Recently in Riverside

Two walks in Riverside, 10/18 and 10/23. One morning sunny, the other less so. Fall leaves and the sparrows that fade into them start to dominate.

There wasn’t a big change in the trees until after the 23rd, which is the second photo, but for the record, here they were changing.

For a couple days, I was seeing more White-crowned Sparrows. Views directly below are of an adult, and below that, a first-winter bird.

I try not to take White-throated Sparrows for granted. I feel a kinship with them.

Yellow-rumped Warblers were becoming less frequent.

A young Red-tailed Hawk was considering its options, perched in a tree close to the water.

I dare to think the two birds below might be Rusty Blackbirds. There’s a hint of a light-colored eye in the bird on the left.

Sometimes it’s easier to see White-breasted Nuthatches these days.

A Great Blue heron was fluffing out all its feathers.

On 10/23, I was treated to a good look of a Fox Sparrow.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets have been here and there.

The rocks in the river by the shore were still somewhat of a draw for this American Robin.

Dark-eyed Juncos were beginning to appear more frequently.

Here are a few more photos of White-throated Sparrows. The ones with the white median crown stripe, like the bird at the top of the post, are less frequently seen.

I don’t always get a chance to see or photograph a Northern Cardinal, however ubiquitous they seem.

I may have seen two Great Blue Herons on the 18th, but for the most part I have seen just one and one Great Egret since. I will check tomorrow to see if one or the other is still around, but I have a feeling the cold front we are now experiencing may have sent both birds packing.

I spent the last two days draining 50 gallons of water out of my rain barrels. That’s how many gallon bottles I had available to fill. There’s still a lot of water in both barrels so I have set them on slow drip, but I will have to empty them out tomorrow night as we dip into sustained freezing temperatures. As for the water I saved, I will use it to fill the heated birdbaths all winter.

I also harvested the rest of the peppers this morning. There are a lot more jalapeños this year. In lieu of a cold, gloomy, rain-threatened walk this morning, I also made a pot of Ecuadorian Quinoa Vegetable Soup. I feel fortified for the cold days ahead.

10 thoughts on “Recently in Riverside

    • I have watched the birds bathing in the coldest weather, it mystifies me. But basically if I didn’t heat them there wouldn’t be any water for the birds to drink when everything freezes over. And the doves like to sit and keep their feet warm on the rim of the bigger birdbath. I suspect your birds have more readily available sources of flowing water.

  1. A birder, a photographer, and a farmer. A rather well balance day. I may have to find my way out to Riverside one fine day.

  2. Hello from Maine-
    Love your photos of the white throated and white crowned sparrows!
    We had a sizable push of GB Herons,Great Egrets and Double Crested Cormorants the second week of October. They were feeding heavily on huge schools of tiny fish in the marsh. I could see hundreds of minnows right at the surface through my scope:the surface was sort of shimmering and shifting. This week, the numbers have dropped like a rock and Great Egrets are on the Rare Bird list!

    Mmmmm, your soup sounds yummy. Did some of your jalapeños go into it?
    Today would be a good day for soup; we have a steady cold rain here on the coast. Inland and up north they are predicting the first snow of the year. Brrr

    My birds love our heated bird bath too. I think it’s more popular than food in the winter. My favorite visitor was the owl I surprised very late one night as I stepped outside to walk a sick dog!

    • Ann, so good to hear from you!
      All your herons reminds me of seeing several Great Egrets on the river the first week of October. They are all gone now.
      I loved the soups in South America, so I was thrilled to find this recipe. It has no chiles in it. But I follow the example of adding a dollop of Amarillo chile paste to a bowlful which I learned from the driver of our tour bus.
      What a wonderful surprise to find an owl in your birdbath! I’m having a hard time at the moment seeing the birdbaths with all the tall plant growth still in the way but that will be gone soon. 🙂

      • Hi Lisa
        Amarillo chili paste- yum!That soup sounds even better now!
        It sounds as if your Great Egret migration is quite similar to ours – do you ever use the “Migration Explorer” ? I use it from time to time, but am trying to look at it more frequently. I think the Egret stopovers here might be tied to spawning times for fish. There were amazing numbers of minnows during the middle of October.

      • Aha! Do I detect another chile lover? I fell in love with amarillo chile paste years ago before a trip to Peru when I became curious about the food and found a recipe online for Ahi Amarillo which is a heavenly dipping sauce with cotija cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, lime, garlic, amarillo chile paste and mayonnaise. I had to buy the amarillo chile paste online – and I still do. …I’d be happy to share any recipes with you. Maybe we should start a food page. 🙂
        I wasn’t aware of Audubon’s Migration Explorer (not that they don’t email me enough) – I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!
        The Great Blue Herons tend to stick around longer, as long as there’s open water. I believe there’s always one at Fermilab all year ’round as long as there’s water warmed by the reactor… I did see a Great Blue on the Des Plaines River yesterday. So I will keep checking.

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