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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Birdies in My Neighborhood

Exchanging stares with a Red-shouldered Hawk

Bleck! Despite it being a gray, drippy and dreary sort of day, I ran a few errands then visited a few local parks to see what was hanging around - uh... not much. Still, I always enjoy checking out the chickens in Old Fair Oaks Village. I probably drive through the village park at least once a week to admire the feral chickens.

A few of the usual roosters, taking it easy

I blew a perfectly good photo op when I spotted a full size rooster and a bantam strolling side by side, but I was too slow. Two minutes sooner I'd of had a shot of them side by side - identical in every feather but a HUGE size difference between them. I've seen such rooster 'twins' in Fair Oaks Village on several occasions.

Full size rooster left, ensie identical Bantam, right

Speaking of bantams, a few days ago I noticed a new comer that stuck out because of his exotic looks. This little cockerel has the longest tail feathers in the park as well as a strange white ear skin and a fancy rose comb. I did a little on line research and I think he's a black Rosecomb Bantam. What a pretty little fellow! How did he ever end up at the park? Why would someone buy such a nice looking bantam then dump it in the park? I doubt anyone would accidently lose such a nice little bird. I keep having to shake off my urge to scoop him up and bring him home.

V. Handsome & abandoned little fellow: a Rosecomb Bantam

Check out Pretty Boy's fancy rose comb

I stopped by Sailor Bar and Rossmar Bar on the American River and was amazed how common Lark Sparrows actually are. I used to think of them as being rare and exotic - I guess I just wasn't getting out much. I found some Gold-crowned Sparrows, first of the year and Cedar Waxwings. I was stunned earlier this week to find Western Bluebirds which I didn't think would show up until at least late March. They seem - at least to me - to be back early, and I can say the same for American Robins, which I saw today for the first time this year.

A couple of Acorn Woodpeckers

At Rossmar Bar I spent a fair amount of time watching Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers fishing in the river but then it started to drizzle again. I gave up and returned home to to a nice hot cup of coffee.

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