Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mid-Winter Mix

We have been enjoying a high level of general bird activity, some new visitors to the pond, and the hope of some Goldfinches hanging around. Enjoy this week's offering.
The Goldfinch activity has been high, so I put out a thistle sock in addition to the tube feeder at the office. The American Goldfinches are more numerous this year, so I'm hoping that we get to see them mature into their full golden glory through the summer. Stay tuned.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler has been busy around the deck at the office. (He prefers to be referred to as the Myrtle Warbler!)

He can strike a regal pose.

I spread seed at the base of the Lady Banks Rose, and always draw a crowd of Cardinals, Sparrows, and even Spotted Towhees!

One morning the pond was full of male and female Norther Shovelers. The picture quality is poor, but at least you get some indication of the colors of the male Shoveler.

So I'm getting into my car at HEB, and there in front of me is Grackle just too close to resist the opportunity, since I happened to have the camera with me. Not my favorite, yet still an amazing creation of God.

A male House Finch at the office. They are plentiful in our yard as well.

This day I got my camo-blanket on and posed as a big bush close to the Lady Banks. The White-crowned Sparrows stage in the bush near by and come out to feed. This is a female of the species.

Male White-crowned Sparrow.

Immature male White-crowned Sparrow. (No comments allowed; I know some of you think that is a redundant name!)

The common Field Sparrow. Dan will be interested to know that the look-alike American Tree Sparrow does not come this far south.

They are really not common in our neighborhood!

The male Lesser Goldfinch, nervously checking his backside.

The female Lesser Goldfinch.

Right now I think they would fill up every feeder I can hang out.

Sloppy eater!

When the other feeders are low, all kinds of birds come to the thistle feeder.

Pretty sure that the amount of small bird activity on the office deck attracted this Red-Tailed Hawk. He circled quite a few times. I happened to be standing at the open window, and just leaned out and tried to fire off as many shots as I could.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Mix Catch-up

I'm still working on posting pix from the winter of negligence, or maybe that is just over-committed. (It's a family malady!) Enjoy my catch-up post.

The Red-winged Blackbirds have been very active at the office deck. They come in a flock and clean off the seed on the deck. When I saw the flock coming up from the park, I tried to get a shot off to capture the flashing of the red wings as they headed my way.

Dan says the females look like sparrows on steroids.

And when they are done, the American and Lesser Goldfinches come in for a snack.

When you see them close together you get the understanding of the name, as the Lesser is definitely smaller than the American Goldfinch.

American Goldfinch puttin' on his colors. Just wish he would hang around so we could see him in his full glory.

I know it's subtle, but American on the left and Lesser on the right.

'Common House Finch', or not-so-common!

Winter visitors, the American Robins enjoying the pond edge.

Very illusive, but I told you I would get my prey. The Spotted Towhee.

The Lady Banks Rose is still providing a favorite perch for the birds that come in from the brush looking for a snack.

Since we got water in the creek, Mirabelle has found a new playground.

And Sadie joins in the romp.

A rare moment of stillness.

Sadie's a happy dog, when Mirabelle isn't mothering her too much!

The Bluejays have been coming in greater numbers at the office deck. Here's one enjoying a sip.

The Scrub Jays haven't been around much lately.

Male Lesser Goldfinch.

Carolina Chickadee.

House Finch on the deck.
And now we are starting to hear the calls of returning summer regulars. The Phoebes and Bewick's Wrens are filling the morning porch with their wonderful songs. Hopefully we can capture a few more winter visitors before they head back north.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Albuquerque Christmas

We were so blessed to have some time off at Christmas to make a run to Albuquerque and visit sis-n-law Ginger, enjoy some NewMex-Mex, and do some birding. Even got in a bonus visit with cuz Waid and his new bride. And oh yeah, can't miss lunch at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe.

Ginger took us walking along the Rio Grande River in west Albuquerque. Some great birding.

Here we are at the train headed for a day trip to Santa Fe.

The train station in Santa Fe.

Ah. La Plaza restaurant in the La Fonda Hotel.

It's a special place.

Step outside and you're viewing one of the oldest Cathedrals in the U.S.

Wouldn't be the Plaza without the Indian jewelry craftsmen.

Ginger's home is on the east side of town, up against the mountains. In the evening all you have to do is step outside, look to the west, and you see all the lights of the city.

Special treat to be with my cousin Waid and his new bride Phyllis. You can check out his artwork at

Canadian Geese on the Rio Grande.

Is it an Albuquerque turkey? Yes! My best photo ever of a Great Roadrunner. It was very accommodating, even striking a few poses for me. Griffins be warned, you may see this image on a mug or two next Christmas.

I was having some fun with this guy.

Back at Ginger's porch in the morning, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known as a Myrtle Warbler. Bet Ginger didn't know she had these!

The Junco has been very illusive at our place, but obviously a regular at Ginger's feeder.

The House Finches bring some color to the mix.

We love our trips to ABQ at Christmas. Special memories.