Possibly a Cooper’s Hawk casing out bird feeder and really freaking out the House Sparrows and White Crowns. We’re honored to have a hawk visit our backyard. Amazing.

coopers hawk sitting on a fence. has barred tail feathers.coopers hawk

Lesser Gold Finch picking at raisins that are softened from the rain and dew.

Backlit senescing cultivated hybridized California grapes (“Roger’s Red”). So far the Northern Mockingbirds are its prime visitors for raisins. We’ve seen Lesser Gold Finches seemingly drinking water or eating bugs out of the raisin’s nooks and crannies.

The front yard California fuchsias (Epilobium canum) are still flowering and providing forage to the hummingbirds. I really need to cut these back but…. the hummingbirds! And other small pollinators!

Unidentified hummingbird enjoying rosemary flowers today. Maybe a Black Chin. Doesn’t seem to have the colorations of an Anna’s.

House Sparrows frenetically bathing under the mandarin this morning.

three house sparrows in a shallow birdbath with one sparrow waiting its turn. all under a mandarin tree with ripening oranges.

Last year this was not our view into the backyard from the house. Now we regularly see White Crowns, House Sparrows, European Collared Doves, Scrub Jays, and less often Lesser Gold Finches. Thanks, bird feeder! What this means for spring/summer tree fruit harvest… 😬

New bird in our backyard! Yellow-rumped Warbler. A pair was feasting on our cultivated California Grapes that now have raisins.

Toad in our bird bath tonight. That’s a first. We usually empty the baths to keep mosquitoes at bay and keep cats from being too keen on the backyard at night. Not tonight!

Northern Mockingbird in our backyard. They’re not nearly as brave as the scrub jays but they’re using our backyard more and more.

A happy scrub jay feasting on some big bird seeds.

scrub jay eating bird seed on the ground

Blue Jay yelling at everything this afternoon. Maybe it’s angry at the wildfire smoke.

A scrub jay checking out the new bird feeder. Birds haven’t taken to it yet. They’re still eating grapes and desiccated elderberries.

Our trio of Scrub Jays are leaving almond hulls behind. Maybe they’re giving us gifts for providing water? We do compost….

Here’s some hope that our trio of Scrub Jays will eat our cultivated California native grapes.

Metallic ribbon and a fake bird of prey truly keeps the birds away from our figs.

Hummingbirds love these cultivated native California fuchsias so here’s their bird’s eye view of them.

Cultivated native California grapes. Seedy & thick skinned but good to eat. Since the birds aren’t.

The birds aren’t eating the grapes, so we might as well. 😋

Scrub jay!

Watering the front yard and this hummingbird was really curious about the water and I swear the bird took a drink.

Our cultivated native California grapes are ripening! The birds will hopefully soon find them. Or we’ll enjoy them despite their massive seeds.

Hummingbird enjoying succulent flowers.

Hidden Lakes, Lassen National Forest

We went on a hike to the Hidden Lakes in the Caribou Wilderness on the Lassen National Forest. It started at the Hay Meadows Trail Head, north of Lake Almanor, California. It was six miles of relatively flat hiking with periodic steep inclines. The trails were not at all crowded, though we brought masks just in case.

We saw a male Western Tanager (bird). I cropped to zoom:

Western Tanager on a snag

A closer view, using Pixelmator Pro’s ML Super Resolution with crop:

IMG 3227


And plenty of lakes — here’s Long Lake:

Long Lake

And plenty of Basalt of Hidden Lakes:

Basalt of Hidden Lakes

The Shooting Star flowers were brilliant:

IMG 3283

Metallic flagging and a fake hawk to discourage birds from the cherries. The blue jays are smart and eventually don’t care but smaller birds stay away. Just say no to critter killing netting.