Sunday, January 23, 2011

In The Throws of Winter

It's the middle of January - 76 degrees outside with  light winds from the northeast and very clear blue skies. I have only seen Anna's hummers today, males and females. Even though it seems like spring (or summer), not much of the local flora is blooming. And half of what is blooming is not helpful to the hummers.

The micro flowers on the miners lettuce are not very attractive to hummers. As well the colorful but diminutive Red Maids is not a favorite.

However, the Aloe and Monkeyflower and Manzanita are blooming and the hummers do like them.

The hummer who took over the new feeder 'tree' has relinquished ownership for now and the others are taking advantage.

An 'Old Guy' (not 'the old guy) hanging out in coyote bush - and a younger male Anna's showing some color.

A view looking up at a hovering hummer.

More from the new tree.

Lots of birds over the winter - probably all are the non-migrating Anna's who make North County San Diego home. Still using about 1.5 to 2 gallons of sugar water per day.

This winter has seen a new pest at the feeders, hoards of small gnats - probably fungus gnats (Greenomyia sp.) as best as I can tell. I think maybe the excess rain during December has caused this population spurt. The hummers probably snack on them outside of the feeders, but they can spoil the feeder if too many climb inside and croak. They are about .1" (2.5mm) long.