Whoa whoa wait a minute, don't quit reading yet. I KNOW you don't care about my yard siskins but hang on a second. Last week they were eating so much I was planning to pull my feeders till they left, but then Monday morning I realized I was feeding more than siskins...
Who done it?
My local Merlin! I missed the Merlin flying in but I got to see it on the ground here and then tear off with a siskin in its talons. Chris saw the whole show and managed a few cell phone shots like the one above.
Conclusion: It is worth feeding the siskins after all.
Anyway. Wednesday morning I decided to walk to Broughton Beach in hopes of picking up some motorless birds for the year. There's a lot of good potential for semi-rarities this time of year on the river: little loons, odd cormorants, scoters, grebes, etc. And I saw none of them!
Dunlin is a nice bird for Broughton Beach, but one I had managed to see in the spring already.
Mew Gulls are back, making Texans jealous.
The Horned Lark flock is going strong and on this visit I noticed one with leg bands for the first time this year. This is not that bird:
While trying to creep closer to the larks without flushing them to get a photo of the banded bird I heard something behind me on the river. I turned around and boom! Tundra Swans!
Tundra Swans are not rare birds but they are far more likely on the west side, or even Smith & Bybee Lakes. A new Broughton Beach bird for me! And a motorless life bird! And motorless year bird
On the walk home pipits were posing on the rocks along the bike path.
At some point I realized that the Western Meadowlarks I had seen earlier were also motorless year birds (
Back on the home front I have become a crazy hummingbird lady. I even put up a second feeder to try to reduce fighting. One day I had three on a feeder at once, a new record, with two more nearby. I find this delightful.
Ok, I will shut up about yard birds now. But oh wait, I have a yard mammal to share...
On Halloween morning I let the dogs outside and when they did not return I went to investigate. Jake was sniffing and jumping back from this possum which I thought was dead till I noticed it was breathing. Brought the dogs inside and an hour later when I checked it was gone. I had no idea just how well they played dead!
That's all I got. Good times!