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 in  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. 🙂

  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. 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  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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