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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I nailed it on the head!

When Emma and I returned from our driving tour of the refuge yesterday, things weren’t the same as when we left.

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             A prescribed burn was underway surrounding the maintenance area and RV pads on two sides.

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I was informed earlier in the morning that this was going to happen, and that there might be a little smoke drifting through the RV sites.  Since I had a load of laundry drying out on the lines, I made sure I brought those clothes in before we left.

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It’s a good thing I did, because there was more than a little smoke drifting through.  I closed all the windows, and we stayed inside all afternoon just watching what was going on.  There were ashes floating through the air on the stiff south wind, and it reminded me of all the ashes that coated my little trailer back when I toured Alaska in 2004.  Those fires weren’t prescribed however.

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This morning I drove around to get a few pictures of the results of the burn.  It was a lot more extensive than I thought.  I bet within two weeks or so, all of this will be green again.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I had been watching the weather and winds, and had a feeling that the Baltimore orioles might be arriving on Sunday morning.  So, I made sure my oriole and hummingbird feeders were out and waiting on Saturday morning.  I did have one oriole and one hummer last evening.

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But the real excitement was when I got up this morning.  I had nailed that prediction right on the head!  The orioles were swirling all around the rig.  I counted at least twelve of them at one time checking out and partaking of the orange, nectar, and grape jelly that I had put out. 

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They were even clinging to the windows of the motorhome waiting for their turn at the feeder!  Almost all were males, but I did see one female off and on all day.  As you can see, the purple finches have also discovered the Hard Rock Bird Café.

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It was time to sit outside in my rocker and see what else blew in overnight.  How nice to find a Harris’ sparrow stopping by.  These little dudes nest in the northern forests surrounding the tundra.  They’ve still got a ways to go to reach their breeding grounds, and I’m happy to provide them with some easy fuel.  It always amazes me how these birds find a solitary feeder in the middle of nowhere along their route.  Don’t you just love his black mask and Mohawk?

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This was my favorite shot of the day.  All those orioles had wiped out the orange half, and the jelly cups, so I had to restock by noon.  I just stuffed the orange peel with jelly, as that seems to be their favorite.  I’ve got a 32 oz. jug of jelly, but it’s already 1/4 gone, so I’m thinking I’d better stock up on a few more jugs.

This afternoon, I got a real kick out of watching a second year male oriole interacting with the older boys.  This young one is no push over!  He chattered away and fought with the big guys, and sent them on their way.  Survival of the fittest??  I’d put my money on a successful nesting for that one if he finds a mate that likes younger men.  Surprised smile

I got calls from both of my boys for Mother’s Day.  That warmed the cockles of my heart…

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                                                                                THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. You weren't kidding when you nailed the return of those beautiful birds. Impressive as all get out!

    Would you pick some lottery numbers for me, you seem to have a good way with predictions of the future... ;c)

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  2. Happy Mother's Day, Judith. The birds enjoyed their treats, too!

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  3. When you mentioned the Baltimore Orioles were coming to town I thought you'd lost it because there's no way a major league baseball team would end up where you are unless they were lost!

    Glad you got calls from your Son's on Mothers Day!

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    1. Too funny, Rick! I guess instead of saying I nailed it on the head, I should have said I hit a home run. ;)

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  4. The orioles are so pretty!! Great pictures.
    That controlled burn would have taken my breath away,
    Happy Mother's Day!!!!

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  5. How exciting! The return of the Orioles right on schedule. Such beautiful creatures.

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  6. I just love looking at those bright orange Orioles. Gorgeous.

    Glad you had a great Mother's Day.

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  7. I saw my first Western Tanigers this week. So colorful! They were in the trees just outside our side windows. I'm not much of a "birder" but can't help admire one that is so pretty.

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  8. Wow those Orioles are beautiful. Post a picture of your bird feeders from a distance so we can see how you have them set up. I just love that you have so many in your yard. It is amazing how things return after a fire. Our stuff doesn't do so well, but nature's sure does.

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  9. I'm with Sherry...can we have a picture of your feeder?
    The orioles are beautiful!

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  10. What beautiful birds! I think you should be on Jeopardy--the Natural History version! You would SO win, especially the Ornithology category!

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  11. I know birds all over the surrounding states are spreading the word, "SHE'S BAACK!" All I have is my hummingbird feeder, but I love watching them. Happy Mother's Day to you.

