Sunday, November 30, 2014

Almost December

Official Winter is just three weeks away, we may be 2 days away from our first good rain of the winter season in Southern California - let's hope the forecasts are correct!

This time of year it's all about the hummers, the orioles are long gone of course. The winter population is about 1/3 of the summer crowd, a bit easier on my wallet ;-)

Most commonly seen now are the Anna's hummers, then a few Allen's and Blackchinned. Today, I am only sure of seeing Anna's, some of the males head and neck (gorget) feathers are quite showy - though today's overcast weather is not very conducive to showing off!

A couple of Anna's males

Lookouts! One male and three females perched over the feeders as if to keep an eye out for danger.

 One male coming in to join three already feeding
 The gorget on this guy is quite dark from this angle - like black velvet!
 Here's one putting on a rainbow effect!

We still have a couple of scrub jays making regular visits, seems like he is looking for something.
Oh yes, a peanut!!

We get a pretty good breakfast crowd of doves, mostly mourning doves with a couple of much smaller common ground doves for good measure. And plenty of lesser finches still giving the finch sock a workout. Mr Sharpie, the sharp shinned hawk is also coming around occasionally - what can you do?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Visitors are Gone

The summer seemed to zoom by  -  as a recap -

There were lots of orioles this summer with several apparent families of fledglings.

Lots of hummers, though the number of migrating visitors seemed down this year. I suspect the very dry weather shifted the routes home to places with more flowering 'fuel' stops. The occasional spotted towhee was the only 'new' bird this year.

This fall saw the return of Sharpie, the Sharp shinned hawk, to the backyard with fair regularity - much to the dismay of most of the regular birds.

Honey bees were less of a problem this year, partially due to changing feeder styles in some places. 

We have a very regular pair of scrub jays that have been getting a supply of peanuts (along with pickings from the dove seed). But the peanuts have caught the eyes of some of the local crows. We are trying to adjust the peanut time for when the crows are not around ;-)

 Some of the non-hummer non-oriole visitors this summer/fall

One of the scrub jays

Roadrunner doing some grooming

 Spotted Towhee

 Red Shoulder Hawk, he was really talking that day!

Back to the hummers, from a week or so ago.

Female snacking
 Young male, female, adult male - all Anna's, I think
 Adult male Anna's