Friday, July 14, 2017

Eve's Hummer Nest


I'm still busy working on re-furbishing my backyard. Last month, I planted several white ginger plants and they are now just starting to bloom. The fragrance is heavenly!  As I worked on placing my newly purchased Loquat tree, Eve sends an e-mail saying that she has found what appears to be a Black-chinned Hummingbird's nest. Would I like to go check it out?  Early next morning we were driving towards the Penasquitos Canyon west trails off Sorrento Valley Blvd.




As soon as we arrived at the Penasquitos Canyon/Lopez Canyon trailhead, I immediately caught sight of a White-tailed Kite flying west. Wow, this place looked very promising already! We walked to the trail entrance heading east. Soon, Eve stopped me and said there she is... Here are some photos of the female Black-chinned Hummingbird on her nest.



Black-chinned Hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri   measures 3.75 inches long with a wingspan of 4.75 inches.
 She flies off.

Eve said that the female Black-chinned Hummingbird loves the fuzzy underside of the leaves of the California Sycamore tree for making her nest.

Here, the female flies out of the nest and lands on a near-by twig. This really shows her long wing. Her tail just barely sticks out past her wing-tips.

Back to her nest.

The photos are quite grainy because the nest is in a very dark shady area.


The throat area shows no red central patch.

Her beak is longer than an Anna's Hummingbird.

This shot also shows how long her wings are.
 The female flies out and soon returns to a twig to preen and stretch.

Back to her nesting duty.

She hesitates a moment to make sure she is not in danger from the humans watching her.

Back to her nest to incubate her precious eggs.

She settles down and goes back to incubating her eggs. We will have to come back to check on this sweet bird. Hope she stays safe. Time to hike towards Lopez Canyon trails.

Few flowers around the trail. 

There were lots of Acorn Woodpeckers in this area. Here is a shot of an old snag that is used to store the acorns.

There were many to see and many more that we heard as we walked east on the trail.

A Bushtit peeks out from the shade.

Looking out to the south of us we spot a couple of House Finch fledglings begging for food.

"More food please "!

Ash-throated Flycatcher flies after a insect.

He appears to be very tolerant of us walking by the trail.

One more shot of this cutie.

We had spotted quite a few of these Flycatchers on the Lopez Canyon trail.

These two look quite young.

They appeared to be having fun flying from branch to branch.

This one could have been one of the parents on a near-by branch.

There were lots of Lesser Gold Finches too.

This Black-headed Grosbeak appears to be a youngster too.

Maybe a young male by the looks of his white coloring on the underside of his tail.
 Last look.

We heard several Pacific-slope Flycatcher but I only got one quick shot before it disappeared into the thick willows.

We approached a large open area with large trees and snags. On one dead branch, I spotted a beautiful Red tailed Hawk. It soon flew off.

She soars over us and heads west following the ridge of the canyon.

What a beautiful sight. 
Few minutes later, Eve motioned to look up and said there's the Red Tailed Hawk. I focused my camera wondering what she was carrying.

Oh my goodness, it is a snake!

A closer look shows that the snake is a California King snake.

I get a few more shots as he flies past.

 
Another close-up
 
Last shot... It's getting hot and we are ready to head for home. It's been a fantastic birding day spotting many birds.  To see this Red-tailed Hawk fly over with a snake really made my day!
Have a fun weekend everyone and stay cool!