Monday, March 19, 2018

Winter Birds at Mission Hills

Winter Birds of Mission Hill -2017-2018

As expected the winter does not bring too many new birds but while it was still winter in early March, migrants did start showing up and there were a few surprises to me during the cold months.
The expected residents included:

Dark Eyed Juncos

Song Sparrows-whose vocals are kind of plaintive squawks during the winter but as it warmed, they often turned to the pretty songs designed to woo potential paramours.

Anna Hummingbirds which I did not expect to see in winter but they were plentiful 

Great Blue Heron-despite the lack of good feeding in the pond, show up once in a while I suppose to test the potential. I saw one on January 4th and again on February 28th.

Crows-who love living around humans for the eating potential we leave in our tracks

Scrub Jays-apparently are here all seasons though somewhat less plentiful during the cold. I saw a few with some regularity all season though.

Steller Jays-like their smaller relatives, are around all year but are returning in troves as March progresses. They appear to be nesting just north of the complex but stray onto Mission Hills routinely.

Red Tail Hawk-I had not seen any of them for a while but I think I just wasn’t looking. After January 16th I’ve seen them several times a week.

House Finch-they seemed to show up in large numbers in mid-January and the males are getting redder as the weeks go by.

Robin-the first one I saw this season was on March 7th and they are pretty routine here now.

Mourning Dove-I had not noticed this common bird during the season until March 2nd.

Winter Wren-I only saw one this season and it was in the pond area of the garden on March 2nd

Kestrel- this small falcon showed up in a tree on February 13th. The day was very overcast and the photos I got of it do not display its many colors very well. Hopefully that one or other ones will show up on the grounds because they are quite attractive.

Mallard- a mating couple descended on the pond area and I first saw them on March 4th. Now they are regular habitué of that area and its plentiful feeding possibilities

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