Home from my latest travel adventures, a few thoughts have floated up from my sub-conscience:
I know we are still in fall migration and should be out there birding, but days are getting shorter and if anyone needs some good (enjoyable and factual) reading about Peregrine falcons, try On the Wing by Alan Tennant (2004).
Missy reports that we have had some good yard birds during my absence, including a gob of Pinyon jays that literally emptied our feeders almost daily as soon as she filled them. In fact 40 or so showed up this afternoon, not quietly I might add! This is a first in our 9+ years of feeding birds here in GJ to have this species at our feeders, so in spite of the expense, I love it! Also, during September so far, we have recorded 1.80 of precipitation on our electronic rain gauge. A few juvie Black-chinned hummingbirds remain at our plants (mostly Agastache spp) and hum-feeders.
This morning at Connected Lakes I tallied 41 spp of birds by 0930 hrs and my best bird was a male Hooded merganser. This bird eclipses my previous early date of 03 Oct 2006 for this species at CL. White-crowned sparrows have arrived in large numbers, and other wintering species were songful and noticeably present. A few migrants warbler spp and a Greater yellowlegs also joined us.
I called Colorado State Parks this afternoon to inquire about tree removals over the last few years at Connected Lakes , e.g., the Osprey Tree and several others that have been used by Coopers hawk, Merlin, Peregrine, Bald eagle, etc. The senior Ranger assured me that they are aware of the usefulness of dead trees and snags as habitat for cavity nesting species and for perching raptors, and that trees were removed for safety reasons, not for aesthetic reasons.
My main goal this year has been to see as many hummingbird species as possible (affordably), so with travels to Mexico , Central and South America , I have seen 120 species (about 36% of the total known). In so doing, I have tallied 1425 total species of birds during the year and doubt this will change much by Dec 31 because I am not planning any more travel this year. But its been a blast to say the least!!!