This birding has turned into quite an addiction. This week I had out of state guests visiting and it kept me grounded at home on Saturday and I had a real bad itch to get out and see some birds, but alas, that was not meant to be. So for once I stayed home and decided to take a close look at some of the yard birds. I also decided to make a list of all the birds I have seen in my yard or viewed from my yard. Obviously, some of the species are fly-overs such as the small flock of Mallards that flew over this morning. My list was 31 species until about ½ hour ago when I got to add number 32 to my list even though it was dark. A Great Horned Owl had perched in one of my neighbor's palm trees. The hooting gave it away and it called a few times and then headed south. So 32 species in such a small yard and in such an urban area, is not so bad.
And while I was at home all day, I did test the camera on a few subjects. Yes, most of them are quite common birds, but just to have them around is rather enjoyable. This year for the first time, I have had Lesser Goldfinches feeding from my feeders and since I have put up a fountain/bird bath, I think they are much happier and might stick around. Not sure what will happen with the heat of the summer, but today they posed on the fountain taking drinks, but this fountain has also turned into a great bird bath for many species, including hummingbirds.
Lesser goldfinches are not the only finches that visit, the House Finch is an even more abundant bird to visit. While I try to avoid taking photos of birds in or on feeders, since this is my backyard, I feel that it is probably a necessary downside to these photos. This House Finch appears to be missing a toenail on its left foot.
Hummingbird feeders have been very busy the past few weeks and with the bubbling water fountain, they have also been visiting the fountain for bathing. Will have to try photographing that some day. For now, I will settle for a female Anna's Hummingbird at one of my feeders.
Today I was blessed with a pair of Giant Swallowtail Butterflies visiting my yard. When flying they appear as large as the hummingbirds. And after figuring out what species these are I also found out that they favor citrus trees as host for their caterpillars and I was only able to capture this photo while this one was sipping nectar from a lemon blossom.
Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
And to finish off this short blog post, I could not resist taking a photo of one of my potted cacti's blossom.
With Sunday coming in just a few hours, I will finally get to do some birding this weekend.