Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today's Grab Bag

This morning I went out on the terrace upstairs to look for parrots. We saw the blackbirds all in a group, pecking away at the food I'd put across the road for the stray cat family. Amongst their chatter, Miguel heard another bird noise. A perico, he said. I listened and then heard it too. Just one parrot apparently having a self-conversation.

Yap, Yap, Chatter, Blurppp! We couldn't see him in the trees, but suddenly there he was - airborne above us. We watched him fly out of sight. Just him. Now I will have to get up there earlier tomorrow to see if I can see more. But they're back, more than three years after Wilma.

Another bird we hadn't seen here since Wilma was the hummingbird. With a garden loaded with flowers and blooms, if there were hummingbirds, we would have seen them. I'd given up on having hummingbirds in the garden, but finally, a couple of months ago, as I was sitting on the edge of the pool, a hummingbird buzzed by my head. Yeah! They're back too.

And then there are the wild canaries. Tiny yellow and green songbirds. They are once again out there, singing and chirping on the wire. Miguel chirps at them and they respond with their trilling. I can't whistle or I would sing to them too.

In the summer we often take our coffee up to the third level terrace to enjoy the view and the breeze. The pelicans sleep in the trees around the Makax Lagoon, and sometimes, as they fly overhead to get ready for bed, they fly so low I feel like I could reach up and touch them. They are such odd birds, and so neat to watch in flight.

We used to have an eagle family nesting in the cell phone tower across the road. We no longer see the nest (since Wilma - darn her!), but occasionally one of the eagles will rest up there and call out. We've even seen them up there with a fish!

Of course the noisest and most common bird here is the blackbird. Minina likes to stalk them, and up on the third level terrace, she almost had one - just got the tail feathers before it got away. That bird circled above her and came back and swooped low over Minina and yelled at her. Miguel said the bird was so mad it risked being caught in order to scold the cat.

The blackbirds also like to steal Negra's food from the bowl on the front terrace. Negra will put up with it for a bit, but then she jumps up and chases them off. We see the occasional feather here and there - not sure who is responsible or how much damage was done (hopefully minimal), but the blackbirds think they are invincible and just keep coming back.

There are other thieves of Negra's food. The brown dog at the corner is good for cleaning up stale food that Negra left in the bowl. The stray cats will help themselves but not for long if Negra is around, as she chases them off as quickly as she does the blackbirds. If the gate is open, other stray dogs may be bold enough to come in and help themselves.

We have lost Negra's bowl several times. Last week we heard a commotion out front but didn't bother to check, and when Miguel went to the market, he found Negra's bowl in the middle of the road a few blocks away from here.

Which dog carries off the bowls? We don't know. Loco's bowl made it to the curb the other day - don't know who did it. And other bowls have just disappeared, vanished into thin air. Now that I know how far they can actually be carried, we'll expand our search area the next time a bowl goes missing.

Maya and Minina have been spending these beautiful days on the back terrace, sprawled in their camp chairs. A huge iguana (like a dinosaur!) sits on the top of the wall. He watches the cats, and they watch him. When Loco gets a chance he runs out the back door and takes a flying leap at the wall (which is probably 10 feet high). Loco can jump high, but not that high...and he looks rather silly jumping with all his strength and then bouncing off the wall with all fours and then whining about it. The iguana barely even flinches; he knows the dog is an idiot and doesn't stand a chance.


Bennie said...

Sue I'd be carful under one of those Pelicans... I'd hate to be pooped on by one. We have them here and it's so fun to watch them fish for dinner.

Over the holiday we drove from SC to VA and on a cell phone tower there were a group of Eagles and they were taking off and landing like the military teaching pilots. I just sat and watched in awe of them.

Years back when I was a kid we had a Mockingbird that would chase our cat. The cat as an outdoor cat and the bird would swoop down and take chunks of fur off this poor cat.

As you can tell you have brought back some memories here. Some old and some new.

The only wild Parots I've seen were at the Sarasota, FL airport. I just loved flying from there just to see the birds.

Oh and I'll never forget the number of birds in McAllen,TX. I think you were with me on that trip and it was like a scene from the movie the birds. I'd never seen so many in one place in my life.

Enjoy your bird watching in the morning and try not to get hit with flying poop.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch the birds as well...unfortunately with all of the snow we have here there are not so many at the feeder. Mostly Junkos and Cardinals and Blue Jays. Once in a while we get a woodpecker. In the spring we get a lot of travellers passing through!

As for the dog bowl...we used to have a lab that never went anywhere without her pink plastic bowl. She carried it all over the place, it was her security blanket.

Thanks for sharing snippets of your days there! I love to read them.

Sue said...

Bennie - I never thought of that with the pelicans but I think you're right - it would be a big mess. Thanks for the 'heads up' to keep the 'head down'.

Salome - that is one thing I might miss a bit - the winter birds. I'm not a bird expert, just a bird watcher. Fun through the window on a winter afternoon!

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

Greetings Sue!

Reading your blog has helped me 'warm-up' a bit. We've had some cold weather here in PA - also have some snow on the ground. Not like some areas of the states that are snowed in! It looks pretty in the back yard on the ground and on the trees. The pond is well frozen over and covered with snow (except for the section with the pond heater to let air into the pond) and the koi are all sleeping their way thru the winter.

Watched a few deer this weekend coming in and out of the tree line as they searched for some grass/leaves/food... You can easily miss them as their white tails really do blend in with the snow. Our boxer, Starr, looks much like a deer as she jumps around in the snow - she has four while paws but no white tail!

Keep those warm pictures and stories coming!

My best to Miguel!