches, Evening Grosbeaks, appeared in my yard this morning. In December 2012 I had a female which lingered until April 2013. They are highly unusual in San Diego County.
Yesterday the first of season Rufous Hummingbird showed up. Last year the bird showed up on the same date. I thought I’d been seeing a male Costa’s hummer for the last several days, and yesterday I got some pics of him, also.