We are in California for a few days seeing our son Robb and his family. What a nice change from the barren “stick season” of Vermont; we awoke early the first morning due to the time change to birdsong and rose bushes in bloom. I have taken some morning walks and while I think it is unusual to have a guy walking around the neighborhood with binoculars and a camera, only one person stopped to ask what I was looking at.
There are hundreds of hummingbirds flitting around — I think most are Anna’s but I did see an Allen’s bronzed back the other morning.
Two days ago, I came across a kingbird doing its flycatcher routine, returning to a nearby wire. I took a few shots with little success but thought I had a Western Kingbird. In reviewing eBird reports and my photos, I realized that it was a Cassin’s Kingbird — fairly common here but a life bird for me.
I had a bit of trouble identifying one of the common birds here this time of year: Black Phoebe. I’ve seen a few before but they were always on low branches, doing their bug-catching routine. Here, they perch at the top of conifers, come down to the swimming pool for lunch, and work from rooftops and chimneys.
Some of the other birds I’ve seen in this built-up area are: American Kestrel, all sorts of warblers including a Townsend’s Warbler (Life Bird), and dozens of House Finches. This White-crowned Sparrow posed nicely for me on yesterday’s walk.
I’m not doing a lot of serious birding here, spending more time with the grandkids and just enjoying summer-like temperatures. I have seen some nice ducks and waterfowl and will put together another post in the next day or two. Then back to New England and the reality of November.