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Afternoon Walk – Birds and Thistles

We took a nice long walk in the warm afternoon sunshine…sort of on a quest to see thistles and also just to enjoy the last of the predicted sunny afternoons.

Our first bird sound and flash of color came with the Red-Winged Blackbird‘s call.  The walking trail is right along a little wetland area, creek mostly but a few small ponds. These birds are year-round residents here in our world and an easy beginner’s bird to learn by their call by ear.

We had a mystery bird fly across the trail…looked like a California quail but much larger and with more orange. Yes, orange underneath. I looked it up in my field guide and guess what? A new bird for my local life list! It was a Mountain Quail!  It doesn’t get much better than that for this bird lover…a great walk and a new bird for our area. (We have seen Mountain Quail at Yosemite in the past.)

Kona Dog
Here is my walking companion…my Kona dog. She is so patient with me when I stop and take photos of plants, butterflies, and birds. She just sits and waits so nicely with that big pink tongue hanging out while I try to get just the right image.

Bull Thistle in Fall
Here is a sneak peek at our thistle study. We did find some Bull Thistle all dried up along the trail…it is so very prickly that I couldn’t pick a thistle head to bring home to study. I was able to pull a few fluffy seeds out though and that is what we will observe closely next week as part of the up-coming thistle study.

Mountain Quail
I came home and pulled up my North American Birds notebooking page set from and printed off a page for the Red-Winged Blackbird. I remembered I had done a Mountain Quail page when I was at Yosemite a few years ago so I pulled it out and updated it with this sighting. (So don’t laugh at his long skinny legs…birds are hard to draw!)

We are really enjoying the last warm days of our autumn weather, getting outside just a few minutes each day.

The notebook page shown in this entry is NOT in the set from This set is like this one: Hermit Thrush. The page shown above comes with the Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook.

3 thoughts on “Afternoon Walk – Birds and Thistles

  1. Love your walk, your quail, your thistles and your sweet, patient dog. (Plus your photos of queen anne’s lace and your yard in your previous entry). You are having some glorious fall afternoons!

    The red-winged blackbird is one of our favorites too. Very distinct call. Once while we were sitting at the kitchen table an entire flock of them landed in the backyard. They were so noisy and we were just stunned motionless. Quite a memory.

  2. I love red-winged black birds. We saw them alot back in Ohio.

    We are getting into seabirds since we have moved to the coast. I found a park that claims that if you come morning or evening, you can see Spoonbills. We are excited about that.

    I love Brown Pelicans the most. They just released 10 here in Seabrook from the wildlife hospital. They were hurt in Hurricane Lee. Seabrook, TX is a bird sanctuary. We were driving down the road and came across a tree just full of vultures. It was one of the neatest things I have ever seen. A bit creepy, though. LOL

  3. Lovely photos. Our red-winged bb’s have all gone south now. That mountain quail must have been exciting!

    Gooood puppy dog. Give her a biscuit from me!!

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