Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Quiet Season

I'm always amazed at how the Autumn brings on a stillness that is incredible. But even that will eventually be broken by a chirp or a call. And then it's like they all wake up and remember there is a reason to head for my feeders! Enjoy the remaining hummer, a winter regular back in the yard, and some butterflies that think it's Spring.
Oh, and I must mention that my old faithful Nikon D40X croaked last Saturday. So you are seeing the first results of my new (to me) Nikon D3100. I'm determined to learn to use this amazing tool to its potential!

 Titmouse at the office feeder.

 Female Lesser Goldfinch and a fly leaving the thistle sock.

Female Lesser Goldfinch at the office deck.

 Amazed every day that I walk out in the morning and this young male Rufous Hummingbird is still in my yard.

 Had enough sunlight, and Jan's zinnias think it's Spring.

He seems to like the zinnias and the Mexican sage, so we'll be watching as long as he'll hang around.

 And the Sulfur butterflies were active in the yard, this one on an impatien.

 They are the only ones I have seen go to the morning glories.

 Gotta go deep!

 Sulfur butterfly on a zinnia.

 This guy was not partial, wanting to try all the blooming plants.

 Did someone turn a light on in that morning glory?

 The swallowtail was checking out all the zinnias too.

First time sighting of this guy, a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly.

 Another noise that breaks the seasonal silence, wild turkeys across the pond. I'm working on getting a closer shot.

And we'll close with a returning Winter regular, the White-crowned Sparrow.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Mix

Cooler temps are setting in, and we have been blessed with much rain. The flowering plants think it's spring, and a few silly hummingbirds are still hangin' around. Enjoy this week's offering of an Autumn mix.

 The Chickadees are ever faithful at the office deck, especially arriving early for Wes's breakfast buffet.

 They rarely pause long enough to give me a look.

 And their near-cousin, the Black-crested Titmouse, Texas race (I love using that phrase) are always nearby.

 The Scrub Jays continue to visit the office deck, especially if they spy some peanuts.

 A special treat to have two Scrub Jays at once.

I knew there was something just a little different about this bird. This is a young Indigo Bunting, possibly even a male that doesn't have any of his blue on yet.

 Another rare sighting; this had to be a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, or a Hutton's Vireo, because of the configuration of the white around the eyes. I'm voting for Hutton's Vireo, because the Kinglet is so small.

 I know this sounds like a broken record, but probably my last shot of a hummingbird at the office for this season.

 A couple of female Lesser Goldfinches enjoying the water dish.

A young male House Finch, still sporting some pin-feathers.

 Saturday morning on the porch, and I'm greeted by a couple of pond birds; the Great Blue Heron was quietly watching from the water's edge, and a curious fellow, the Least Grebe, was a first time visitor who has stayed a while.

 Meanwhile, the Golden-fronted Woodpecker is dominating the platform feeder, even when confronted by this very aggressive White-wing Dove (like that Annette?)

 The Golden-fronted was all around the yard.

 The Red-winged Hawk came down to the pond's edge for a catch, and headed back up to his perch rather quickly. He has an amazing pattern in his wings.

 Give a Texas 'howdy!' to the Least Grebe. You won't i.d. him among ducks, he's more like a water fowl. He is happy to be solitary, suns with his tail to the sun, and doesn't fly when approached, but sinks under the water, sometimes with just his beak above the surface. I'm hoping he'll stay a while longer. Oh, and he's a diver, looking for fish or bugs.

 Happy little friend, the Eastern Phoebe, busy little fly-catcher.

And we'll close with one more shot of the young male Rufous hummingbird, still enjoying the Mexican Sage, and entertaining us with his glorious activity!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Still Not Done!

I know, you think I'm teasing. But these hummers are just hangin' on! We have been blessed with much rain, happy plants, and a few traveling visitors. Enjoy.

 Morning backlight at the thistle sock, the male Lesser Goldfinch.

The Northern Cardinal giving me a look at the office deck feeder.

 Our plumbago is happy, happy, happy, and so is the Sphinx moth, colloquially known as a 'hummingbird moth'.

 The giant swallow tail butterfly continues to enjoy Jan's zinnias.

 The queen butterfly at the volunteer lantana.

 Saturday morning and running the sprinkler to see what it would bring in. Sure enough, this Nashville Warbler came for bath time.

 He very cautiously checked out the water.

 But once he got in, he was ALL in!

I love the contrast between picture one and this one.

The Ruby-throated hummingbirds remain, though few in number.

 And then this guy showed up, and is still hanging around. A hatchling (first year) male Rufous hummingbird, or so i.d.'ed by my personal adviser Nathan Motz.

He chatters a lot.

 And spends a lot of time in the top of the Lady Banks, checking out the scenery.
Check out that orange bling at the throat.

 I've caught him a few times in the Mexican sage.

Pictures help convey the beauty and wonder of God's glorious creation, thus revealing His glory for our edification, and blessing!