I haven’t gotten out much these past few weeks. All I’ve been doing is work, work, work….booorrriiinnngggg!!! But that’s the price you pay sometimes to be self employed.
So I’ve had to satisfy myself with short outings in my yard and in the neighborhoods around me. Poor Scarlett has been missing our long hikes. These short walks just aren’t keeping her satisfied. It’s tough burning off the energy of a not quite 1.5 year old german shepherd. But thankfully she’s a sweet dog and makes the most of her time out.
The sunflowers are in full bloom now. And I’ve noticed a lot of birds love them. Most especially the Lesser Goldfinches. They actually wait to breed until later in the summer so they can feed their young on the sunflower seeds. I let several sunflowers germinate from the cast off seed from the feeders. It’s fun to watch several of these tiny yellow birds feeding on the seed pods. I’ve noticed they eat the leaves as well.
Many other birds have been enjoying the sunflowers around my home. I even noticed a hummingbird feeding at one.
There is a meadow near my house that has a lot of wildflowers and sunflowers blooming right now. One morning I drove over and parked my car so I could use it as a blind. I was thrilled to see warblers working their way among the wildflowers. Warblers are the most difficult bird for me to see and photograph. Here’s an example of why…
I did manage to get a couple decent photos of the warblers about that morning.
One morning I noticed a young Black-Headed Grosbeak stuck in my garden. We were overrun with grass in the garden last summer. So this year we covered the entire area with black plastic to kill all the seeds. This young Grosbeak was trying to fly out of the fenced area but just hadn’t mastered the skill of flying yet. I was afraid it would get too much exposure to hot sun on black plastic, so I caught it and put it in a nearby oak tree. He seemed much happier. Soon after I released him he started calling for his parents.
A couple weeks later I saw the same bird. I have noticed over the years that when I catch a young bird and release it, they have a lot less fear of me. This guy was like that. He lets me get real close now. I had rescued a baby American Robin one summer and it followed me around the yard for weeks.
I have a flock of Bushtits that live around my home. They have built their nest in our yard for several summers now. I’ve never been able to find the active nest, but one year I saw an old nest. They love the bark butter I put on my tree.
A few other visitors to the feeders at my house.
A little further afield from home there are some open meadows that attract a different variety of birds than I get at home.
One day I had to go to the office in Cedar Crest – just a few miles from home. I had my camera with me (surprised?). It was a very cool morning after a rainy night. The birds were very active. Most weren’t very cooperative for photos. But I did get a good shot of a Blue Grosbeak. And I saw a very puffy hummingbird!
In late June I wrote about a Cooper’s Hawk nesting in my yard. I had taken some photos in Late July of the baby hawk. But I had misplaced the photos. I was very upset with myself thinking I had accidentally deleted them. But happily I found those photos this morning! Though a little late, I thought you might enjoy seeing pics of this hawk. It had left the nest but was hanging out in the trees nearby. Not long after taking these photos, it was flying much better and was more difficult to see for photos. But I did hear it call for its parent most every evening for several weeks.
While I’m writing this Scarlett has her head on my lap, looking at me with those big brown eyes, willing me to take her out for a walk. So I guess that’s what I will do!