06 February 2013

Bring out yer dead

Well well well, look who's back already.  It's ok, you can feel amazed and impressed on my behalf.

Checked out a local cemetery again the other day; the Sacramento City Cemetery (which I suppose technically comprises of a couple of different cemeteries but they're all essentially at the same spot):

View Sacramento City Cemetery in a larger map

You can see when you zoom in to the southern part of that map and switch it to satellite view that all the big conifers are on the south end.  It's this part that I've been birding this winter.  It has consistently hosted PINE SISKINS and occasionally RED CROSSBILLS.

Today, though, I spent my fair share staring at flickers.

Yep, found this apparently-pure "YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN FLICKER.  Take a look:

So, all you experts, does it look pure to you?  With that said, I've been surprised by how many intergrade flickers there are around here (or is it just me?).  I seem to run across intergrades several times a month (or is it because I'm looking?).  For example, one of the other flickers today at the cemetery was a male intergrade; it had a nice red malar but also a faint red crescent on the nape.  Whoop!

Heard something I didn't immediately recognize... wandered over and found this HUTTON'S VIREO hanging out with a RCKI:

I'm no expert for stuff here in Sacramento County but for me, I rarely see these things in the county.  In fact, this one was the first one I'd seen at this cemetery.  The only other place I've seen them has been down at the Cosumnes River Preserve.  And yes, they're year-round residents here.

On one of the previous visits to the cemetery I found a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER on a giant tree completely riddled with sap wells.  I returned to that tree on this visit to see if I could find it again.  I stared up at the tree for a minute or two [looking like a crazy man] before I caught movement.  As you can see, it grew a pair and came out for all (me) to see:

Maybe it's retarded but I was actually thrilled to see a dragonfly today, only my second of the spring so far.  I hadn't seen a dragonfly/butterfly in ages so this was a good sign for things to come (I later saw a CABBAGE WHITE as well).  Anyway, here's a VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK: