Well! Good to be back. First of all, I’d like to congratulate this eagle —
— on having eaten a gull. Sadly, I didn’t get to see the righteous smackdown being delivered, but it was reported to me later by one of the handymen from my building, who also alerted me to the eagle’s presence. Pardon the awful quality of the photo — it was taken at a great distance, on a rainy day. However, I did get a much better look at the bird, as a crow chased it past my balcony, towards Stamps Landing (and thanks for that, crow). I was able to identify it as a golden eagle, making this a very good year for eagles: that’s two species already, and it’s only February.
In other news, Mother helped me set up two hummingbird feeders — why two? — because the first one turned out to be a bit pants; the birds weren’t finding it, at all. And yesterday, I had my first hummingbird, a hungry little Anna’s, sleek and shiny. It stopped by several times, over the course of the afternoon, and availed itself of both feeders. For such a tiny bird, it made a great deal of noise, a series of forceful buzzes and squeaks that attracted my attention from behind a closed window. It sampled the sugar water, buzzed, sampled, buzzed, sampled, hung in the air, squeaking, and dove towards the garden, where I lost sight of it amidst the bushes. Half an hour later, it was back. This time, I was waiting. I sat under the feeder, and watched its horrible little bird tongue lap the nectar. It’s a remarkable sight: you barely glimpse the tongue, just the ripples it makes in the water, as it flicks in and out, over and over and over again. I have a feeling that’s one bird tongue I’m not going to get a picture of, however hard I might try. (There will be hummingbird photos, though. Oh, yes, there will. Yesterday, my camera was out of batteries, but today, it’s charged up and ready for action.)
I may also be nearing the conclusion of my gullie woes: Mother found me a bird feeder with a dome over the top, so great horrible packbawkies can’t squeeze their big heads in. Medium-sized birds, like crows and flickers, should still be able to get a snack, but gulls will be excluded. All I need to do is set it up. With my luck, of course, gulls will figure out a way to upend the bloody thing and eat all the seeds. I might just have to hire an eagle to stand guard. What do you think — would a gull a day be a fair rate for avian labour? Awfully fatty meat, though; probably full of fish oil.
I’ll be out birding later on; hopefully, I’ll find something good.