25 February 2007

Neighborhood wildife

The rainy weather hasn't bothered the local bird life. A few weeks ago the neighbor's front yard was occupied by four egrets. They are common in the creeks and agricultural fields around the area, but this is the first time I've seen them in the neighborhood. It's not uncommon to see Mallard ducks waddling along the lawns, but the egrets were a nice surprise. They are such elegant birds.

Today while sitting at the back window I watched a white-tailed kite hovering and flying around. The light mist of rain quickly turned into a cloud-burst of strong rain, but it sat atop a tall tree with it's wings spread wide and enjoyed a rain bath. A quartet of crows eventually annoyed it enough that it flew off. Hopefully it will return. They are amazing flyers and it's always fun to watch a bird that is able to do a true hover.

Speaking of hovering, the hummingbirds are frequenting the yard and feeder. I never tire of watching their amazing speed, agility, and hovering. And their vibrant colors help brighten a dreary winter day.

I took this photo at the end of the season last year, and the poor butterfly looks a bit tattered, but it was fun to see our Butterfly Bush actually attracting a butterfly! Hopefully this year we'll get a few more colorful visitors.

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