Monday, September 13, 2004

September 13, 2004

There’s still a lot of hummingbird action, but I haven’t seen the Rufous or broadbills for many days. I think I have at least a couple of broad-tails, and Anna’s, and probably still some black-chins. The trouble is that the feeders are not as close as they were at the other house, and they are all in the shade, so it’s hard to get a good look at coloration.

Also among the missing seem to be white-wing doves. I haven’t seen one or heard one for a while. I wish I’d been paying close enough attention to determine exactly when they took off. Apparently they all do it around the same time.

I also hadn’t and haven’t seen many cardinals, but I did see a female using the feeder the other day, and briefly saw a male this morning, though not using the feeder. Pyrrhuloxias continue to visit the pond, but I don’t see them hanging out by the seed feeder. Maybe they aren’t as smart as cardinals?

Still no mockingbirds, not even a glimpse since the last one a few weeks ago.

I’ve given up and decided to make friends with the algae in the pond. Everything I have read says it is basically good for the pond. I put in a small pot of papyrus, which may help a little. The water itself is clear, it’s just that everything is covered with green muck. The birds don’t seem to mind a bit. This morning I saw around a dozen (they were moving too much to count accurately) little sparrows bathing. It’s still hot out, but the pond is cool, and they all seemed to be having a wonderful time, submerging then fluttering, submerging again, flying off to groom, then repeating the whole sequence.

Friday, September 03, 2004

September 3, 2004

Lots of hummer action. Migration is definitely happening!

Two days ago, Tuesday, I saw a new hummer, thin, very long bill, but somehow familiar. Just about the time I was identifying it as a female broadbill, a magnificent male broadbill showed up and drove her away. Hooray! I haven’t seen either of them today, but at least the broadbills know I’m here! Maybe one or more will decide to spend the winter with me!

Then, just as exciting, today I saw my first Selasphorous here! I hadn’t seen any at all at the old house for a couple of years. This guy is very aggressive (well, duh, it’s a Rufous after all), probably a young male but maybe a female. Lots of russet on its sides and lower back (and tail), a small bright-red gorget spot, and very white chest. I’m hoping there will be more—I’m pretty sure migration goes for another month or so.

It’s such a great pleasure to hear that raspy Rufous call: “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE ALL THESE FEEDERS ARE MINE, DO YOU HEAR ME, MINE!”