September 11, 2021

This afternoon I walked around the horseshoe pond at Stone House in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  Here’s a young Swainson’s Hawk:

Swainson’s Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk

Here’s a Wood Duck in eclipse:

Wood Duck

There are still a few dozen Barn Swallows:

Barn Swallow

And turtles!

Common slider

September 10, 2021

By the end of summer, the hummingbirds in our back yard are used to my being outside on the deck, and they allow close approach.  They feed all day long, starting before dawn, and they constantly chase each other.  Here’s one on its guard:

Black-chinned Hummingbird

After work I took a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  Here’s another end-of-summer shot:  a Say’s Phoebe holding its wings away from its body.

Say’s Phoebe

A Black-crowned Night Heron was in the same spot as yesterday:

Black-crowned Night Heron

Over by Stone House a Belted Kingfish had caught a crawfish:

Belted Kingfisher

September 9, 2021

After work I took a walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt . . . Manky Mallard (e.g., Mallard hybrid) is back!

Manky Mallard (on right) . . . with a male who’s just beginning to get green feathers back on his head (her mate?).

I caught this Black-crowned Night Heron above Bear Creek with its mouth wide open:

Black-crowned Night Heron

And with its mouth shut:

Black-crowned Night Heron

Dragonflies are still around:

Pale Snaketail

In the back yard . . . cheepers by the dozen??

Got Bushtits?

September 7, 2021

Last night there was a small brush fire in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  Almost certainly human caused, the fire burned a section along the dirt doubletrack behind the greenhouse.

Here’s a young Broad-tailed Hummingbird seeking nectar in the red salvia on our back deck:

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

During a lunch-time walk, I spotted this dragonfly . . . possibly a new one for me:


After work as I was gazing out the back deck a young Red-tailed Hawk dropped down into the field behind our back yard.   Construction hasn’t yet begun on the homes that will be built there.  In the meantime, I’ll keep enjoying the wildlife I see.

Red-tailed Hawk

September 6, 2021

This morning a friend joined me for an amble through the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  We saw two dozen species of birds, including this young hawk:

Red-tailed Hawk (immature)

We also got a good look at a Pale Snaketail:

Pale Snaketail

September 5, 2021

This morning on our walk in the Bear Creek Greenbelt my better half and I spotted a sparrow hanging out with a couple of House Finches.  It was the first time I’d seen a Chipping Sparrow in the greenbelt.

Chipping Sparrow (juvenile)

A little later, we saw a couple of Lark Sparrows, also not a common bird to see in the greenbelt.  (And though Song Sparrows are by far the most common sparrow we see and hear, they’ve been scarce and quiet for the past couple of weeks.)

Lark Sparrow

A little later, I went on a search by myself for more sparrows.  I found one, a Vesper Sparrow, in a prairie dog town, but couldn’t get a good shot.  But I did get good looks at three Western Kingbirds and one Eastern Kingbird.

Western Kingbirds

Western Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

There was also a flock of a hundred or more European Starlings, a mix of adults and immature individuals.  Soaring overhead were a Red-tailed Hawk, a Swainson’s Hawk, and several Turkey Vultures.

Finally, there are still a few dragonflies around, including Pale Snaketails.  Here’s a new one for me:  a White-faced Meadowhawk:

White-faced Meadowhawk

Back at home, hummingbirds are still after the nectar.  Here’s a 20-second video of an adult male Black-chinned Hummingbird:


In the late afternoon I took another walk in the greenbelt.  As I walked, I thought about how summer is coming to an end, and my time to see this summer’s birds–hummingbirds, kingbirds, Say’s Phoebes, Western Wood-Pewees, Swainson’s Hawks–is ending, too.

Eastern Kingbird

Western Kingbird (Eastern Kingbird below)

Chipping Sparrow (adult)

Black-billed Magpie

And another new dragonfly for me:

Shadow Darner


September 4, 2021

There are two bare (some would say dead) aspens in our back yard.  The birds love them.  Here’s a sampling from this afternoon:

Western Wood-Pewee

White-breasted Nuthatch

Common Grackle

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird