My Backyard Bird Sightings and Notes
Denotes my first sighting
January - March 2009
The New Year was rung in with the arrival of a flock of 13 Turkeys. They returned
nearly daily through early March, until I finally had to shoo them off due to the large
amounts of 'waste' they were leaving behind.
A Varied Thrush was spotted twice in January, and the first Robin siting was in
late February. Only a few Mourning Doves were seen eating from the ground in
January. The usual feeders were abundant as winter welcomed 2009; Pine
Siskins, House Finches, Stellar Jays, California Quail, Nuthatches and
January 17th brought my second only siting of a male Ring-necked Pheasant.
Fox Squirrels are present year-round, but early February brought an unusual
specimen. A female with part of her right front leg missing was sighted among all
the others. Whether born that way, or a result of an accident, the lack of a front
paw has not impaired her ability to climb trees, scramble on the ground, or eat. I've
named her "Stumpy". Pictures of her are on the Fox Squirrel page.
Two visits from a Sharp-Shinned Hawk were noted on February 20th and March
13th. Also, on March 13th, (my second only siting) of a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
was sited nibbling berries from the driveway shrubberies. March also brought a few
sitings of the Rufous-sided Towhee hopping on the ground underneath
The usual flock of Evening Grosbeaks arrived in early March and remained
throughout early Spring.
04-17-09 My return home day from surgery and I was greeted by a flock of about
a dozen American Goldfinches. I've never seen an entire flock at the
feeders before, so this was a first. They were everywhere; the water
bowl, squirrel feeders, and seed feeders.
06-07-09 Marks the return of a long-gone visitor from 2005. A female Red Squirrel
was spotted in the tree in the driveway barking and chirping up a storm.
The last I saw of the Red Squirrels was winter of 2005, when the Fox
Squirrels moved in and seemingly running off the smaller Red Squirrels.
I've named the female "Ruby" and her return is very exciting. I've added
pictures of her to the Red Squirrel page.
The month of June has been dominated by the presence of the Black-headed
Grosbeaks and Stellar Jays, as well as their juveniles.
One of the Jay juvies has either suffered a wing injury or was born with an
impairment, and due his lack of full flight abilities, has been hanging around the
lower branches of the shrubs near the birding area. Because he is a juvie and fears
little now, I am able to get close to him and toss peanuts to him on the ground.
And, he loves the water bowl and take frequent baths. I've posted his picture on the
Stellar Jay page.
10-24-09 Juncos have returned.