Backyard Birds of Modesto

Carolyn's backyard birding journal
The journal below will give an idea of birds that visit the backyard thoughout

(Note:Click Here to see Spring/Summer Birding journal)

Sept / Oct::
Summary: On Sept 15th the first white-crowned sparrow arrived, greatly anticipated in this backyard. By October the White-crowned have made themselves at home, bathing and checking out all the feeding areas. Other new arrivals in Oct: yellow-rumped warblers, orange-crowned warbler, golden-crowned sparrows, Black Phoebe, bushtits, Acorn Woodpecker. There has been a lot of activity around the persimmon trees, the scrub jay and other birds peck on green persimons so that they will fall to ground or ripen up on tree sooner.

Jan / Feb:
Summary: White-crowned sparrow are at home now enjoying the wild bird seed, thistle, occasional nuts, even tastes the persimmons occasionally...however this bird really enjoys bathing in the shallow trays onground. Warblers, house finch, goldfinch enjoy the nectar from the single arm feeder from a branch placed under the feeder. Kinglet and orange crowned warbler seen frequently. Robins and Cedar Waxwings eating persimmon in tree. Audubons warbles enjoying persimmons. Warblers, and kinglet enjoying the water/bathing. A rare treat: one of the kinglets shows his ruby crown!!!Mockingbird has tried to guard the persimmon tree but too many other birds. Hermit thrush seen at water tray a few times this month. Perhaps a highlight of this month has been the frequent spotting of the song sparrow around this backyard...who enjoys bathing at the same shallow tray as the white-crowned sparrows, the audubon warblers. Feb dove are beginning to coo.

1st: This morning count 16 White-crowned sparrows at one time...favorite bird in this backyard. The white-crowned are frequent bathers, and move around yard a lot. They expecially like to play around the pile of fall cuttings(branches) from the trees.

Notes: Lots of Goldfinch arriving at feeders these last two weeks, count 25 goldfinch at one time on a bag feeder and tube feeder. There is a lot of activity around and in the persimmon tree as the persimmons are ripening. Among frequent visitors to the treeare Mockingbirds, scrubjay, many house finch, goldfinch, hummingbirds, audubon warblers. MOst of the birds in this backyard, including the white-crowned sparrows, seem to enjoy chasing one another around and through this tree. Hummingbirds at this backyard prefer the single arm feeder. 17th: 9:30am- Black Phoebe catching bugs off of leaves on water. Audubon's warbler bathes in ground water tray. 10th: 4pm- Song sparrow first spotted this season. 6th: 6:20am-Hummingbrid at single arm feeder. 5th: 8:45am- Junco on platform eating mixed seed. 2nd- 8am- Spotted Towhee eating seed from ground feeder.

Note: Whereas last month the big event was the arrival of the white-crowned sparrow, this month has been a month of enjoying their activities of frequent bathing, beautiful songs, and overall movement of this regal bird. Also this month has arrival of different birds. The first fox sparrow arrived on Oct 9th. Still have some hummingbirds around drinking the nectar, in this backyard they favor the single arm feeders. The audubon warblers arrived this month, very fun to watch their up and down flights in the air, and their active bathing. The Mockingbird has been visiting more frequently, keep an eye on the persimmon tree. Oct. 19th spotted first golden-crowned sparrows, at least 2 in number. 12 dove down at one sighting. Spotted a young hawk playing the the water under the orange tree, didn't seem to care about the birds only bathing. Spotted Towhee eating arrived this month visits at least 2 times per day.

Note: Lots of house sparrows, 40 down at one time, mostly young. Less house finch this month. Still there are lots of dove around. But the main event for this month is the arrival of the White-crowned sparrows, a favorite in this backyard! 29th: 11:30am-Spotted Towhee (male) eating seed on ground. 10am- 8 goldfinch on bag 7:10am-Lots of birds out, house sparrows and dove 6:45am-White-crowned sparrow singing 6:30am-Mockingbird singing 22nd: 4:30pm-Oriole in persimmon tree. 10am- 9 goldfinch on bag at one time. 9:20am- Hummingbird drinking from oriole feeder. 7:15 am- 2 white-crowned sparrows under brances on ground eating seed. 8:10am- Yellow warler on tree trunk, stone fountain and sage. 6 white-crowned on gound under twigs. 21st: Hawk around yard a couple times today. Just a few birds seen throughout the day. 20th: 3:15-Rainning- Birds all out-lots everywhere. 6pm- Still raining hard, lots of birds. 16 housefinch, 1 white-crowned sparrow down at one time. 19th: 9:30am- Kinglet bathing on fountain 7:20am-2 white-crowned sparrows on feeder on ground. 18th: 6:30pm-Yellow warbler lands on rope and flys on. 4:50pm-The first white-crowned sparrow arrives on the ground near the brush, but thought I heard their twill yesterday.

