My darling Debbie and I took advantage of a windless morning yesterday and took the quads up back, behind the casa a mile or so. I check the oil, gas and air-pressure in the machines—all good. “Grab the binos and the canteens and let’s go!”.
First thing we see is an adult, male American Kestrel or “Sparrow Hawk” as some call them. That slate -blue color on it’s head and wings is a give-a-way, distinguishing male from female. Also, the female’s head appears to be smaller and round-looking. Check him out-
We pull up to some tall brush where we can get some shade to do some “calling”. Looking around, not a bird in sight. I turn the Western-screech Owl call on for a little bit, then stop. “right over there, Debbie” but I can see she’s already frozen-with-her-camera pointing at a Gray Flycatcher. Notice the fairly long, bi-colored bill?
I call for a few more seconds and I hear a bird moving in. That call!, not unlike the wheezing of a heavy smoker after a jog. These birds flick their tails constantly as they feed on tiny insects in the brush—California Gnatcatcher.
Not to be confused with the more common Blue-gray Gnatcatcher one of which also flew in to see what the racket was all-about.
I leave the call off. Its important to remember that calling birds can upset their daily routines and defense mechanisms, some say. No need to call more anyway because now, where there were no birds visible when we got here, birds are mobbing us! We see a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
And a Brewer’s Sparrow that looks like it’s having a bad hair day.
An Ash-throated Flycatcather flies by with a call that sounds to me like a “coach’s” whistle.
I see a Butcher-bird, (Loggerhead Shrike) and can’t resist taking this back-lit photo-
Now I can’t resist the sight of our hammock staring at me so that’s it for today. From Chris and Debbie—-Happy Birding please don’t forget to like us!