Tag Archives: mockingbird

January 19, 2017 Imperial Dam LTVA, California

Male House Finch

Male House Finch

Time Flying By in the Desert

Yesterday I renewed for another two week stay here in the desert, been here a month now and am accomplishing pretty much nothing! Reading a few books, watching the ever increasing number of finches, sparrows, and doves at my feeder, and doing a little painting.

Though there have been a few grey, cloudy days and even a little rain, the weather here just can’t be beat! Every night, for a month now, the temperature drops to around 50 degrees, then warms back up to the high 60’s or low 70’s during the day, a wonderfully moderate range that just suits me to a  ” T “. If I had to design the perfect climate for year round living ( for me, at least ), this last month would be it. Now that we are into the new year, I am aware the temps will slowly start to rise and I will eventually be forced to move on, but for now, this is just paradise for me.

Male White Crowned Sparrow

Male White Crowned Sparrow

I’ve attached a couple of small dead branches to the side of my tray feeder so I can get some closeup shots of the birds that come in to feed. This is a male White Crowned Sparrow, one of probably a dozen or more that visit each day.

Male House Finch

Male House Finch

A male House Finch. if they weren’t so numerous, they would probably be thought of as a particularly handsome and colorful bird. probably a half dozen of these guys showed up at the tray feeder when I first put it out, now there are probably more than forty at the feeder and on the ground beneath it at any one time.

Male House Finch

Male House Finch

It took a week or so for the first doves to show up, a single pair of Eurasian Collared Doves and 4 or 5 Mourning doves. Like the Finches, the Mourning dove numbers have increased daily and now there are a couple dozen feeding on the ground beneath the tray feeder.

Mockingbird Drinking

Mockingbird Drinking

Since I am in the desert, perhaps the most popular item added to the feeder tray is this old tuna can of water. I usually have to fill this at least twice a day.

Harris's Antelope Squirrel

Harris’s Antelope Squirrel

Harris's Antelope Squirrel

Harris’s Antelope Squirrel

In addition to the birds attracted to a free meal, at least four of these Harris’s Antelope Squirrels have shown up to chow down on seeds scattered on the ground. They appear to peacefully coexist with the ground feeding birds and the birds show no sign of wariness, often feeding shoulder to shoulder with these small rodents.

And finally, last week, a small covey of California Quail discovered the seed beneath the feeder. So far they have been very uncooperative photography subjects so I will hopefully post some shots of these comical little birds next post.

Tray Feeder at Sunrise Viewed from Dinette Window

Tray Feeder at Sunrise Viewed from Dinette Window

This is the view from my dinette window where I can keep an eye on the tray feeder and it is through this window that all of the above photos were shot. As I mentioned in the last post, I have found a quiet, fairly isolated spot here at the Imperial Dam LTVA and that is definitely adding to my enjoyment of this really inexpensive spot to while away the winter. In addition to the exquisite weather, this particular spot is blessedly quiet and peaceful, no noisy neighbors, no vehicle traffic, no intrusive lights … hard to believe I could find a spot where I had nothing to complain about.

Adventures in Acrylics

Brown Pelican Acrylic

Brown Pelican Acrylic

I have finally found the inspiration to attempt to resume my painting efforts. Although I had a little success selling watercolors and oils at my art gallery back in New Hampshire, I had only sold one or two small acrylic paintings. I have to admit I just found the medium difficult to handle, thus I would always fall back to doing oils and WC’s.

But with no large, well ventilated art studio now that I am full timing, oils are kind of out of the question and I really want to try and figure out how to handle these very frustrating acrylics.

Truncas Barns and Burros Acrylic

Truncas Barns and Burros Acrylic

So I thought  I might post some ( rather sorry, kind of embarrassing ) progress shots of my venture into acrylics. My reasoning being this might force me to continue working on these paintings rather than give up in frustration as I normally would … and I am getting very frustrated at this point. But if I have a small audience waiting to see a finished painting, my sense of pride will force me to continue on until I achieve some kind of satisfactory result. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, I will get to show you a couple of decent, completed, acrylic paintings.

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December 18, 2013 Falcon Lake, Texas

Full moon over Texas

Full moon over Texas

Another nice day at Falcon State Park in Texas, sunny with temps in the 70’s. Spent a few hours in the morning in my blind at the campsite without a lot of luck. The clouds of blackbirds and grackles descending on the feeders are driving most of the desirable birds away, and my efforts at discouraging them also seem to have a negative impact on the birds I am trying to attract, I may just have to give up.

Eurasian collared dove with white winged dove

Eurasian collared dove with white winged dove

Eurasian collared doves

Eurasian collared doves

 

 

 

 

 

Discouraged, I took a trip over to the Salineno feeding station to see what the action looked like there. While there I had a nice conversation with the volunteer couple and got their help identifying my two small mystery birds. They had a couple of Altimira orioles and an Audubon oriole show up while I was there, along with a ladder backed woodpecker, all birds I had not seen at my site. The problem at this spot is that the action is just too far away for my getting any good images. It is set up as a great spot to sit back and observe the birds fairly close up, maybe with some binos or a small scope, but it just isn’t set up for taking quality images of these small birds.

I feel like I am being watched by a cardinal on my RV mirror

I feel like I am being watched!

Back home while working on the computer, the male cardinal that has been coming to the feeders all week took up a new home on my mirrors and windshield wipers, seemingly very interested in what was going on inside my motorhome.

Northern bobwhite quail

Northern bobwhite quail

Got a quick shot of some northern bobwhites ( quail ) through my window as they were scratching around under my feeder for scattered seeds. These are new birds for me and quite attractive, I guess I will have to delay my departure tomorrow morning ( heading for the beach in Port Aransas ) and see if I can entice them back in here and get some good shots of them from the blind.

 

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

White winged dove

White winged dove

Eurasian collared dove

Eurasian collared dove

 

 

 

 

 

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

 

 

 

 

December 10, 2013 Falcon Lake, Texas

Brown thrasher

Brown thrasher

This morning started to show some signs of the overcast skies breaking a little and the forecast called for it to warm up a little, so, seeing that my feeder setup was attracting some attention, I guess today would be a good day to start getting serious about getting some decent bird shots. For the first time on this trip, today I will set up the photo blind!

My bird photo studio

My bird photo studio

 

 

The blind allows me to get closer to these small birds than I otherwise could and also gets me closer to the ground resulting a in a better perspective than when shooting from a standing position, kind of getting down to their level.

 

 

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

 

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

 

 

 

 

 

Prryhuloxia portrait

Prryhuloxia portrait

Brown thrasher portrait

Brown thrasher portrait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Javelinas

Here comes trouble

Prryhuloxia

Prryhuloxia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green jay

Green jay

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

Green jay

Green jay

Prryhuloxia

Prryhuloxia

 

 

 

 

 

Green jay

Green jay

Prryhuloxia female

Prryhuloxia female

Prryhuloxia

Prryhuloxia