Battening Down the Hatches

DEJU 10-29-17-6908

Dark-Eyed Junco

The cold is upon us. The possibility of winter seems suddenly everywhere. I wrote those two sentences two days ago, hoping I would want to change them, but we are heading into freezing temperatures overnight, so I may as well say “stet.”

Very busy at work, no weekday birding, and the weekends have been either rained out or too preoccupied as well. So here are a few pictures from a little time spent in the backyard the last couple weekends. Likely I will continue to see most of these birds, but the backdrop has already started changing.

I decided to not ignore the House Sparrows just because there are so many of them. Whether hanging out with a Mourning Dove above, or preening, hanging out at the bird bath, or eating peanuts below, House Sparrows, however ubiquitous, can be charming in their own right.

Preening HOSP 10-29-17-6819HOSP 10-29-17-6944HOSP 10-29-17-6979House Sparrows are also capable of aerial feats.

My last sighting of a White-Crowned Sparrow below was on my neighbor’s fence two weekends ago. Also had a visiting American Goldfinch.

The last bit of color in the yard before the leaves began turning was from the sedum in the pictures below.

And I had a short visit from what looks like a brand new male Downy Woodpecker.

DOWP 10-29-17-6863The Common Milkweed proved to be very good for Milkweed Beetles.

My last butterfly was a Painted Lady. I won’t see them again until next summer. But the squirrels and the Northern Cardinals aren’t going anywhere.

Painted Lady Butterfly 10-21-17-6782Squirrel 10-29-17-6984

NOCA 10-29-17-7050NOCA 10-21-17-6800This Dark-Eyed Junco was very comfortable and happy in the yard that last sunny weekend day. I’ve never seen a Junco try to eat peanuts before. Impressive.

I will be busy these next few days getting ready to go on what will likely be my last international trip for a while. I’m going back to Ecuador over the Thanksgiving holiday week. So I may not be able to manage another post before I leave.

Painted Lady Butterfly 10-21-17-6765If you are inΒ  celebrating Thanksgiving, or wherever you are, my best wishes for days filled with peace and love.

11 thoughts on “Battening Down the Hatches

    • Thank you, Jim. I’m not going back to the Galapagos, as much as I’d like to. I’m revisiting San Isidro which is where I stayed one night when my flight to Quito was delayed. Luckily I was only a day late to catch the boat to Sacha Lodge. If I had been late for the Galapagos I would have missed the tour entirely! Reminds me I have more pictures and video from last year’s trip to share. πŸ™‚

  1. We have an accelerated Autumn where the leaves have changed colors in very few days and now they are falling at a fast rate. All because the temperature has dropped suddenly. I see less birds at different times of the day, today’s sunny but previous days have been dark gray not so inviting for photos. Your gallery of local birds looks vibrant, I hope it remains like that for a while. πŸ™‚

    • I walked outside this morning to fill the feeders (brrr!) and the ground was covered with almost all the leaves from my redbud tree. I think my birds reacted to the temperature drop yesterday too because the feeders were more than half full, and that never happens! Meanwhile it’s snowing downtown. And in my brain. πŸ™‚

  2. Thanksgiving in Ecuador! Lucky you – I look forward to the pictures. I’ve been told that there are an unusual number of pine siskins and redpolls about – have you noticed?

    • Thanks, Jason! I’m feeling lucky indeed. As for Pine Siskins and Redpolls, you might get them in your yard. I used to see Redpolls at Monroe Harbor downtown. Montrose (which also has Snow Buntings), Botanical Garden, Morton Arboretum, to name a few, likely have them. I have been nowhere so I haven’t seen any but I confirm their existence.

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