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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Garden / Yard List 2024 (2 Viewers)

After a week in UK (breezy and wet Devon then breezy and sunny London) we've come home to snow showers and much cooler temperatures so I was very surprised to see a Wryneck late this afternoon as it crept around outside the kitchen window, successfully finding insects despite it being only 5C. I bought some cheapo bird seed to put down and as if by magic, a dozen Yellowhammer have turned up, the bush telegraph works well around here!


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Not a bad day today after decent overnight migration. A flock of 12 White-winged Doves was the largest yet this year, and the 2nd Yellow Warbler of the year flitted through. The undoubted star of the show was a male

70. Townsend's Warbler

that ended up visiting the water feature for a few marvelous minutes. The little chap nearly glowed at some angles! I could hardly get enough of it. Photos below, plus a confiding local pair of Abert's Towhees (often they're rather shy). See if you can catch the White-crowned Sparrow sneaking in as well.:)


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I am actually in Germany for a couple of days, driving back to Zürich this afternoon (to leave to NL tomorrow :rolleyes: ). Just had the wife on the phone... She complained that after 27 degrees Celsius last Sunday, snow is coming down currently.
'the wife'? Tut tut Frank, very old school ;)
As we expect in April, the snow has melted fast in the sunny intervals, at least at our 1000m altitude, no frozen Wryneck discoveries thankfully.
I've gone on (at length, I know!) about the value of steaming dung heaps when snow's on the ground, the one I can't actually see from the house turned up a nice male Wheatear this morning, in 8 years we've only two sightings on the Garden List so it's quite a rarity in the valley despite breeding on all the mountains around, so this one heap has produced two Megas, ie not on the list at all yet (Stonechat and Snowfinch) and now this. Perhaps Jos was right all those years back when he suggested I take a chainsaw to the trees that hide it from our view! My first Linnet of the year anywhere, a pair, flew over while I was trying to refind the Wheatear there this afternoon, so it was probably one of them that turned up feeding with the Chaffinch and Bunting regulars at home soon after I returned:

67 Linnet

That Abert's Towhee photo will have to wait a bit, as I'm having some trouble uploading photos recently...

Today brought three additions to the year list, two of which I'm surprised I didn't have already.

71. Green-tailed Towhee (first spring record for the yard, heard-only)
72. Northern Harrier
73. Cooper's Hawk

With decent migration predicted almost every night and no rain in sight, my guess is that new migrants will continue to trickle through and change composition as we get closer to May.
I’m not sure how yesterday’s Wryneck will manage in this morning’s conditions.
Now where did I put away that snow shovel…..
Well, them there poor little Wrynecks ...two days after mine arrived, snow here too! Did hear one calling a little later though.

Snow early morning, fair middle day, heavy rain/bright spells now - a right mish mash. Some good birds nonetheless ...two Wood Sandpipers on the house pool early morning, a Greenshank on the same a couple of hours later, then a female Montagu's Harrier steaming north not much later. Also finally bumped into a Coal Tit on the fringes of my land - a common enough bird in the extensive pines beyond my land, but pretty infrequent actually on mine.

102. Wood Sandpiper
103. Greenshank
104. Montagu's Harrier
105. Coal Tit
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Winter came back here also. Yesterday afternoon I drove home from the sunny north. There was already a few centimeters of snow on the ground here. Migratory birds seemed to wonder what was going on here. I am especially worried about the Oystercatchers' food intake. Luckily neighbors put more food on feeders and about 50 Chaffinches hanging around. Other good thing is that
#38. Song Thrush - (First in this yard) had left waiting for the weather to improve.

I thought that that big flock of Chaffinches had to belong a few Bramblings, but no. Before today
#39. Brambling - also first one in this yard. OK - I found one dead one last Spring.

Also today:
#40. White Wagtail
#41. Yellowhammer - this was also first in this yard. And a bit weird cos it was alone and I assumed that they are all already in their nesting places.


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South meets north, in decidedly cold weather, first incoming Lesser Whitethroat and, rather more surprisingly, a very late Waxwing late afternoon - very rare do I see these so late in the spring.

Greenfinches in good numbers and Hawfinches continue at the bird table ...and, totally weird, one Greenfinch laid an egg on the bird table!

107. Lesser Whitethroat
108. Waxwing
All getting rather frustrating here with snow showers of varying intensity and very cold nights, -4C at dawn this morning. Had a fruitful walk to the village and back (except for the fact that the bakery was closed, my main objective was to buy bread…) with lots of Linnet and some Water Pipit biding their time waiting for better weather before ascending to their mountain breeding places, as were single Ring Ousel and Rock Bunting. Add in a close encounter with an inquisitive Stoat and a bravely calling Wryneck near the village and I felt compensated for missing out on the baguette!
Water Pipit and Rock Bunting were both ‘missing on parade’ in 2023, the former for the first time in 7 years here and the latter is virtually annual but although I set up the ‘scope to try and see them from home on my return it was a bit of a mission impossible with the wind blowing snow horizontally at me so I live to fight another day!
Last night under heavy migration and a nearly full moon, I enjoyed watching birds drift past the moon. Off in the distance, the first

74. Lesser Nighthawk

of the year sounded off.

Today was a great day, with multiple additions, good variety and numbers, and some unusual happenings. The species total was 48, quite good for spring. Migrants were plentiful, with the following on the move:

White-winged Dove - 117
Mourning Dove - 27
dove sp. - 14
swift sp. - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Swainson's Hawk - 1
Peregrine/Prairie Falcon - 1
Myiarchus sp. - 1 (likely Brown-crested Flycatcher)
Western Kingbird - 2
kingbird sp. - 6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 2
Northern Mockingbird - 1
Chipping Sparrow - 12
Lark Sparrow - 12
Lark Bunting - 17
Green-tailed Towhee - 1
sparrow sp. - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4
Black-throated Gray Warbler - 2
warbler sp. - 3
passerine sp. - 11

It was the year additions that were most impressive, though.

75. Broad-tailed Hummingbird - 1 (2nd yard record)
76. Western Sandpiper - X (new yard species #148!)
77. Bullock's Oriole - 1
78. Red-winged Blackbird - 2

The hummingbird was first heard giving its shrill wing-whistle, and I finally saw heading N very high up. Soon after, a chorus of "kreet" calls overhead signaled shorebirds over the desert! They were gone in seconds and I never did see them, but listening to multiple species' recordings afterwards confirmed my suspicions of Western Sandpiper. Between these and a huge swarm of bees that rumbled on by, it was a great day for intriguing sounds.

Photos of Western Kingbird and White-winged Dove on the move.


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