Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First White Crowned Sparrow

I saw the first White Crowned Sparrow in the yard this morning. Fall has arrived!

There were still a lot of them in Alaska when we were up there. I wonder how long it would take them to fly down from there?

This picture was taken last winter at Sierra Vista here in Thousand Oaks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Big Bird Kills Famous Dancer

It was on this day in 1927 that dancer Isadora Duncan died. She went riding in a convertible on the French Riviera. She was wearing a six-foot, fringed, scarlet shawl, embroidered with Chinese asters and a great yellow bird, and the shawl got caught in one of the car's tires, and it broke her neck.

Could this be?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Alaska Birds

Grey Jays
(not my picture.... I couldn't get one of them. Boo Hoo!)

Trip to Matanuska Glacier

(* = Life bird) It is great being a beginning birder, you can get so many lifers!!!

Golden Eagles (several along the way)
Grey Jays *
I saw these in the parking lot of the rest area. I didn't bring Paul over to see them as I thought they would be there when we were done with the picnic. Of course when we went to leave there were none to been seen!! Luckily we saw more the next day!
Bald Eagles (several flying together)
Common Loon
Juncos (many)
Yellow Warbler
Common Raven ( there are loads of these very large birds everywhere we went)

Wasilla Lake and Lake Lucille:

Boreal Chickadee *
Horned Grebe *
Rednecked Grebe *
Pacific Loon
Lots of dead salmon floating in Wasilla Lake. Don't know what that was all about!!

Eagle River Nature Center

Black-Capped Chickadees *(lots in the trees on the nature walk)
Black-Billed Magpie *(one of my favorites along with the Grey Jay)

Eagle River - pull over stop

We walked down to the river at one trailhead (don't remember the name of it) and there were a group of
Grey Jays in the trees. While we were watching a Sharp- Shinned Hawk started to harass the Jays! He kept dive bombing them and moving them from tree to tree. I don't think he was trying to catch them, just move them on.
Downy Woodpecker I would like to say it was a Hairy Woodpecker but I don't really think so.... But it might have been.... but I don't think so.....
Several Mystery Hawks flying. Who knows, I don't! One did look like a Red Tail Hawk so will count that one too.

Road into Denali National Park & at the Lodge

Magpies *
Northern Harrier ( saw several of these hunting on our way out of the park)
Orange Crowned Warbler *
White Crowned Sparrows

Rock Ptarmigen * see pictures ---------------->

That was about all we saw while we were up there. Next time we go up I think we will try and get up there a few weeks earlier as a lot of the birds had already started their flights south. Also I think we will get a birding guide for at least one day. That really would add to the list!

I almost forgot, when we were landing in L.A. there was a Kestral flying next to the runway. I know it really wasn't in Alaska but I thought I would add it as it was so weird to see it so close to where we were landing. I think it was looking for the mice or ground squirrels that would be in the dirt area.

8 Life birds.

Thoughts on Returning Home

I will do a post on the Alaska birds but first I thought I would put down some thoughts on our yard and all the birds there.

We got home Saturday evening after dark so it wasn't until morning that I could see how the yard made out.

Sunday morning when I woke up I could hear bunches of Goldfinches at the sock feeder by the bedroom door. I looked out and the sock was completely full of them. There were the "houses" pecking around on the ground and a Titmouse making lots of noise in the tree tobacco. I then got up and started the coffee and then walked out back while waiting for it to brew.

First thing I saw was all the empty feeders that I needed to fill! Then I heard a bunch of noise and looked up at the oriole feeder in the back corner of the yard and there were three young orioles fighting over the feeder. That one still had nectar in it. The ash trees on the side of the yard were filled with the normal birds, house sparrows and house finches. Then I looked up at the maple tree and there was a Wilson's Warbler hopping around eating ants. Next I could hear hummingbirds and looked up and there were two fighting over the one hummingbird feeder that still had food in it. I had been standing there under 5 minutes not making any noise, just looking at everything when JayJay came swooping in for peanuts! I got a peanut out of the can that I have on the back porch and he jumped up on my hand took the peanut and then stayed there for a minute "talking" to me! Guess he was either welcoming me back or most likely scolding me for leaving in the first place! He took off and Mrs came down next. I fed them peanuts for awhile and then went back in the house with a big smile on my face and got my coffee.

I love to travel and see new things but when we have a yard like this it is really nice to get back to see all our "old friends"!