Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to work

It was a pretty busy day today in the Visitor’s Center, for a weekday, but I did manage to sneak outside occasionally to see what was going on.
IMG_5189I’ve always felt one of the signs of fall is the congregating of the swallows on the electrical wires.  They’re done with the breeding season, and are just fueling up on all the insects to increase their fat supplies for the coming journey south for the winter. 
_MG_5202These birds are pretty smart.  They line up on the wires so evenly spaced, and don’t tread into others’ personal space.  A good lesson is to be learned there… :)  Here’s a bit of trivia you can use at your next boring gathering to liven things up a bit.  Put your finger in the little dip where your collar bones meet below your neck.  Do you feel that semi circle?  Well, birds have the same thing, and that’s where they store their fat for upcoming migration journeys.  Just before they’re ready to move on, that little area will just bulge with yellow fat.  That’s where they get the fuel to accomplish their amazing journeys.  I sure wish that was the only place I stored extra fat!  :)  I could just wear a scarf around my neck or something.  :)
IMG_5207As I went to take the picture of all of the swallows, this was the view of the marsh and surrounding mountains from the visitor’s parking lot.   The amber colors of fall with one swallow not following the crowd on the wires.  I guess he flaps to a different drummer.  :)
_MG_5173This fawn was skulking about the front yard underneath the crab apple tree looking for tasty morsels.  She/he is usually accompanied by its mother.  The mother has a huge hematoma growth on her leg, and I did not see her at all this morning.  A visiting veterinarian said it may just fall off, but it makes you wonder if maybe the coyotes got her.  That huge tumor like growth made it difficult for her to walk.  We all will be looking for her to show up again.

As I was busy inside with visitors, there were a couple of reports of a Calliope Hummingbird visiting the feeders today.  I’ve never seen a Calliope hummer, so out I went every chance I got with camera in hand.
51 Malheur NWR, Oregon1The Calliope is the smallest of hummingbirds at only 3.5” in length.   I thought I had captured one in my pics, but upon editing discovered that this was a very young hummingbird just growing in it’s tail feathers.  That’s why it appeared to be so small.  By the curve of it’s wings, I’m thinking this is just a very young black-chinned hummer.  Notice in the middle pictures how it is extending it’s tongue to catch some small insects without expending much energy.  :)
_MG_5238 _MG_5241
I then moved to a different feeder, but see the rounded wing on the right that is shorter than the tail?  Another black-chinned youngster.  There was no Calliope for me today.  :(
IMG_5287           Oh, oh, what happened to Tim, the refuge manager, that was out netting carp???
IMG_5289                                                  I guess he missed the step up!!  :)

Thanks for stopping by…. talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Do you get all or most of your hummingbird pictures with a telephoto lens? I have not had any luck at all photographing them, but I don't have the equipment or experience to get good pics of moving objects. I used to do scenery pretty darn well until I went to digital and lost my viewfinder :-(

  2. Gotta watch out for that first step; it sure looks like a doozey! "Doozey" - did I spell that right? Is "doozey" even a word??? Great post, Judy!

  3. Loved the trivia! I didn't know that about migratory birds. Your photos were lovely today. :)

  4. I must store ALL of my fat there..I have enough chins for 5 people!! Great pictures!

  5. You've sure got the secret for getting those hummingbird photos!

  6. I treasure the time spend reading your blog. You have inspired me to consider the possibility of volunteering at a Refuge or park some day. I also enjoy all of your pictures.

  7. Love the header and the picture of the fence. Goes without saying the hummingbird pictures are amazing. Thanks for the trivia too...

  8. I hope the Mama deer shows up again. I hate to think of that little fawn all alone while it is still growing up. :(

  9. Your hummers are just amazing!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard