For the past few weeks I have been noticing new birds in my yard but I haven’t had time to really assess the situation. This holiday weekend, with fall migration underway, I was able to relax around the house and catch up with what is going on in the real world. The world of birds that is!
I hung out at home all weekend, working in the garden and relaxing on the porch overlooking the water feature we built several years ago (see photo above and click on any photo to see full sized image).
You will notice in the photo above that there is a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree which overhangs the pond. This seems to be a staging area for birds heading for the waterfall or pond to drink and/or bathe. This male Anna’s Hummingbird Calypte anna has been defending this blooming tree and the waterfall as well, trying to keep all other hummers away.
The most exciting thing for me this weekend was adding several new birds to my yard list and seeing some first of the year birds as well. A bird I have never seen in my yard before, this male Black-throated Gray Warbler Dendroica nigrescens was the first of my surprises this weekend.
Then I spotted a Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla), another new bird to my yard.
Another newbie to the yard, acting coy, showing itself briefly before ducking for cover, was the Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus). One of only three Vireo species found in Shasta County.
And the fourth new bird for my yard list (if I kept a yard list ) would be this Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis).
Also hanging out in the Eucalyptus tree was a pair of Western Tanagers (Piranga ludoviciana) that looked like they had finished molting into their definitive basic plumage (normally occurring in August) following their breeding season.
Then there was the return of the Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) which I had seen here before but not this conspicuously.
Two California Towhees (Melozone crissalis) also showed up at the pond this morning. I snapped a photo of this molting Towhee in the same Eucalyptus tree.
Needless to say, with all these new birds visiting, I didn’t get too much work done around the house but hey, what are holidays for?
I did put together a video of clips of some of these birds, as well as other local avifauna, at the waterfall and the pond from this weekend. They appear in the video in the following order: Anna’s Hummingbird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Towhee (molting), Western Scrub-Jay (juvenile), and Nashville Warbler. Turn up your speakers and enjoy!
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