Birds-like you see every day…but different

Wherever I go, I watch for birds.  Even in my back yard, I love watching our birds at the feeder.  Normally, juncos are ground-feeders, but ours just love hogging the feeder, watching for chickadees and nuthatches who might want to get in.

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This is a junco and our song sparrow vying for the preferred station on the feeder, and there’s another junco perched on the side of the suet feeder on the right.

red-breasted nuthatch

Here’s one of our nuthatches (we have at least two pairs who frequent our feeder).  They usually go for a sunflower seed, then take it to the top of the fence to tap it out of the shell to eat.  They can go back and forth numerous times, rejecting the millet seeds and teasing out the sunflower seeds.

Chickadee at suet feeder

We get both Black-capped Chickadees and Chestnut-backed Chickadees at our suet feeder in the winter.

When we go on vacation, I especially love seeing familiar birds in new locales.  We met up with this fellow at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

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I think he was actually posing for me!

Also in the Southwest, we went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and I added two new birds to my life list.

Bird on Cactus, Desert Botanical Garden
Curve-billed Thrasher on cactus
Quail foraging under the agave
Gambel’s Quail foraging under the agave at Desert Botanical Garden

Our recent trip to Hawaii on the Crystal Symphony added new birds, but also new views of familiar birds.  From the deck of a cruise ship, you can get a view of a bird flying below you, like you rarely can on land.  Before we even left San Francisco, I got pictures of familiar birds from on the dock, and standing at the rail.  We have Western Grebes in western Washington, and here they are in San Francisco.

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And from the Promenade Deck on the Symphony, I was able to get good pictures of the various kinds of gulls that were fishing in the harbor.  I think there was a big school of fish right there, since we saw pelicans, Western Gulls, California Gulls, and Herring Gulls wheeling in the air and crying while scooping up fish at the surface.

GullsFishingSFGulls-green water

Autumn and winter are now approaching, which will afford me great opportunities to see local birds, right in the back yard.  My camera will be ready!

Weekly Photo Challenge__Local

I am very fond of my car.  I love driving, and look forward to freeway miles when I go out of town.  I also live in the Seattle area, known, perhaps unfairly, for its rain.  One day at work, there was a brief, heavy rainstorm.  Before the storm, the sky was partly cloudy and pleasantly warm.  For about 20 minutes, and very abruptly, we had heavy rain, small hail, and near-darkness.  We are in a weather “convergence zone”, so we often get these little storms.  Half the people in our building were planted in front of the windows, exclaiming over the weather outside (made more dramatic by the pounding rain on the plastic skylights far above our heads).  My car was parked opposite my closest window.

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Mine is the red one.  It’s an Acura RDX.  Below is a car parked a few spaces away from mine.  Notice the hubcap-deep water!

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After about half an hour, the storm was over, and all that water had drained away.  But it was spectacular while it lasted.

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