Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rain Delay Day 2

Nature forced yet another break again today. When I got up this morning it was again pouring, a repeat of yesterday morning. So for the second day in a row I started my morning with a mug of coffee enjoyed while sitting on the couch watching the rain fall and the house sparrows feast at the bird feeder. They didn't seem to mind the rain too much so long as it meant a free meal. While I lounged indoors the population of birds at the feeder got pretty interesting (sparrows and house finches are not that interesting.) I tried to get some pictures of our latest visitors.

Our rufous-sided towhee friend came back this morning. I first saw him in the garden on Friday but Kate didn't believe me and he was on his way before I could show her. Well today she got to see him first hand.
He seems to like the bugs and worms on the ground, and he hops about in an interesting way. Kind of an odd looking bird he has a whole range of markings.
I didn't quite get the camera on the right setting to get all the detail in his coloring, but this is close enough. He didn't hang around too long after giving our garden the once over for worms, slugs and what not. Shortly thereafter we got a visit from this big fella. I couldn't help but hear the voice of the Wild Bill character from The Green Mile in my head, "You sure are a great big f@#$er where'd you come from?" just before David Morse's character beats him in the head with a billy club. This picture only lends itself to that comparison, especially when you see the way the sparrow on the far right's head is craned to view the newly arrived giant Northern Red-Shafted Flicker. 
The Flicker sure had a hard time feeding on our feeder, but that didn't stop her from trying (we think its a female because it lacked the black markings, or moustache, by its beak. So I guess 'big fella' isn't quite fair). We'll need to get a different feeder for some suet blocks if we're going to be better hosts.
Not much phases the sparrows who didn't seem to mind sharing with their large friend. I think they're still probably out there (the flicker is gone) and may very well hang out all day. If the rain doesn't stop soon I won't get to tackle any of my lawn and garden activities before our trip next week. It will likely look like wild kingdom then when I return, with the towhees, flickers, sparrows and tigers lurking around in the tall grass and weeds.

While not a tiger per se, Zin is a feeder stalking, grass prowling, bird killing machine...that is if he's not watched like a hawk or trampled over by Presta Bean, who really doesn't care much about birds but who has a penchant for squirrels and serves as an effective "cat alarm."
The prey...

Presta hates squirrels.

Houston you are go for launch.

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