Sunday, February 15, 2009

Junco feeding at thistle seed feeder

Yesterday I was able to get a better shot of the Dark-eyed Junco that has learned to eat Niger Thistle seed from the feeder (7 feet above ground level) where for years I have seen only Goldfinches, Siskins, and an occasional House Finch feeding. He looks so "out of place" there, and I haven't yet been able to determine if there is more than one Junco doing this, or if it's just this one individual that has learned to do it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Backyard bird encounters


Red-breasted Nuthatch

Purple Finch female

Spotted Towhee

Yesterday I drove many miles searching for "special" birds, but aside from the Pygmy-Owl I didn't find any that I could not have found closer to home. Today I decided to try to create some "close encounters" right in my own yard, and my effort was richly rewarded. A half hour of watching from a semi-hidden place in the shrubbery produced some very satisfying closeup views, complete with a background soundtrack.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pygmy-Owl on Marys Peak

I discovered that the foggy/cloudy conditions in the valley today extended upwards only about 2,500 feet. Above that level (where I was, on Mary's Peak in Benton County) you could see the ocean to the west and the Cascade peaks to the east. But the beautiful weather did not produce many birds up there. Chestnut-backed Chickadees got agitated when I started imitating the call of a Pygmy-Owl, and then the "real deal" showed up, too. There were also Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Hairy Woodpecker, but otherwise it was very quiet.