March April May June July August....Click Here to see Spring/Summer Birding journal

Note: Scrub Jays getting very aggressive toward other birds. 26th: PM-A white-crowned sparrow plays tag with the kinglet following it to different tiers of the fountain, kinglet bathes quickly...not too bothered by the game. 23rd: 8:30am- Count 40 White-crowned Sparrows down at one time. 19th: AM- Junco eating finch mix on high platform. 15th: 10:30am- 8 Pine Siskin eating thistle. 9:30am- Hawk perched on persimmon tree. Scared away by sound of window openning. Birds back out within 10 minutes of hawk leaving. 13th: 12:30pm- Hummingbird drinking nectar. 12th: 3:45pm- Kinglet eating insects on city tree. 3:30pm-Large hawk in far tree. Two Magpies flying within one ft of hawk and around it from perch to perch- seems not afraid of hawk. The hawk seems mildly irritated. 10th: 10am- Audubon's warbler eats suet and apple 7th: 6:45am- 45 white-crowned sparrows on ground and platforms. 4th: 9am- Kinglet on orange tree eating bugs. 23 white-crowned sparrow at one time 8am- Mockingbird eats suet, drinks nectar. Audubon warbler fluttering up to eat suet.

22nd: Doves cooing. 1:30pm- 2 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (male and female )on arbor close watching me fill green fountain and watering. 20th: Note: A few gold finch have a pink tint from eating persimmons. 9:20am- Juncos on table and platform eating mixed seed and finch mix. Western Bluebird (new to this backyard!)eating persimmons on ground. 19th: 4:45pm- 2 Audubon Warblers bathing on stone fountain, beautiful colors. Audubon Warblers eating on platform feeder, eating finch mix and nuts. 10:20- Starlings eating persimmons. Two Mockingbirds fighting over persimmon tree, most persimmons have plopped to the ground. 7:20am- 15 Audubon Warblers in persimmon tree. 18th: 4:30pm- Kinglet eating persimmon. 1pm- Lots of Robins eating persimmons, 15. 16th: 7am- Mockingbird protecting persimmon tree from Cedar Waxwings. Lots of White-crowned Sparrows in city tree and front yard bushes. 6:30am- First time this season Dove heard cooing. Lots of Cedar Waxwings in city tree eating berries. 15th: 7:45am- Fox sparrow on ground feeder eating seed. 7:30am- Hummingbird on stone fountain bathing. Notes: Put a new wooden hopper feeder out, and placed it at ground level with mixed seed - the Dove, White-crowned sparrows use this feeder, also some of the house finch. 10th: Spotted the Fox Sparrow scratching ground under bush. Counted 26 dove down at one time today. 6th: Robin, Mockingbird around persimmon tree. 5th: Hummingbird drinking nectar from flower of the flowering maple.

