Monday, July 19, 2010

Black Widow

I'd advise you not to rummage about in my garage.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Daggett Creek

In the springtime I enjoy a trip upriver, just a bit into the mountains, to Daggett Creek. The dense willows provide habitat for many types of birds. Cyndi and I saw this Cassin's Vireo there, and I remember well how long and hard I searched to see one of these in years past.

This was also the location I first saw a Warbling Vireo, and a pair-bonded couple was engaged in nest construction at that time. This year I found a completed nest. Both parents were foraging and returning with insects to the nest, so I presume there were young inside the nest. Here's a picture of Mom checking the nest's integrity.

Of course, the resident Dipper is an old friend by now. I recall seeing it singing at dusk in the cold winter season ... now it is happily traveling up and down the edge of the stream foraging for food. It nearly stepped on my toes as it walked upstream past me.

Arizona's hummingbirds really set the stage for a year of great hummingbird viewing ... here's the Black-chinned in Idaho!

The Lazuli Bunting is a colorful sight. I suppose they could be confused with a Bluebird, but the white wing bars help to distinguish them. The females are more of a brown or tan color, and I often wonder what they are, until I remember that they look so different from the males.

This Calliope Hummingbird was fearless, perching right next to me and scanning the sky for insects to eat. Not everyone realizes that hummingbirds eat quite a few insects for protein to supplement the flower nectar they're famous for consuming.

Rainstorms and Rainbows

Cyndi and I decided we would go see some birds in the evening, after work. When we got to the Lucky Peak dam this sight caused us to pull in and join the other gawkers. The reservoir was full and due to the warm weather they were venting the excess water through these great pipes at the base of the dam. At the sunset hour dark storm clouds gathered in the east, and the spray from the great plume of venting water caused a mist to cover the parking area and a rainbow to form.

It reminded me of some vast waterfall.

As we walked through the park the actual storm clouds joined in and rain poured down, but with the setting sun beaming through clear skies in the west. What a neat scene as we sought shelter in a covered picnic area.

This Eastern Kingbird continued to forage for insects between the raindrops, its white terminal tail band glowing in the sunlight.

And now a natural rainbow formed in the skies over the hills, this one from the storm clouds instead of the dam's vent.

Then, as quickly as it had arrived, the rain ceased and the birds gathered in the warm sun to shake the moisture from their feathers and catch a quick meal before dark. This one is the Western Tanager.