Archive for the ‘Jane’s Birdwatcher Poems’ Category

Two Mockingbirds and a Merlin (female) at Amber Ridge in the Morning

This morning, I was walking around Amber Ridge when I heard raucous bird calls. As I drew closer to the source of the sound, I saw that it was being made by two mockingbirds. They were squawking and flying up in the air and then back into their tall, green tree. I drew close to the tree, to find out what was irritating them, and saw a placid Merlin (female) perched on a high branch whom they were trying to scare off. The Merlin’s banded tail and distinct, brown chest streaking, facial patterning, and size (11-12″ apx) and wingspan (shorter than a larger hawk) made the ID.

June seems late for a nesting pair of mockingbirds, and the Merlin (Merlin columbarius) is supposedly here in SoCal mainly between mid-October and March. Yet here was this drama unfolding at the top of the tree:  plain as day. Although the mockingbirds were not initially successful, my interest in the Merlin, demonstrated by a curious stare as I drew closer, prompted the small raptor to take flight … and the two mockingbirds chased it across the sky!

 

loud, shrill mockingbirds

defending a tall, green tree

the Merlin takes flight!

jb

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 7.24.03 PM

Male and Female Merlin

p.s. The drama was re-enacted again this morning, Sunday, 7/16/2019. This time, when the mockingbirds chased off the Merlin, she let out an almost four-second long series of 10-12 sharp chips as she flew. Her banded tail spread was spread out in flight and clearly visible. A striking combination of sight and sound! So the ID of the Merlin was confirmed again today.

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Barn Swallows & Northern Rough Winged Swallows at the L.A. Waterfront

Yesterday afternoon, I was walking along the L.A. Waterfront from the Maritime Museum parking lot to the Cirque du Soleil big-top, blue-and-yellow tent to see “Amaluna.” As I was walking by the water, through a line of trees on either side of the sidewalk, the barn swallows were swooping all around me like angels! They made me laugh with delight. I love their brilliant blue-and-orange colors … On the way back, after the show, the same thing happened again — only this time, the birds were northern rough winged swallows! They were very glad-hearted in flight, swooping together and apart in elongated oval and figure eight dances in mid-air, at top speed. Seeing them filled my heart with joy!

barn swallows swooping!

northern rough wing’ swallows dancing –

angels in mid-air

jb

“Haiku for Joy” by Jane Beal

Black_Phoebe_s52-13-029_l_1

HAIKU FOR JOY

black phoebe darting

between the white-barked birch trees –

you welcome me home

jb

La Verne, CA

“Haiku for Vivian” by Jane Beal

rooftopcrows (1)

a murder of crows

on the San Pedro rooftops –

cawing at daybreak

jb

San Pedro, CA

“Haiku for Gemma” by Jane Beal

DoveinLakewoodCA

slender mourning dove

descends from the gazebo

to the orange tree

jb

Lakewood, CA

“A Hawk with a Fish” by Jane Beal

ahawkwithafish

a hawk with a fish

my parents tell my Omi –

just like a picture

jb

Walnut Creek, CA

Haiku for a Hummingbird

HummingbirdinaPineTree

orange flowers bloom

behind the pillar pine tree

for a hummingbird

jb

Vacaville, CA