Category Archives: birdwatching

Not Seven Swans A Swimming

Just two of them. Quickly sharing my favorite set of photos from last Wednesday. Ironically, not of the eagles or geese I went to view. Rather this lucky collection of two swans arriving for the water landing as my camera clicked.

Not Calling Birds

And closer to home, we’ve had this odd little visitor. At first, I thought my white-crowned sparrow returned to visit. However, upon closer inspection and a bit of Internet research, I’ve determined it’s something called a leucistic house sparrow. Basically, a not quite albino variation of my house sparrows. 

(note: these photos were through the back door as my current birds like to take off the minute I attempt to ease the door open). 

My guess is he’s related to my other sparrow who sports a white tail feather.  Still not a common site in our backyard and an interesting looking bird.

By the way, I looked up calling birds out of curiosity. Thought to be blackbirds or at another time mockingbirds. I could spend way too much time researching the song, so I’m stopping with that thought.

Other Birds Spotted In The Backyard This Week

Not spotted by me but my younger son could hardly wait to tell me of his backyard sighting on Thursday afternoon as I walked in from work. Not one but two hawks in the tree in the backyard!  Apparently, after “rescuing” the cat from the deck where she lounged, he did at least think of trying to take the photos. Unfortunately, my bad habit of forgetting to replace the SD card after uploading photos did me in on that one. So no pictures.

I do have a photo of one of my work Secret Santa gifts, not quite the same but I do love the coffee cup (and despite my husband’s objections, I do not believe there is such a thing as too many coffee cups!):

Back to information about the pair of hawks. After listening to the descriptions provided by my son and husband and pulling up birds in my bird books and on-line, we’ve decided most likely it was a pair of red shouldered hawks!

Birds viewed with my own eyeballs this week: cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, tufted titmice, house finches, Carolina wrens, lots of sparrows including the one shown above, a blue jay, a few robins (on the way to work), a crow, and about 3 gulls flying overhead yesterday (on the way home from work).

What birds did you spot this week?

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Joining in with Bird Depot, hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Geese and Eagles

Hey! I have different birds to share this time.

Decided to treat myself on my birthday, Wednesday, by driving up to Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve always wanted to go. It’s about a two hour trip from here. I had time and the weather was perfect so off I went. A really nice day if I leave out the traffic construction snarls part of the story.

Eagle days canceled last weekend because of Covid. However, you can still go and drive the route. Didn’t really expect to see many eagles but was pleasantly surprised. They seemed to be everywhere!

However, I can’t leave the snow geese out of this conversation.

So many snow geese!

And Eagles!

In the trees:

On the water:

And of course, in the air over the water:

Also, not just bald eagles. Golden eagles, too, I think.

Or maybe a juvenile bald eagle here?

Photos from a Lazy Birder

Meaning I don’t know the exact species here and I haven’t looked them up but thought I’d just share on here.

And one last look at the geese and eagles (look at the tree, upper right corner):

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Speaking of lazy, took all my photos on auto. The pros out there had the full tripod set ups going. More photos to share next time, saving my favorite set of photos for next Saturday really.

Geese and eagles stand out but I did spot other birds this week (probably shouldn’t include the one shown to me from the rude car on the highway, ha!): the usual around the backyard feeders so cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, tufted titmice, the nuthatches, red-bellied woodpecker and the downy woodpecker. Canada geese down the road and at the wildlife refuge, lots of hawks in trees on the way. Some starlings. Saw a few crows. And unbelievably, as I drove home, just past Saint Joseph (so still about an hour north of here), two bald eagles flew over the highway.

What birds did you see this week?

Linking up with the Bird Depot, hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

Birds Spotted in Passing

Last week was a bit of a blur, once again, without a lot of time for bird watching. Or rather I should say decent bird taking photo time. I shared the same mood as this cardinal much of the week:

Monday proved a rough start though I did spot two gold finches passing through the backyard. Since I needed to pick up bird seed anyway, I added a finch sock to my purchase. And another little feeder (husband just noticed it tonight and fussed about it a bit). Have I seen any goldfinches since adding in the feeders? Of course not!

Since I read Phil’s post last weekend, I properly noted the large flock of “gulls” flying over my head on Tuesday. Not seagulls. So many of them! I have a friend who insists they are a precursor to snow. Hope that old tale was wrong this time!

Did I mention the week went by in a bit of a blur? Much like these photo attempts of the blue jay visiting the bird feeder one morning. 

Adding to the confusion as I tried to creep along through the week. One day I thought I spotted a brown creeper in the far Sycamore tree of the neighbors. Only to realize it was Carolina Wren once I saw the photos on the computer. 