December Summary: Same birds as in November. Lots of activity of the Kinglets, Audubon Warblers. Yellow warbler around yard.
Lot's of activiy still centered around the persimmon tree, Mockingbird, Scrub Jay, finch. 20 plus Robins in the area spotted at one time.
Hawk and Kestrel came around a few times in December. Shot an olive near them with sling shot..flew away.The birds appreciated it, came out from hiding and sang.
Many White-crowned sparrows, very much enjoy the singing...a favorite bird at this backyard!
During rain lot's of gathering of Goldfinch, about 50 at one time around thistle feeders. Junco visited and left, I think it was the same day a hawk was in area. Also a visit by the Black Phoebe. November:
November Summary: There has been a lot of bird activity this November. Much of the added activity is around the persimmon tree.
Cedar Waxwings eat persimmons and American Robin barks at them.
The Audubon's Warbler and Ruby-Crowned Kinglet usually arrive in the persimmon tree around the same times. The Kinglet and Audubon's Warbler eat insects from the tree. The Audubon's Warbler eats from persimmon. New/ additional birds spotted this Nov: The Black Phoebe,lots of American Goldfinch, Pine Siskens, Cedar Waxwings, Oregon Junco. Some bird counts (birds down at one time): Dove: 16, American Goldfinch: 30, Lesser Goldfinch: 6 Pine Siskens: 4, House finch:7, House sparrows: 20, Oregon Junco: 2 25th: Oregon Junco under orange tree in brush, eats mixed seed from ground feeders and table. 21st: First Robin in persimmon tree barking (short puppy-like yaps) at 3 cedar waxwings. Also the house finch surrounding the cedar waxwings...cedar waxwings leave. House finch eating persimmon 2:20pm - Kinglet bathing on 2nd tier of fountain 18th: 7:30am Mockingbird defends persimmon tree territory. 17th: 11:am 20 Cedar Waxwings 4:30 - White-Crowned Sparrows eating nuts, finch mix and suet up on platform...most of the time they prefer the ground feeders. 7th: 7:30am Black Phoebe at pool flying down close to water.

25th: 4:30pm - Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in fig tree & persimmon tree. The Audubon's Warbler shortly after pecking on a soft persimmon. 16th: Fox Sparrow has been very active the last two days. Ventures out from the bushes more. It's activites are scratching under bushes, drinking from water tray near bush, and eating seed near bush. Seen in many different areas of the landscape. 15th: 7:50am - Yellow Warbler bathing on stone fountain. 12th: New birds spotted today! 7:30am - Looks like a golden crowned sparrow on ground near fountain. 10:30am - Fox sparrow spotted with the white crowned near and under bush. 5:55pm - Audubon's Warbler at water tray on ground near fountain. 6th: 7am - Male black chinned hummingbird tree perch, then bathes in shallow fountain. 7:45- Mockingbird eating persimmons off of tree. 4th: Counted at least 8 white crowned sparrows. Note: Lots of house sparrows around, and less house finch. 3rd: 6:45am First bird sound of morning from white crowned sparrow..beautiful. 7am: House finch(red) at hanging feeder eating sunflower seeds. 7:20 Ringed turtle dove (we call him "turtle" now) w friend mourning dove sharing ground feeder, eating mixed seed. 2nd: 9Am woodpecker(looks like a flicker) in surrounding pine tree at top- scared birds a bit by being in the nearby area. 1st:6:45am- White crowned sparrow at favorite feeding station again on cement near bush, then flys up to tree. 7am: Beautiful singing from White crowned sparrow. I once read, "You are blessed if you have white crowned sparrows in your yard." Agree! 2pm: 2 white crowned on table eating thistle and finch mix, other white crowned sparrows singing in tree! 6pm: Ringed turtle dove feeding with another dove(mourning), on ground.

Notes: The appearance of the hawk several times during the last part of september, did not phase the birds in this backyard much. Perhaps the early detection of the hawk was favorable, for the birds gathered soon after hawk flew away. The appearance of the white crowned a waited event in this backyard. It a favorite bird of this birdwatcher. Ringed turtle dove is new to this backyard. Slowly is somewhat accepted by mourning doves..lets it feed with them. 30th: 7:15am - Hummingbird bathes in green fountain. 7:25am- White crowned at round water bowl and feeding near bush edge on cement. 28th: 7am- two white crowned sparrows eating seed, on cement near bush, drinking water from tray near green fountain. Today Hawk lands on tarp in backyard. Scared it away by shooting olive w slingshot below his perch. 25th: 5:15pm- 2 white crowned sparrows eating finch mix on old picnic table converted to feeder. 23rd: 6:15pm The first white crowned sparrow arrives! 14th: NOTE: Lots of goldfinch at hanging feeders all at one time--about 45. 13th: Hawk on perch-tree -shot olive w slingshot below where it is perched- flew away. 12th: Light colored ringed turtle dove arrives; sits on the perch tree-eats seed from corner ground feeder and high hanging platform feeder. Drinks water from stone fountain. 11th: Hawk in perch-tree - shot an olive with slingshot below it - flew away.

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