Late Winter Birds 3-4-16

Vesper Sparrow 3-2-16

Vesper Sparrow 3-2-16

Black-throated Sparrow 3-2-16

Black-throated Sparrow 3-2-16

Sage Thrasher 3-2-16

Sage Thrasher 3-2-16

Sage Thrasher 3-2-16

Sage Thrasher 3-2-16

These birds were found in the disturbed chaparral bordering the north end of Jacumba Valley Ranch.

Hooded Oriole 3-3-16

Hooded Oriole 3-3-16

This is one of a pair of adult males that arrived last week. They appear at my feeders several times a day.  I suspect that they are scouting territories to defend once the mademoiselles arrive.

Hooded Oriole 3-4-16

Hooded Oriole 3-4-16

Scott's Oriole 3-4-16

Scott’s Oriole 3-4-16

Ruddy Duck (f) 3-4-16

Ruddy Duck (f) 3-4-16

ciano x4

Another Lark Bunting 2-24-16

Lark Bunting photographed 2-24-16

Lark Bunting photographed 2-24-16

Lark Bunting Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17-16

Lark Bunting Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17-16

Detail showing differences between the two buntings

Detail showing differences between the two buntings

 

Here are pics of the two lark buntings, the first from 2-17-16 and the second from 2-24-16.  In addition to the differences shown above, the great coverts, above the white patch on the wing, are different.  The second bird was found about a mile, as the bunting flies, from the first.  It was associating with vesper sparrows.

Lark Bunting 2-28-16

Lark Bunting 2-28-16

Vesper Sparrow 2-28-16

Vesper Sparrow 2-28-16

Belted Kingfisher 2-28-16

Belted Kingfisher 2-28-16

Belted Kingfisher 2-28-16

Belted Kingfisher 2-28-16

Rover ca 1960

Rover ~ 1956

I don’t think that this Rover will do much more roving.  These were nice cars, underpowered, but appointed with lots of wood and leather.  By the mid-sixties, Rover used the Buick 215 cid  aluminum V8.

Hudson Let Liner detail

Hudson Jet Liner detail

Hudson Jet Liner

Hudson Jet Liner

Hudsons were nice cars in the thirties.  By the early 1950s Hudson was in serious decline.  The cheap and tacky “Jet” and “Jet Liner” were attempts to revive their sagging fortunes.  They eventually evolved into Rambler/AMC and their cars devolved into the absurd “Pacer” and ghastly “Gremlin” models.  The Jeep line escaped the death of AMC and is now owned by Italians. A step up.

 

Lark Bunting 2-19-16

Lark Bunting transitioning from basic to alternative plumes

Lark Bunting transitioning from basic to breeding plumes

I came across this fine specimen in the chaparral along the northeast corner of town, near the railroad tracks in Jacumba Valley Ranch. It flew off east into the weedy fields after I’d gotten a coupe of almost OK ID shots.  I found it again it down the road a few moments later and it was patient with my photographic efforts.

The timing for this bird appears perfect, but in Winter they are usually seen on the coastal slopes only.  An exception was the bird seen in the winter of 2008  at Milk Ranch Road near Cuyamaca Reservoir.  I remember marching through 6″ of snow and not finding the bird.

Lark Bunting 2-19-16 Jacumba Valley Ranch

Lark Bunting 2-19-16 Jacumba Valley Ranch

Lark Bunting Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17016

Lark Bunting  Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17-2016

Lark Bunting Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17016

Lark Bunting  Jacumba Valley Ranch 2-17-2016

The FOS Hooded Oriole that appeared on 2-17-16 was a one-stop wonder.

 

Hooded Oriole – very early arrival 2-17-16

Hooded Oriole 2-17-16

Hooded Oriole 2-17-16

According to Phil Unitt’s San Diego County Bird Atlas (2004), Hooded Orioles begin to appear in early March.  The earliest recorded date is February 26.  In 2014 my date for this bird was February 24.

Turkey Vulture 2-14-16

Turkey Vulture 2-14-16

Merlin 2-14-16

Merlin 2-14-16

Rufous Hummer - another early bird - 2-1-16

Rufous Hummer – another early bird – 2-1-16

Red-Shouldered hawk at the swamp 2-3-16

Red-Shouldered hawk at the swamp 2-3-16

 Mummified house cat from ancient Egypt. Well behaved. Does not yowl of crap in the garden or chase birds.

Mummified house cat from ancient Egypt. Well behaved. Does not yowl, crap in the garden, throw up, or chase birds.

Costa’s Hummingbird 1-27-16

First of Season Costa's Hummer 1-27-16

First of Season Costa’s Hummer 1-27-16

This first of season adult male Costa’s Hummingbird, Calypte costae , showed up this afternoon.  I’ve not had a Costa’s since last November 17.  Last year the first of season appeared on 1-22.

I’ve also been seeing up to 20 Anna’s hummingbirds, Calypte anna, in the evenings sharing, peacefully, my two feeders.  Some of these usually aggressive birds calmly share one feeder port, taking turns.

Scott's Oriole 1-25-16

Scott’s Oriole 1-25-16

I recently purchased a quantity of meal worms.  I’ve used these in the past to coax recalcitrant warblers out in the open to be photographed – this works great for Oven Birds – and I was not surprised that this adult male Scott’s Oriole, Icterus parisorum,  gobbles them up like candy.  He’ll stop by and eat 5 or 6 quickly and then fly off with another.  And then in about half an hour he returns and repeats, sometimes having grape jelly for dessert.

