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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thrush pile

I was gone the last 3 days (dentist, etc), so had my sister put out the grapes early every morning and report back to me. I couldn't understand why, when I had been present, he was eating as many as 15 grapes a day, yet during my absence he only ate half that amount. When I arrived I noticed the trees were getting really threadbare of leaves. So maybe it was getting harder to hide from the mockingbird?? I didn't think it would be good to relocate the grape feeder near a brush pile where visitors couldn't get good views of the thrush, so I built a temporary (??) thrush pile nearer the feeder.

It so happened I had come down from Alpine with my pickup loaded with freshly shredded mulch so I dumped some atop the new thrush pile. My thought was to provide a patch of cover between the dense thicket and the grapes. (Grapes are center right on above photo.)

Shortly thereafter my sister called about something and just happened to mention how she loved my pet owls that were hanging out all day every day above the grape feeder. She just assumed I knew all about them. Unfortunately, I never got a glimpse of any owls. And the thrush seems to be feeding back to normal now and ignoring the thrush pile, but, oh well, it's there. Gotta pamper him and all.

As for the owls, my sister is not a birder. From her description Kelly Bryan thinks they were Long-eared Owls. That would have been a new yard bird for me, but I don't feel comfortable counting it. One of these days I'll see some myself at the oasis.

The Eared Grebe is not here either. It probably left on its own and not in the clutches of an owl.

I'm always amazed how well creatures are camouflaged by nature. Here is the  Varied Thrush foraging in mulch, if you can spot him in the center of the photo.

And here is a Common Buckeye butterfly, also well hidden.

Red Admiral butterflies were everywhere, even on the grapes and hummingbird feeders.

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