Thursday, March 06, 2008

Eye on the Sparrow

One good thing about being "retired" is that I can go birding on a weekday. Wednesday, the sun was out and the breezes were cool - a good day for bird watchng and photography. However, season-wise, this time may not be the best - the winter migrants were starting to fly back to their northern breeding grounds while the summer migrants are still to arrive.

This was graphically proven today when I did not see a single Yellow-rumped Warbler at Eaton Canyon. Yellow-rumps are one of the most common species here from fall to spring. The only warbler I saw was an Orange-crowned who obviously did not get the memo to fly north.

On the other hand, sparrows were still plentiful, including such winter migrants as the White-crowned and the Golden-crowned. 

The Dark-eyed Juncos (a distant cousin of the sparrows) were also enjoying the vestiges of a warm California winter. 

Joining them were the resident Song Sparrows who were starting to fill the air with their lovesongs.

Towhees, both Spotted and California (also distant cousins of the sparrows) were beginning to pair up.

American and Lesser Goldfinches were molting into their bright breeding plumages while the trill of the House Wrens augur the arrival of teeny-weeny baby wrens.

I only saw one Hermit Thrush and I know I will soon be missing the serenades of these brown vocalists.

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