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  12. We have been camped near some planned burn offs-never fun. Great bird pictures:) I really need more practice on those:(

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  13. Well, I've gotten a little behind (been out of I-net range), but I'm glad to see you made it in the end to Ole and Lena's territory. I see that you've welcomed your feathered friends and already managed to attract a tick... and get rid of it! Hey, welcome to Minnesota! Hope your stay is a good one. Yup, the Harris' sparrow mask and "do" mighty is eye-catching.

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  14. Oh my. Those birds are beautiful.! My sons called me today also. It was a wonderful Mother's Day

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  15. I always wonder why they do prescribed burns when there are "stiff" winds. Seems smarter to burn on a non windy day and I've sure heard of a lot of burns that have gotten out of control.

    Love the pictures of the Orioles. I don't believe I've ever seen one.

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  16. Great shot of that Oriole ... but I like the sparrow best ... because I haven't seen one before. I'm definitely going to get one of those stands and plenty of grape jelly.

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  17. NEVER liked those "controlled burns" since a few of them while we were up in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon soon got out of hand and were followed by evacuations. So glad to hear yours stayed under control.

    Always love your photos, especially of all the birds. Ever since we started following your blog we find ourselves looking a little closer at the birds that fly near us...thank you for opening our eyes to a new focus!

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  18. WOW! Now I REALLY want to get my personal migration underway. I got to see a few orioles but the last part of the migration flew right over the Texas coast.

    And thanks for showing the controlled burn. Maybe you can also explain how important they are to manage prairies, marshes, and pine forests which all depend on fires to exist. Even the terrible burn in Okefenokee in 2011, when 80% burned, did a great job of setting back succession across the refuge. And controlled burns prevent the huge out-of-control burns from happening by keeping the fuels on the ground low while also preventing succession,and helping to control invasives.

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  19. Guess I will look and see if Orioles ever frequent our area--grape jelly, huh--who knew!!

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  20. They did a perscribed burn at Katie's park and by two weeks you could only tell if you really looked. I saw orioles at Kensington park when I was there yesterday, didn't get a good shot but they sure are pretty! I put oranges out on my feeder at home, plus their feeder up last night hoping we get some to stop by. Usually we only see them a day or two in the spring around the house.

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  21. Great shot of the oriole. They love that jelly.

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  22. Thanks for the ID on the Harris Sparrow...I had one here this morning and was wondering what it was. Yes you were right on with your prediction of the return of the Orioles!! :)

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  23. Wonderful shots of the birds. Love the colors. Too bad they couldn't have done the burn before you arrived. It's hard to get the smell out of your RV. Necessary to do them I know but any wind can be disastrous.

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  24. Note to self..Bird feeders!!! How wonderful to see them all! Glad it was a controlled burn!! Happy Mother's day!!

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  25. Wow - gorgeous little birds! I'm going to have to try your bird cafe

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  26. now I must add an Oriole feeder to my collection. . .great!

    How absolutely gorgeous they are. . .

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  27. I heard orioles way up in the trees around us just yesterday. Grape jelly? I've been reading about folks putting it out for the orioles but never have done that. Oranges, yes... jelly... hmmmm. Does it make any difference what the jelly is sweetened with? Cane sugar? Fructose? Guess I should read up on this....

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  28. Judy, I was interested in your story about the planned burn. We have a burn pile in our Forest Service compound that has been growing all Spring as the staff has been clearing campgrounds in anticipation of an open season. Yesterday they were scheduled to burn another pile at a campground 30 miles away and when I heard "burn pile" I interrupted someone's conversation to insure that they weren't planning to burn OUR pile this week. We are only about 50' from the pile and when they burn I intend to be sitting in some other campground far away until the burn is done!

    Love the Oriole pics!

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  29. We now have Hummers, and I did see one Oriole, but they never stay. Are they normally found in our area W. of Chicago? Or maybe we aren't located far enough out in the country. I might buy an Oriole feeder and see if I can entice any with jelly and oranges. I have a feeling all I will entice are the blackbirds! I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day. Sometimes I think it is way overblown with big gifts and lavish floral arrangements..when all most of us really want is just what you got...a phone call. My kids are really good at that, and when they were little, the homemade cards were all I needed!

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  30. I like that photo of the oriole to.

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  31. Finally caught up with your blog again, Judy. Next time I see you maybe you can tell me how you age the male Orioles...

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  32. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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