Sunday, September 16, 2007

Swarming hummers!

The last few days there have been more hummingbirds at my feeders in the backyard than usual. The Black-chinned are gone, but Allen's and particularly Anna's remain abundant. At one point this morning, there were about a dozen buzzing around one of the feeders! It's fun to sit on the patio and watch the resultant "Hummer Wars". I've found them to be very tame - to the point where they will come and drink while I'm holding the feeder! Here's a shot of a female or young male Anna's. I'm inclined to think it is a female, because a lot of the young males are growing in their gorgets, making them look patchy! Next, here's a short movie of a male Anna's Hummingbird visiting the feeder. Listen for its smacking call notes!

I also spent some time birding the neighborhood this morning. I found a beautiful Townsend's Warbler, a Marsh Wren, and a Willow Flycatcher. All three were new neighborhood birds for me. I found the flycatcher behind the stables. I heard its call note - a liquid whit - then tracked it down. After a bit of chasing and much frustration, I managed to get some good looks at it. It didn't have much of an eye ring, was mostly grayish-brownish overall, had two buffy wing bars, lacked yellow on the underparts, had moderate primary projection, had a relatively broad bill with an orange(ish) lower mandible, and didn't wag its tail. I also saw a couple "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warblers, which was neat. I'm sure the novelty will wear off within a week or so...

On Saturday morning, my dad and I twitched an Arctic Warbler (!) that showed up at DeForest Park in Long Beach, a forty minute drive from my house. We dipped, and so did the dozens of birders who were there looking for it. There were lots of warblers there, including Black-throated Gray, Townsend's, Wilson's, etc. If nothing else, I got a start to my Los Angeles county list, with forty-eight species for the effort.

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