Hope Airport April 6 Mountain Bluebirds Apr 6, 2011 18:44:01 GMT -8
Post by wendy on Apr 6, 2011 18:44:01 GMT -8
Went to the airport today and found the lovely mountain bluebirds right away (lucky!). They were on the Airport Road side on the western quarter of the field. I counted about 20 on the ground - a mix of adults and younger ones. It was raining lightly and cold but they were busy as ever plucking worms out of the ground. At one point the rain really starting coming down and about 15 of them flew into a small tree close to me. That's when I think I spotted a Say's Phoebe in the tree with them. Nothing I did seemed to spook them, even when I moved my vehicle to be closer to them, and to sit on the roof of my jeep to settle in for some quality viewing time. A loud truck went by and they didn't even move. They just stayed close to the fence side and many of them seemed to come closer to check me out. (My kingdom for a good camera.) Last year I watched them sit on the dirt mounds and fly up to catch bugs. This time they were perched on the leafless plants that were sticking up 5" to 45" above the ground or they were just on the ground. Their electric blue feathers glowed like they'd been coated in a powdered blue pigment. There was one male that had the most incredible blue coat. The younger ones are adorable and some still looked fluffy - could have been puffed up from the cold. One of the best moments was when a bunch of them seemed to look to the east and then they flew up and gathered in a flock. I hadn't realized there were so many but when they were in the air I could count 30+....maybe 40! Then they flew into one of the big evergreens along the fence. Shortly after, they went back to the same area on the field. I got there about 3:45 and stayed for about 45 minutes. I didn't want to leave but it was cold and pouring rain. A couple of towhees and a song sparrow were hanging out nearby - they asked to be mentioned.