Posted by: atowhee | June 5, 2020

AROUND THE VALLEY AS JUNE BLOOMS AND GOES TO SEED

June 5, 2020

Recently I watched a male Anna’s Hummingbird buzzing near a suet block feeder.  I did not actually see him take a nibble.  Has anybody ever seen a hummer use solid food from a feeder?

 The Bushtit nest across the street from our home seems to have been suitable.  I think the family of five that use our shallow birdbath every day must have used that nest, which now hangs quietly.  It may get re-used later this summer.  Interestingly the young Bushtits are far more eager to bathe and wade in water than use our feeders.  Parents may still be supplying all the food, and we all can understand youngsters wanting to get into the pool.  Click here to see my sequence of the Bushtit family at the pool.

Speaking of bathing…I rarely catch the Spotted Towhee in the act.  Today the male had a fine time in the water:

Ah, refreshed:SPT WET (2)

At Minto-Brown Park yesterday some of the blooming cow parsnips were eight feet tall, many with manroot vines all the way to the peak.  Some grass stalks were over six feet tall.  The unmowed grasses all carried rich seed heads atop the stalks.  At one point Nora the dog wandered off into the grass that rose three feet or more above her shoulders.  When she reappeared on the path her glossy dark coat was flecked with hundreds of narrow, green grass seeds.  Her short coarse fur made it easy for me to sweep the seeds onto the ground.

Also at Minto-Brown we came across a Song Sparrow feeding in a cherry tree.  The sparrow was nibbling off bits of a green cherry.

Cotton floated across fields, sloughs, through the forest.  The well-named cottonwoods are the tallest trees in Minto-Brown and they are at peak fuzz right now. Looking against any dark object the pale fuzz slanted past any trunk or pool or pathway, pretending to be a snowfall or celebratory confetti.  Some of the floating seeds eventually came to earth forming windrows at the edge of the path, or under the edge of fallen tree trunks.  Small mats of cotton floated over the still surface of the sloughs. If you look closely at the first image, each speck of white is cottonwood cotton.COTTN (2)COTTN2 (2)In our neighborhood a newish house has an almost pristine-looking roof, except for the upper west end…where the birds choose to perch:ROOF POOP (2)Spring sky:IMG_2152 (2)

 


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