Bullock's Oriole, male

Bullock’s Oriole, male

This Bullock’s Oriole, Icterus bullock, showed up several weeks ago and I see him every three of four days.  This morning he was in a feeding flock with two bright Scott’s orioles.

 

Flicker fight 1-26-16

Flicker Fight 1-26-16

Flicker Fight 1-26-15

Flicker Fight 1-26-16

Flicker Fight 1-26-15

Flicker Fight 1-26-16

Flicker Fight 1-26-15

Flicker Fight 1-26-16

Flicker Fight 1-26-15

Flicker Fight 1-26-16

I found these two Northern Flickers, Colaptes auratus,  duking it out at the community park.

 

KNOW YOUR ENEMY!

Public Enemy Number 1 - Muffin

Public Enemy Number 1 – Muffin

Public Enemy Number 2- Lizzy Borden

Public Enemy Number 2 – Lucrezia

Public Enemy Number 3-Snowball

Public Enemy Number 3 – Snowball

the end

the end

 

Yuma AZ 1-6-16 Streak-backed Oriole

Streak-backed Oriole 12-6-15 Yuma

Streak-backed Oriole 1-6-16 Yuma

This, Dear Friends, is a bird that I’ve been waiting for ever since the first time I opened a birder’s guide.  I saw Mark Stratton’s post with photos recently, and could not resist the chance to see this spectacular icterid when Roger Uzun offered a day trip to Yuma and beyond.  The weather report indicated that it would be clear and relatively warm (65F) in Yuma.  We found the bird with the help of a traveling birder, Chris(?) from Montana.  It posed nicely in almost exactly the advertised spot.

Also seen were a couple of Gila woodpeckers and several Inca doves.

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 12-6-15

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 1-6-16

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 12-6-15

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 1-6-16

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 12-6-15

Streak-backed Oriole Yuma 1-6-16

Gila Woodpecker Yuma 12-6-15

Gila Woodpecker Yuma 1-6-16

Gila Woodpecker Yuma 12-6-15

Gila Woodpecker Yuma 12-6-15

Giant Toad 12-30-15

This giant toad and psychedelic toad stool appeared in my yard yesterday (12-29-15).  I think its an arroyo toad.  The eyes light up.  We’ll see how long it takes before it gets vandalized.

The Giant Toad of Rancho Malario

The Giant Toad of Rancho Malario

Scott's Oriole 12-30-15

Scott’s Oriole 12-30-15.

There are three male Scotties in town.  They often forage together in the pines near the RR station.

Red-Breasted Sapsucker 12-30-15

Red-Breasted Sapsucker 12-30-15

American Robin 12-29-15

American Robin 12-29-15

The robins and cedar waxwings have entirely cleaned out the pyracantha pomes.  Also visiting the pyracantha hedge have been a sage thrasher and Townsend’s solitaire.

Sage Thrasher 12-29-15

Sage Thrasher 12-29-15 – a yard bird!

Loggerhead Shrike 12-28-15

Loggerhead Shrike 12-28-15

Black-throated Sparrow 12-28-15

Black-throated Sparrow 12-28-15

Black-throated Sparrow 12-30-15

Black-throated Sparrow 12-30-15

American Kestrel 12-28-15

American Kestrel 12-28-15

 

 

 

Recent Birds to 12-21-15

Sage Thrasher v Pyracantha Pomes 12-19-15

Sage Thrasher  & Pyracantha Pomes 12-19-15

Sage Thrasher 12-19-15

Sage Thrasher 12-19-15

Scott's Oriole 12-21-15

Scott’s Oriole 12-21-15

Scott's Oriole 12-21-15

Scott’s Oriole 12-21-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Prairie Falcon 12-16-15

Rock Wren 12-16-15

Rock Wren 12-16-15

Red Crossbill 12-1-15

Red Crossbill 12-1-15

Purple Finch 11-29-15

Purple Finch 11-29-15

Townsend's Solitaire 12-18-15

Townsend’s Solitaire 12-18-15

Townsend's Solitaire 12-18-15

Townsend’s Solitaire 12-18-15

Late November 2015

Bobcat 11-26-15

Bobcat 11-26-15

I found this adult bobcat and one half-grown cat long the railroad tracks east of town this morning, 11-26-15.  This is the first bobcat that’s posed for me since 2012.  Nice cat, to the extent that they can be nice.

Kite

Kite 11-26-15

Brewer's Sparrow 11-26-15

Brewer’s Sparrow 11-26-15

This year I’ve noticed an invasion of Brewer’s sparrows.  The last several years there have been very few, if any of these guys.  Also, more than the usual numbers of vesper and chipping sparrows. While at the same time, Savannah sparrow numbers are way low.

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

I started seeing red crossbills last week.  Mainly in my yard and a few at the railroad station.  This morning early I spotted  a flock of 5 female-types flying overhead, seemingly hawking for bugs and making an odd flight call.  Later about 8 males showed up at my water features and in the junipers and pines near my yard.  They’ve been at my water off and on all morning.

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

Red Crossbill 11-26-15

Red-crossbill, female

Red-crossbill, female

Mt. Bluebird 11-28-15

Mountain Bluebird 11-28-15

Mt. Bluebird 11-28-15

Mountain  Bluebird 11-28-15

Mt. Bluebird 11-28-15

Mountain Bluebird 11-28-15