Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Big Weekend

Last week had so much bird activity, I decided to just post the weekend pictures separate from the week-day. The rains brought all the blooms out, and the butterflies. We also had a first time treat of a young Golden-fronted Woodpecker hanging around the feeder. 
Enjoy my weekend pics.

 A couple of Inca Doves flew into the yard, and found a spot on my circle to sun their wings.

I know it sounds strange to use the phrase in Texas 'between afternoon showers', but that's exactly when it happened!

 Also between showers, two young Cardinals lined up on the branch of the Lady Banks Rose to air out their tail feathers.

 And the Swallowtail Butterfly took the opportunity to visit Jan's zinnias.

He had to try every one.

I was looking down and heard a mighty flapping of wings of all the birds in the yard. I knew that meant a limited number of things, foremost being the Red-shouldered Hawk was in the 'hood.

 I've been hearing this guy all week, but Saturday morning he did something unusual for a woodpecker. I can only credit it to the fact this is a young Golden-fronted, and must not know his woodpecker etiquette. He spent the next few days landing on the platform, grabbing some seed or nuts, and heading out to tuck it in the tree bark.

Most birds were not interested in challenging him at the feeder.

 This time the White-wings were already there, and didn't plan on leaving.

 The woodpecker slowly came up, and started making it uncomfortable for the dove.

 Go'on now! Geee-atta heah!

Git, ah sed! 
Poor peaceful dove, huh Annette?

I stole down to the pond edge hoping to spy some of the Buntings that are hanging in the tall grass down there. Here is a female Painted Bunting.

She also likes to come up to the feeder about 5' off my porch.
And will share a little time with the Titmouse.

But Daddy Bunting doesn't want to share!

 He flew to the Lady Banks Rose and was eyeing the little clay feeder that
the Cardinals favor.

He made a few attempts to intimidate this young female Cardinal, but just ended up foraging among the grass below.

 Had to i.d. this guy, the Gulf Fritillary butterfly checking out our marigolds. Never had even heard that name before.

 Here he's showing his wing underside while going after the Salvia Greggia.

 And had to try the lantana while in the neighborhood.

 And just wouldn't be right not to sample the orange daisies to boot!

We finish with a Black Swallowtail checking out Jan's zinnias. Seemed
everyone was getting in the act this weekend!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hummers, Buntings, and Beep-Beep!

We have been blessed with a lot of activity in the yard and at the office. Enjoy this week's offering of hummers, buntings and the neighborhood road runner.

Sometimes I can't help myself, I just have to flip up the flash and try to overcome the darkness. This female Painted Bunting shows up some of her color.

Back at the office deck feeder, the female paused long enough for this pose.

 A young female at the office deck water saucer.

The male Painted Buntings are continuing to show at office and off the porch.

 All these shots were caught at the office. Get back to work!

It's hard to concentrate when this guy is visiting the feeders.

 We were blessed with 4-1/4" of rain this week, a rare occasion, especially in July! This day the rain was letting up, and a couple of Yellow-crowned Night Herons were hanging close to where the new flow of run-off was coming into the pond.

Couldn't get that guy on the left to come forward, so this is as good as it gets.

 The Lesser Goldfinches continue to come around for the thistle seed.

Nice catch, even if accidental!

It can get downright crowded around here!

A little confused, but not for long!

This one posed and offered another level of detail.

Ha! She thought she heard something coming!

 We'll wrap up this week's offering with some pics of our new neighborhood attraction. We are told that there is a pair of Great Roadrunners hanging around. Here is one of them.

I've spotted this one a number of times in the morning on my way to work. This day he went high into the oak tree, and I followed to get a closer shot.

 This late afternoon after the rains, this one was feasting on the bug offering from the rain.

 I followed him across the road into a field, then realized the pair of 
cotton tails were there munching.

I expect more roadrunner adventures to come.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hawks, Hummers, and Humidity

I guess July is the month for 'H's, as we captured some rare close-ups of our Red-shouldered hawk this week. The hummers continue to provide us with a lot of activity, and the more rare humidity is insuring that we have some blossoms for their attention. Enjoy this week's offering.

The Chickadee was flitting around the water saucer at the office deck, with enough sunlight to get an action shot.

A nice soft morning on the office deck before the work day gets started, and a young Chickadee visits the water.

 And the young Titmouse as well.

The Red-winged Blackbird is a regular, but difficult to catch standing still.

 Late afternoon in the yard, the Cardinal coming to the bird bath for a drink.

Joined by a Sparrow. Do you notice the sprinkler is going?

A fuzzy shot of a Hairy Woodpecker, one rarely seen at our place.

One of my favorite colors, the periwinkle blue of the plumbago. Isn't that a back disorder?

 This Swallowtail's wings are getting a little ragged.

 These daisies surprised us by coming back from last year.

The Swallowtail was visiting every variety.

 This female was exhibiting quite a pattern in her throat feathers.

 Female Black-chinned Hummingbird.

 Not really concerned that this Zinnia is not quite ready!

A little pollen on the beak there.

Caught this shot at the office deck feeders.

The female Painted Bunting has been showing herself a lot.

Here she is by the church in my yard.

  A young one all puffed up.

At this feeder pretty much every evening before sunset.

This fellow came to see me on one of those early mornings at the office deck.

 The Painted Buntings are nesting in the tall grass by the pond, and come to the feeders in the yard. This day, he came up close to the Lady Banks Rose.

 Here he is in the Lady Banks.

And at my little cheap feeder from Tuesday Morning. Glorious!

 We'll finish off with a series of hawk shots from my Saturday encounter. Started off on the other side of the pond, high in the dead pecan tree, surrounded by his best buds, the Blue Jays.

 Then the Chickadee joined in the fun. They were waiting for him to fly so they could peck at him from above.

 He eventually flew across the pond, landing in a tree to the right of my porch, and offered up some pretty good views. Thought I was done.

 Then he surprised me by flying up to the live oak closest to my porch on the near edge of the pond.

 The shadows were moving, so I had to wait for these views. He's letting everybody know where he is right here.

 The answer is yes, I was some kind of excited.

After flying down to the water, he came back up and offered me a few views from this side. It was a good Saturday on the porch, but then, they ALL are!