Friday, February 19, 2010

Townsend's warbler ~ 02/19/10 ~ at home

Townsend's warbler on coast Douglas fir
Dendroica townsendi on Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii

Yeah!!! I've been wanting to capture "my yellow-headed Zorro" on camera for a couple months, but he flits so quickly between the pine tree branches that I've had no luck until now. Considering I was up in WA for most of November and into half of December, I'm guessing I've seen him here since at least the last part of October 2009. He usually shows up every morning in the pine tree right by our balcony, but in the past two weeks I hadn't seen him at all and was starting to get disappointed that I may have missed my chance to document him.

I'm not much of a bird person and have found it extremely challenging to search online for bird IDs when I can't even name the general type of bird. In the process of my search, I found this incredible bird ID site and this Monterey County natural history site. Initially, I thought my fellow was a blackburnian warbler, but after considering its range map, I continued searching, even though this 2002 bird highlights claims blackburnians are sometimes found here - although, IMHO, I think the highlight ID was a mistake... what do you think?

Now, if only I can capture the dark-eyed junco that also regularly visits and tosses soil everywhere from my balcony planters.

ps 10/17/10 - I saw my first Townsend's this morning in many months. It must be that time of year (mid to late October). I like being able to track last year's observations. Plus, I still think the blackburnian 2002 bird highlight I mentioned earlier was a mistake. Look at the double row of shoulder stripes - it's got to be a Townsend's warbler.

pss 10/27/10 - I first thought my fella found himself a mate. It was cute. He was chasing another small bird with a pale yellow breast and light-colored wing stripes, but no dark cheek patch, through the trees. Once I looked it up, it must have been a goldfinch of some sort.

pss 10/04/14 - Spotted the first Townsend's of the season this morning. Last year I saw them as early as 09/15/13.

pss 10/07/16 - For the record, spotted my first Townsend's for the season.
black-tailed deer
Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

It's always surprising when I go downstairs to take out the trash and find these large deer foraging so close to the bins. I think I surprised them, too!

pride of Madeira ~ 02/19/10 ~ at home

pride of Madeira
Echium candicans


This bold purple flower is starting to bloom all around town right now; and yet, in the park below our balcony, this is all we have - a bit of green and dried-up stems from last year.