The Cedar Waxwings are back in town!
Before retreating indoors earlier today, when the smoke became too much for me, I heard the characteristic buzz of Cedar Waxwings overhead.
We have a Toyon in our yard with berries that have begun to ripen. I am hoping to be able to see the Cedar Waxwings up close and personal in the coming days. These birds have long reminded me of the holidays. Not unusual to see images of them gracing holiday cards. And, we do have them returning to our yards during the holidays when the berries are abundantly available.
As a child it was Pyracantha berries that attracted them to our yard. I'm happy to have a Toyon (a native plant) rather than a Pyracantha (an invasive species in our area) available for them. And, the Cedar Waxwings are not the only birds that appreciate the Toyon.
The Wester Scrub Jay, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, Bush Tits, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, California Towhee, White-Crowned Sparrows, Golden-Crowned Sparrows, Fox Sparrow, and Anna's Hummingbird have all been seen recently in and around the native shrub.
The hummingbirds got fresh *hummer sauce* in their feeders before I retreated indoors. I make it for them. I do not purchase the commercial stuff with the red dye in it. They have been quite active at the three yard feeders today. The Mexican Sage and Cape Honeysuckle in the yard are in bloom. So, they have natural nectar available to them too.
As much as I'd like to be sitting outdoors enjoying the sights and sounds, the air quality has continued to get worse as the day has worn on. I see that we have been under an Winter Spare the Air Alert since yesterday and it will remain in effect until at least Monday.
Just took a look at the current air quality … unhealthy to very unhealthy. Yeah. Not surprised. It's bad!