Saturday, January 24, 2015

Traveling Around the Neighborhood

Have hardly had a chance to bird since the first of the year. If it weren't for space related things my January would be pretty vacant, blog-wise. I was going to go out to help round up sparrows on the west coast but a forecast of bad weather lead them to cancel the event. So, on this gloomy morning I decided to at least drive around the neighborhood.

This season has been so quiet I was wondering if I would find much but it actually was pretty bird. I was watching a small flock of Ring-necked Ducks at Lake Weldona when I saw a Tricolored Heron out of the corner of my eye spearing a fish. I edged the car up slowly but hoping fast enough to get some snack time shots.

Little Blue Heron

It took several tries to get the fish off of the bill before the bird was able to swing the prey around and gulp it down.

Little Blue Heron

While I was snapping shots of the heron a feeding flock of Western Palm Warblers were flying just above ground level to snatch up insects. Only one would stop long enough for a portrait.

Western Palm Warbler

I discovered another little retention pond between a local church and some homes up the road and add it to my loop check from time to time. As the rain creeped back over I noticed a wet Belted Kingfisher. Usually they fly off on any sort of approach but this one just stared through the chainlink fence.

Belted Kingfisher

On the other edge of the pond, a Pied-billed Grebe dove and bobbed near the shore.

Pied-billed Grebe

I then remembered a few ponds near a hotel toward the airport and headed over to check for any ducks. Total disappointment. Nothing in the ponds. However, when I got back onto the road to head back home I noticed some large shapes along the sidewalk. I turned toward them and tried to figure out what they were. I was almost up to them before I realized they were Wild Turkey!

Wild Turkey

I was not expecting them here closer to the airport but here they were. Four females grabbing seeds along the roadway before disappearing into the bushes.

Wild Turkey

On the way home I made my way around the high school to check the feeders at a home I have checked over the years. There was a bit of activity around but what made me stop in my tracks was the color blue. There shouldn't be any birds with blue feathers except for Blue Jays. I could never get them in better focus in this low light.

Blue Waxbill

I raced home to do some research and found they were Blue Waxbills, a member of the cordon-bleu finches from Africa. They most likely escaped form some home but it was weird to see 6 of them in one flock. I tried to refind them when the clouds cleared but I never saw them again.

Blue Waxbill

Not a bad morning check. Quite full of little surprises. Hoping I can get out more but we are getting into festival season so my weekends are pretty booked for a while. At least those involve birds.

No comments: