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US birding update in the California desert


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#41 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 01:38 AM

~ @marg

 

How have I overlooked this thread?

 

There are so many terrific bird images here!

 

White-faced ibises in the desert ?!?!?!

 

I had no idea that there were any ibis species in the United States until seeing your photo, above. (I'm no birder)

 

The osprey, the terns, the baby hummingbirds, the roadrunner with a very beautiful cat.

 

I've never even heard of hooded orioles before, let alone seen them.

 

The tall yellow flower spikes they're perched on look vaguely familiar.

 

They remind me of flowers I've seen blooming in the Succulent Garden of the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi.

 

The colors in your photos are so nice. The variety of species is wonderful to see.

 

I couldn't help but think of how lovely the actual natural world is compared to the spurious “virtual world” inhabited by the minds of many in the younger generation.

 

As I haven't visited the Southern California desert for about three decades, seeing the birds in this thread was a welcome ray of sunshine.

 

Thank you so much for having posted these nice images over the years. They deserve to be enjoyed by many others.

 

Tom K.



#42 Treepol

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 04:16 AM

@marg I can't believe I missed this thread all the way from 2013. So this morning I have made up for lost time.

 

Your photos are amazing, I particularly like the shots of the Costa Hummingbird chicks, and the Road runners,


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#43 marg

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 08:54 PM

@Tom Kellie...thanks!  The yellow blossoms that the Hooded Orioles like are from aloes.  I can never get close to the birds outside, so I was sitting inside waiting for a visit.  Every day I pretend that I am on a game drive, binos and camera ready.....all in preparation of another trip to Africa!


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#44 marg

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 08:58 PM

@Treepol..another thanks!  It is really interesting to be an amateur twitcher here.



#45 marg

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 04:26 PM

another first sighting here.  I love to go after dinner in the golf cart with my camera out on the golf course.  Sometimes I just sit, listen and wait.  A week ago I was going by a lake I thought that I was back in Africa.  What was a pair of Black-winged Stilts doing here?!  I have not seen them again.  Right now it is too hot to be outside.  The forecast for today is 121.  That's hotter than Bagdad.

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#46 elefromoz

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 04:13 AM

@marg, I missed this too, appreciate it being bumped again. Why aren't you doing the "Big Year"? you have so many lovely birds in your area. Its a great way to show the rest of us whats in your patch. That Roadrunner is pretty unique, something a lot of us would like to see I imagine, and the Hummingbirds, one day Im going on a "Hummingbird holiday" as Ive not seen them so far.



#47 marg

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 09:50 PM

It's time for an update before the year ends.  We have a lake out on the golf course where I find year round residents and as well as first time visitors.  This last summer we had a return visit from a White-faced Ibis.  In the area is always a Great Blue Heron and many Killdeer.  I was surprised when I first saw Killdeer here as we had them up in the Northwest.  They lay their eggs on the ground.  Up north on the beach tucked between logs.  Here the nests are on the ground in the rocks.

There was also a small flock of Gadwalls, dabbling ducks...another first.  But, the biggest surprise was an American White Pelican!

 

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#48 marg

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 10:07 PM

Not long ago we had Double-crested Cormorants frequenting several lakes.  One was covered with plant life.  I worried that it might not be able to fly but the next time I spotted it there was less green on its back.  Sometimes I do not even have to leave the house....a Rock Pigeon with bands on its legs.  I had to contact the man at the newspaper to find out about it.  With the bands it is a trained homing pigeon and owned by someone.  It was just out for a fly and stopped in our yard.  Another first!

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#49 marg

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 10:21 PM

still on a roll..... and still birding from our yard.  Northern Mockingbird, year round and plentiful. It sings at night as well as in the day time during nesting season.  And, the little Verdin.  We often have nests in the trees in our yard in the springtime.

 

Out of the yard and back onto the golf course.  In the summer I always take a camera with me... I might be a better golfer if I were not always looking for birds. This is my favorite photo of the year..  a Vermilion Flycatcher.

 

Now must get ready to take Pop-Tarts to Singapore!

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#50 Kitsafari

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:20 AM

And the pop tarts are safe in the home and waiting to be tasted tomorrow! Thank you for flying the pop tarts over And it was so lovely to meet you both @marg.

This thread should be more prominent! Ive missed it for years but you are so lucky to have such prolific birdlife in your backyard. Some gorgeous photos but favourites are of the road runner and its face-off with your cat!

Edited by Kitsafari, 06 January 2017 - 11:22 AM.


#51 optig

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 11:32 AM

@marg I'm just in awe of your photos, since like @Tom Kellie and @Kitsafari that there were such beautiful birds in California.



#52 marg

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:16 PM

SUCCESS!  My last observation of a successful sighting and fledge of a Red-tailed Hawk was seven years ago.  For several years I spotted a nest in one of the palm trees behind a green.  In my golf cart travels, and I go everywhere in my cart, I would look and wait.  One year the nest was blown down in a strong wind.  One year the ravens got into the nest and a juvenile hawk was found dead on the ground below the nest.  Several months ago I spotted twigs and branches up in one of the palm trees.  I watched and waited, worried after each big wind.  An adult was seen on the nest and occasionally flying around.  Then a  head and then a juvenile sitting up in the nest.  Two days ago I took these photos... in the nest, leaving the nest, unhappy with me and a Western Kingbird on a branch, flying away.  While writing this my husband said that there was something floating in the pool.  I just pulled out a little mockingbird.  It came from a nest in the yard next door and must have been in flight training.  With the ravens being such a menace, then to down.  It is a shame and not easy becoming an adult bird here in the desert.

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#53 Peter Connan

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 12:42 PM

Lovely series!

 

Is there nothing one can do about crows and ravens? I must have seen several hundred in the last 24 hours.


Ek oefen skelm.

#54 marg

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:27 PM

an update and sad news.  The bird in the last series of photos was an adult.  Late last week I spotted this....

 

Then last weekend we had very strong winds.  I checked Saturday afternoon and everything was okay.  Monday morning when I went by most of the nest was gone and there were no signs of life in the tree.  I did find a downey feather on the ground.

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#55 marg

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:29 PM

@Peter Connan...ravens are a real menace.  This time of the year we see them being chased by smaller birds just trying to protect their nests.



#56 offshorebirder

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:55 PM

Sorry to hear the sad news about the hawk nests @marg


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#57 marg

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:58 PM

another first sighting.....Last Sunday I was in our back yard and spotted what I thought was a hawk being harassed by two ravens.  Got the binos and found the "hawk" sitting on a chimney.  But it was not a hawk.  It was a Turkey Vulture.  Went inside to grab a camera and could only get it in flight.

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