Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back Yard Birding

Seems I'm on a roll today with posting. I thought I would share my second favorite past time with everyone. Fishing is #1, but "birding" run's a close 2nd. The great thing about birding is it doesn't require anyting more than a pair of eyes and a little observation. Sure, you can get some binoculars and a book on birds definately helps, but really, all it takes is some time and paying a little attention to what's around you. You don't even need to leave the house. The kids love it too, and they usually are better at it than I am.

Here in Sacramento, we usually have about 20 birds that regularly visit our yard all year long.

1. Purple Finch

2. Anna's Humming Bird

3. Chirping Sparrow

4. Scrub Jay

5. American Mocking Bird

6. American Crow

7. House Sparrow

8. Lesser Gold Finch

9. Gold Finch

10. Morning Dove

11. Bush Tit

12. European Starling

13. Black Pheobe

14. Oregon Junco

15. American Robin

16. Northern Flicker

17. White Crowned Sparrow

18. Nutall's Woodpecker

19. Autoban Warbler

20. Hermit Thrush

21. Cedar Waxwing

22. Yellow Billed Magpie

And on occasion, we get a few special visitors:

Coopers Hawk

Rufus Hummingbird

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Red Tailed Hawk

Slate Junco

Ruby Crowned Kinglit

If your like me, once I start doing something, I usually need to take it to the next level. So the birding actually led to the photography. Here are some pictures of my back yard friends

Being outside checking out the birds with the kids just naturally leads to them checking out other things in nature. Anything I can do to pry them away from the TV has to be a good thing. Here's just one of the 5 squirels that hang out in our back yard

Here's a couple praying mantis procreating!

So be sure to get outside and visit with Mother Nature! And as always, thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone enjoys the birds!


Gone Fishin' !

Big "Thanks" to my wife! I finally got out to go fishing yesterday. The whole family went, including Erika. With the weather in the high 70's this weekend, I can't think of a better way to spend the day. We loaded up the truck and headed down to the Delta for a little "bank fishing". Fished near the town of Locke for a while and then changed locations to the Hog Island Recreation Area. Lots of bites but never did hook into anything. We were trying for striper's but I would have settled for anything. Jake and Abbey both had some catfish followers, but no takers. Erika didn't actually fish, since she doesn't have a license, but instead she read some magazines and hung with us. We fished till sundown then came on home. Awesome Day!!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cosumnes River Preserve

Today I got to do something I haven't done for a while. Jake and I, went to one of my favorite place to go bird watching, the Cosumnes River Wildlife Preserve.

It rained the last 2 days (Thank God! We need it!) and today was overcast, but off we went just to get out of the house. We spent a good 3 hours walking around and saw quite a few different birds. The sand hill cranes have just returned for the winter, and are always cool to see. Any bird that stands 5 feet tall and hes a 7 foot wingspan is an impressive site.

I apologize, some of the pictures are kind of dark.

Like I said, we saw a ton of birds today. Our list of birds for today includes the following:
1. Sand hill Cranes
2. Black Phoebe
3. Red Winged Black Bird
4. Tri-Colored Black Bird
5. Brewers Black Bird
6. Savannah Sparrow
7. Northern Shoveler
8. Mallard Duck
9. Black-Necked Stilt
1o. Great Egret
11. Northern Flicker
12. Anna's Humming Bird
13. Meadowlark
14. Northern Harrier
15. Red Tail Hawk
16. American Kestrel
17. White-Tail Kite
18. Scrub Jay
19. Oregon Junco
20. Mocking Bird
21. Canadian Geese
22. Greater White Fronted Geese
23. Pied Billed Grebe

Here are some of the photos we got:

Anna's Humming Bird

American Kestrel - Jake

Great Egret - Jake took this one

Savannah Sparrow - Jake - really nice job!

Black Necked Stilt

Pied Billed Grebe

Northern Flicker

Northern Harrier

Swainsons Hawk?

Northern Shoveler

Male Red Winged Black Bird

Female Red Winged Black Bird


Jake my photo assistant

Overall a great day - just me and the boy. Abbey stayed home with mom. She's got my cold.

Yesterday I started working on an 1920's East lake rocking chair that I've had for a while. Johnny's Grandma gave it to us. It was brought out from Wisconsin a long time ago. I had to completely disassemble it and make a new piece. Now I'm gluing it back together. Can't find the pictures of when I first got it. Too bad. It's going to need some paint and new upholstery. I hope to have it done soon. Then it will go over to the Tattered House.

Have a great week!