Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid February and All Is Quiet

Not much to report on the County Year. Big flock of pinyon jays today, 80+ near, Murphy and Fairway. Small flock of western bluebirds yesterday at the high school. Pair of merlins giving chase to each other over Brosterhous. Juncos, house finches, bushtits, scrub jays and pygmy nuthatches the regulars at the feeder. Cooper's hawk tried to take out a quail in the yard, but the quail survived by slipping between the wire around the chicken coop. Mass of feathers, but the bird was still breathing. Missed the Harris' sparrow the other day along the First Street Rapids trail. Kind of in a hum-drum period, but keeping my eyes open.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Return of the Siskins

February 2. A month has gone by and I'm still at this Deschutes County Big Year. I'm up to 70 species, so far. Picked up American crows at the Bend Senior High school yesterday while waiting for the nordic team members to get out of school. Probably the only bird watcher in the parking lot...

Today's new bird was the pine siskin. These birds have been absent from our feeders for the past month. In December, the birds were all over the nyjer thistle feeders, but then they disappeared. Fun how that works out. However, today they were back, feeding on thistle and black-oil sunnies along with the house finches, American goldfinches, dark-eyed juncos and a lone red-breasted nuthatch.

Also back are the evening grosbeaks. As I write this blog I see 10 birds in our neighbor's aspens. Probably waiting for me to refill the platform feeders with sunnies. The wave of quail and finches cleaned them out earlier, so I'd better refill while the birds are about. More on the finches at another posting....