Welcome to the Hermits’ Rest Aviary

This week, I’ve truly felt like I live in some kind of private bird sanctuary or something. There are so many beautiful birds to enjoy. This morning I went out to feed the hens, and the ground was heavy with dew, which must have made all the birds in the world happy. Once again, we were heavy on the heron family, with the usual great blue heron and green heron (the tricolored heron did not make an appearance) joined by an entire flock of great egrets (usually we just have one or two). There were also a couple of cattle egrets (distinguished by their yellow legs as opposed to the black legs on the larger birds).

Fun times at the pond.

Plus, there were ten or twelve black vultures, hopping and bopping along the edge of the pond or tank. They were drawn by the dead armadillo, who’s contributing to the Circle of Life by feeding both these guys and turkey vultures, who were out in force yesterday. Turkey vultures have red heads, while black vultures’ heads are black. That makes for easy identification.

Vultures taking flight

There were also the twittering English sparrows flitting around, along with all the grackles that sit on the electrical wires then fly around in a huge murmuration, descending on the fields, then departing again. Cardinals are constantly coming and going, as well. Plus there was something that makes a big screech sound, which I haven’t managed to catch on the Picture Bird software to see what it is.

That’s a lot of birds. Plus the storks are still around, which warms my heart.

When I tire of the pond, I go over to the black willow trees beside the front tank, which now has a little water in it, thanks to a bit more rain (hooray for the rainy season).

A little more water this morning!

There I’ve been seeing one, and just one, scissortail flycatcher. I wonder if it somehow didn’t migrate. By the way, did you know they’re related to the Western kingbird? We have those here, too!

I like it here

The trees are just chock full of tiny birds, including chickadees, orchard orioles, and warblers I can only hear but not see. Oh yeah, and the mockingbird whose territory is the telephone pole across the street, who mimics the woodpecker who also hangs out there. Since I don’t have photos of those guys, here are some sparkly dew-encrusted tiny mushrooms.

What a symphony! That’s what I’ve been enjoying lately. I’ll spare you the cuckoo, owls, and many sparrows in the woods. It’s too muddy to try to get photos of them, so I just listen.

I can’t wait to watch the geese and cranes migrating.

Birds? A Few

Someone asked what kids of birds are still hanging out at the ranch. In addition to the ones I mentioned yesterday there are some interesting ones.

Scissor tail family

It cheered me up greatly this morning to see this family. I love these beautiful birds, and I’m glad they fledged at least one baby!

At least we had some clouds at sunrise.

The other birds we’ve been seeing are our friendly carrion eaters, who are probably pretty well fed these days. This morning (and yesterday) a large group of black vultures was enjoying the pond behind the house.

Note the patient cow and fleeing heron.

The vultures really like the island made by the tree at right. There were still a few late this afternoon. They were joined by a big ole crested caracara, too. That’s some free and easy bird watching!

I’m good. And pretty.

It didn’t even crack 100° today, so Apache and I went on a nice long ride. It was the longest solo ride we ever went on. We checked out all available pasture. And he was pretty good, too. I handled his one spook at an unfamiliar object and every time he wanted to turn around. It’s getting better!

Seating for 6!

And hey. I ordered an inexpensive desk chair for the tack room and built it today. Makes writing in my horse journal really snazzy. Come visit!

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