Birding Blog Archives

September 29th, 2011
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Paton's Painted Buntings

I spent a while this morning just birding from my creek-view window at the casita at Paton’s in Patagonia. The casita is the small building to the left of the main house as you walk in. A few people have asked me if I’m now looking after the feeders at Paton’s, to which the answer is no. Michael and Donna are still in the main house and splendidly catering for all our friends, avian and human alike.

My birding highlight was first one, then two female-plumaged PAINTED BUNTINGS. The single bird was silent but when joined by the second they were calling quietly to each other as they foraged low in the grass. Along with the good numbers of LAZULI BUNTING currently and few lingering BLUE GROSBEAKS, I’ve only seen Painted Bunting along the creek this fall. If you wanted to look for them, your best bet would be around the road crossing or inside the Paton property along the creek edge. Please don’t walk along the creek itself alongside Paton’s as this is private Nature Conservancy property.

The photos were taken at dawn, through the window, looking directly into the sun, so they’re not bad considering…

Painted-Bunting-Patons-11-0929-04

Painted Bunting

Painted-Bunting-Patons-11-0929-05

Painted Bunting

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Painted Bunting

Summer birds such as BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT persist, while migrants have included WESTERN TANAGER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE and a couple of different COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. LINCOLN’S SPARROW and PINE SISKIN were suggestive of the upcoming winter.

VIOLET-CROWNED, BLACK-CHINNED, RUFOUS and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD are still here, and ANNA’S are becoming commoner. GRAY HAWK can still be heard and occasionally seen.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS have become common and are singing up a storm, while a HOUSE WREN has joined them in the songfest for the past couple of days. The regular fun stuff like INCA DOVE, ACORN WOODPECKER and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH continue to entertain. It’s not a bad list from the living room!

The biggest surprises – literally – were three brown cows that sauntered in and wandered by my window, grazing happily on the lush grass. An unexpected addition to the mammal list! I’m adjusting to rural life slowly…

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