Click any photo to enlarge

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy homecoming

I had been gone nearly 6 days and was really eager to get back to the oasis. I didn't get much time to watch birds, though, except as I watered the trees. During my absence chairs had been blown over from a southerly direction, which is very unusual. That might account for the abundance of migrants hanging around. They probably were glad to crash here if they were struggling south against the wind. There were ducks on the biggest tank that didn't even fly when I approached, also unusual.

I finally got a photo of a Western Scrub-Jay. There's been one around off and on for several weeks, but so hard to photograph. This afternoon I was sitting motionless by the pond while a tree nearby was being watered, and it just briefly lit down by the water, then flew off when it became aware of my presence, so I only got in a couple of shots. It's such a beautiful bird.

That pesky Yellow-bellied Sapsucker finally left, but now there's a Red-naped Sapsucker filling the void. He doesn't seem as fixated on one tree though. Hopefully, he won't stay around for long. This shot was taken looking toward the sun so is badly backlit, as this sapsucker was most uncooperative.

The oasis is especially replete with sparrows. I'm usually pretty good at IDing them but there were so many of this next species, I figured they must be Vespers since I normally get a bunch of them, and only one, or at most, two, Savannahs, but I'm not certain. My instinct tells me they're Vespers, but when I study the photos I took, I get my doubts. There are sure a bunch of them, whatever they are. Tomorrow I hope to have more time to sort out the sparrows...

...and the hummingbirds. I heard several but never got a decent enough look at one to ID it, other than to know they're not archilochus (Black-chinned or Ruby-throated), based on their call note.

Oct 19th update: Kelly Bryan informed me that my flock of sparrows were indeed Savannahs. We also checked out the hummingbird situation and only saw (and banded) one Anna's.

No comments:

Post a Comment