Spring Robin and Wildflower Hikes – Robin Nature Study

We took a walk to look for birds as part of the Spring Bird Observation Challenge from last week. It had been raining earlier in the day but we took off for our hike as soon as the clouds parted a little. The walking trail had lots of earthworms wiggling across which is why we saw A LOT of robins. The robins were singing and then hopping along side the trail as we hiked.

American Robin in a Pine

I think I was too distracted to capture a good photo but you can see him up there on the branch of the pine.

Robin nature journal

He did make it into our nature journals though….big fat red belly and all. There is lots of information in the Handbook of Nature Study for the robin. I encourage you to use this information as the basis of a great spring study of birds. There is an official Outdoor Hour Challenge for robins: Red Birds.

Here is an additional printable brochure on American Robins that is excellent: American Robins.

Yellow Globe Lily

We were lucky to catch this wildflower blooming…

Yellow Star Tulip

Yellow star tulip.

Scotch Broom along Trail

Part of the trail is lined with Scotch broom….yellow boughs make a beautiful setting. I know it is considered a “noxious” weed and invasive but I will enjoy it as I walk the trail this spring.

4 23 11 Red Shack wildflowers Sierra Pea

On another section of the trail the Sierra peas are in bloom giving the grass dots of purple and pink.

4 19 11 yard and walking trail CA Poppies

The California poppies are really blooming now and this section of the trail full of them.I am working on a new blog entry featuring poppies that I will post soon.

4 19 11 yard and walking trail Blue Eyed Grass

We recognized this flower from last year…Blue eyed grass which isn’t a grass at all but it is in the iris family.

Tweet and See button

Here is our list for April:

  1. Canada goose -on the move, although we have some that stay year-round in a marshy area at the edge of town
  2. Mourning doves (always a pair)
  3. Anna’s hummingbirds
  4. White-crowned sparrows
  5. White-breasted nuthatch
  6. Acorn woodpecker
  7. California towhee
  8. House sparrows
  9. Brewer’s blackbirds
  10. American crow
  11. Turkey vultures
  12. Red-wing blackbirds
  13. Western scrub jays
  14. Common ravens
  15. Cedar waxwings (saw these yesterday) – heard their high pitch whistle
  16. Oak titmouse
  17. American robins -counted 47 one day
  18. California quail – flock of them
  19. Yellow billed magpie – on a day trip, distinctive sound
  20. Blue heron – on another day trip
  21. Steller’s jays
  22. Cooper’s hawk – we hear this sound a lot in our yard (nest call/alarm call)
  23. Red-tail hawk
  24. Rock pigeons

I think the most interesting thing about our list is the absence of some of our “regular” feeder birds. It appears that some of them have moved on: House finches, Lesser goldfinches, Spotted towhees, Dark eyed juncos.

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos. It’s so interesting to me to see which birds and flowers we have in common and which are different. The robins nest in the tall pines in our front yard every year. Last year, we spotted two robin nests, a Carolina wren nest, and two cardinal nests on our property, and also saw baby blue jays so we know they must have nested nearby as well. — Kathy at http://www.needleandspade.com

  2. Love that big, red, fat belly in your journal. Thanks for the pleasure of seeing your list of birds and all your wildflower observations. That star tulip is gorgeous. It almost looks fuzzy.

  3. My Tweet and See list is looking a bit different this month, too! I can hardly get any eaters at my feeders right now, they are too happy about the real food. Thanks for participating!

  4. I always find it startling when I go to your blog and see wildflower pictures for wildflowers I see in my backyard. :-) I have a number of those yellow star tulips blooming about 15 feet from my house, in a little meadow area we watch closely every spring! (My daughter calls them yellow cat’s ears *grin*)

    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them! My close-ups of the flowers never turn out well. I just can’t seem to get the hang of the macro on my camera.

  5. Beautiful photo’s and a cute Robin. The European robin in our garden sings so nice and shows itself often.

    I like your remark on weeds. Isn’t it the same as with stone and gemstones. We -adults- find stones boring and gemstones great, like weed ‘noxious’ and flowers enjoyable. But kids, with their open minds, don’t see the difference between weeds and appreciated flowers, stones and gemstones. They enjoy all objects of nature without prejudice.
    Paula

  6. Paula,

    Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    I have been thinking about the idea of invasive or noxious weeds like the Scotch broom. The reason it is considered invasive is because it eventually crowds out the native plants which potentially can harm the local wildlife if the Scotch broom makes it so the plants they eat are no longer available. I was reading that the seeds can remain dormant for 80 years. Wow!

    I understand on a environmental level about invasive weeds like Scotch broom but since I can’t do anything about it on land that is not mine, I will enjoy looking at it when it blooms.

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