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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Baby birds already

I feel like this spring migration will be a "once in a lifetime" for me... having plenty of water when all around me doesn't, so I want to savor it all I can. That means spending very little time in town for the next 4 to 5 weeks.

When I first got to the oasis shortly after daylight this morning I accidentally flushed four ducks from the big tank as I got out of my vehicle, immediately followed by the loud whistle of a Peregrine swooping past me. The two Blue-winged Teal dropped back into the water, and the other two larger ducks headed north with the Peregrine in hot pursuit. I don't think he caught them as far as I could tell. I suspect his advantage had already been lost. The teal refused to flush for hours after that.

I was surprised to see 3 nestling House Finches ready to fledge in the carport.

Those dead mulberry tree twigs are not only popular with female Lucifer Hummingbirds for nesting material (see April 13 post), but this Bell's Vireo loves them too.

The only warblers I've seen so far are [Audubon's] Yellow-rumped* and Wilson's. That will soon change. I usually don't get a large variety of warbler species until the acacia bloom. So it'll be a couple more weeks. 

Meanwhile, this Wilson's Warbler is enjoying mesquite blooms.

A lone meadowlark showed up today. I think it's an Eastern Meadowlark, maybe Lillian's subspecies, but not positive.

Almost forgot, the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak is still camped out in the mulberry tree. Talk about a gross beak!

UPDATE: The Yellow-rumped Warbler has later been identified as a hybrid between Myrtle and Audubon's. Here's it at another angle.

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