The Yard.

Today I kind of wanted to go out on an adventure to somewhere new, but I just could not muster the energy.  I knew the dogs would be miserable once the temperature rose so I decided to stay home, take care of some crap I had been ignoring, and fill up the kiddie pool.  So yeah, this is a yard bird post.

After a bunch of yard work I sat down on the deck with some water and my camera.  A couple of Anna's Hummingbirds provided the initial entertainment.

No eyes!


Blue-eyed Darner? 

My twinberry is super popular, in case you hadn't noticed.  At the coast I have seen waxwings enjoying the berries, but my waxwings rarely leave the ash tree canopy.  The apple tree in my neighbor's yard attracts a lot of birds.  Today it was crows.  Their apple-eating skills are awkward, but overall efficient. 

Jake was looking hot so I decided to fill up the kiddie pool for him.  I sat down in a chair next to it, plopped my feet in, and opened a raspberry sorbet pop thing.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see a bird on the ash tree, not very high up.  A White-breasted Nuthatch!

I cannot explain how happy this made me, but I will try to anyway.  This is a bird I have trouble finding near my house, a bird that has been a motorless nemesis this year.  A bird never before seen in my yard.  And this dude (dudette?) was just hanging out like he had been hanging out here for years.

After awhile of pecking around the tree, the nuthatch started visiting my feeder and engaging in a typical nuthatch behavior I had not been privy to previously:  seed storage.

Step 1: acquire seed

 Step 2: stuff seed under moss

 Step 3: grab more moss

 Step 4: pack that moss on top of the seed to keep those pesky chickadees from finding it

Step 5: repeat

Now, this is a behavior that would indicate the nuthatch is storing seeds for winter.  It's August 2nd.  Is this dude planning on sticking around?  Or is it just a natural reaction to discovering a new feeder filled with sunflower seeds?  I hope for the former. 

Other birds seen today:  Lesser Goldfinches, House Finches, House Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Turkey Vultures, crows, Song Sparrows, Barn Swallows, and a Eurasian Collared-Dove.

In other yard news, I hand pollinated my first pumpkin!  After a couple of pumpkin failures I decided to try the old DIY method and it's been a success!  Can't wait for it to get really big, though I am afraid Michele has dropped out of our pumpkin competition. 

Motorless Year Bird #120, a growing pumpkin, and a kiddie pool!  Making the best of the worst season.  Good times!


  1. Successful handjob! Nice yard bird too.

  2. Great post. I loved the Nuthatch, I hope he/she is a regular from now on. :)

  3. Wonderful series of images. Love the hummers and the nuthatch! Great yard birds! Happy Birding!

  4. aw... I hope your parents are proud. I really like your approach to that whole life thing. SUPER cool re: white-breasted nuthatch and seed storing play-by-play is FIRST rate. I never knew they did that much less HOW. You're such a naturalist!

    And I don't know what it is, but pumpkins make me inordinately happy. My garden only has 1 real bed this year (long gopher-driven story), so no pumpkins, but I've grown rouge vif d'estampes in the past, and they are HUGE and GORgeous. Have you already mentioned what kind you're growing? NICE work helping that pumpkin make babies. I love learning & employing OLD school methods in gardening, etc. Very psyched for pumpkin photo updates! =)

    1. Aw, thanks for the nicest comment ever! Pumpkins really are the best. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, the Great Pumpkin... All winners.

  5. Good God...and I thought IUTHB couldn't get any raunchier!!

    Well, it looks like all is going amicably on the domestic front.
    You could hide an extra seed in the Nuthatch spot and then see if he flips his shit and thinks he's discovered a magical seed cache...when you're not too busy pimping out pumpkins.

    Lovely photos.

  6. I HAVEN'T DROPPED OUT! You just wait. Love the nuthatch sequence. He looks proud of his storage capabilities in the last photo. I hear wb nuthatch all the time and have neighbors with big old oaks and rarely have I seen one in my yard. This summer they have been close or in the trees but they never come to my feeder. Very annoying. I have been enjoying working on my yard list this year. This hot weather sucks, but at least you can hang out in the oasis you have created!

  7. i'm jealous of the pumpkin!! Good idea to hand pollinate!! I often get a pumpkin, then it does in the heat..cooks right on the vine. This year my garden was a great big Failure!!! except for the early stuff lettuce and spring onions...the rest got attacked by some critter nightly till it was a disaster! I do wonder about him packing in that seed? you may get a sunflower grow there. All great stuff right in your own back yard!!!

    1. that is DIES in the heat :o/

    2. Ah man, bummer on all the garden failure! I've killed a lot of things this year, but a few things are really doing well.

  8. Nuthatch is a dude, black capped as compared to more grayish, You have an eye for what to catch with a camera, great talent.


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