He decided to join the other birds at the feeder later.

I did spot a brown creeper on the oak tree. They’re fast little birds!

Not much else to report about the week. Mr. McNutty, Suet (Sue for short), and Al keep inviting friends to the backyard bird feeders. They’re well over the legal gathering number for squirrels around here. SIGH.

Mr. McNutty

Finally, this nuthatch stopped eating for a minute to wish everyone a…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Other birds spotted last week: robins, mourning doves, sparrows including the white-throated sparrow, dark-eyed juncos, a flicker woodpecker, the red-bellied woodpecker, and Canada geese.

What birds did you spot last week?

Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Birds

Despite some great weather for walking, I stayed home most of this week (worked on Monday). Had to oversee some online schooling.

Thankfully, the birds did cooperate a bit in presenting themselves around the backyard feeders.

Regular Bird Feeder Customers

A tufted titmouse and a house finch posed for me.

Ever since, Eileen mentioned she thought one of my house finches might be a pine siskin I’ve been trying to get a decent photo of this little loner of a bird. Definitely, a finch of some sort, I think.

Speaking of finches, I did briefly see an actual goldfinch one day. I probably should have put the id features in the Merlin Bird App just so it could be right for a change. (Photos turned out too blurry to share).

The cardinals (more about them later) and chickadees still hang around the feeders.

And the squirrels as well. So many lately that I feel as if I’m in some sort of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory outtake. Is it bad that I’ve begun giving them names? This red-bellied woodpecker finally got a turn on the feeder when the one I call “Suet” left for a bit.

He looks a bit out of it. Photo reminds me of the unflattering photos family members tend tag us in after the holidays. Sorry, Mr. Red bellied woodpecker. I’ll try and get your good side next time!

More Woodpeckers

While I also saw a downy woodpecker out there, I was most excited to spot not one but two Flicker woodpeckers in the backyard. They passed on the suet feeder finding plenty of interesting things on the ground and in the trees at the far end of the yard.

Seeing one is exciting enough but spotting two called for grabbing a jacket and venturing around to the backyard for some photo attempts. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to capture both of them in the same frame. However, I assure you there were indeed two birds.

One on the utility pole.

And one in the trees a bit to the left of the pole.

One flew off but I stayed a few minutes watching the other play hide and seek in another tree. Can you spot it (just the wing) in the photo below?

Visible again in the photo below.

As excited as I am about sharing my two Flicker woodpeckers, I have something better to share next.

A Cardinal Chowing Down

These photos were all through the backdoor glass so not the best. However, I thought the sequence of the the cardinal with the leaf was worth sharing regardless of the photo quality.

Did you know cardinals collect leaves? Neither did I! So when I saw this fellow pick up the brown leaf off the deck, I found myself intrigued.  Just going to let the photos tell the rest of the story: 

Not sure what Cardinal delicacy came off of that leaf but I do hope he enjoyed it after all that hard work!

Two More Birds to Share

Um, that’s not a bird. No, that’s my photo assistant modeling her serious look she gives the neighbor’s dogs. However, she gets credit for alerting me to the next bird. Heard but not seen. One morning, she woke me up in the predawn hours because sometimes cats do that.

And just out the window, I heard the telltale call, “Who cooks for you?” of a barred owl in the backyard. Too dark for any photos (and I wasn’t really planning to be up at 4:30AM) but exciting to hear all the same.

Finally, the last bird spotted this week. A white-throated sparrow. Actually, saw two but only captured one with the camera.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

Before I share my tally of the other birds seen around the backyard, I wanted to show you the same tree from last week’s post. Just an example of how fast our seasons change around here.

Also seen around the backyard (and sometimes the front): dark-eyed juncos, too many house sparrows, a brown tree creeper, crows, blue jays (heard, not seen), starlings, mourning doves and the one lonely Eurasian collared dove beneath the feeder. My pair of nuthatches hang around still as does the Carolina wren and a group of robins.

What birds did you spot this week?

Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

Slow Week

Why would possibly the slowest week of the slowest year not also be a slow bird-watching week?  Wonderful sunny weather but hardly any birds spotted!

I did work Monday, Tuesday, and Friday so it limited my bird-watching time. And Wednesday, my plans changed as my youngest needed help with school. Thursday, I managed to go on a walk at my favorite park but no luck spotting many birds.

It’s been so slow, I ran outside with the camera just now to try and capture a few decent shots of our resident cardinals and sparrows to share. We do have a large family of cardinals hanging out with us this fall. Unfortunately, they are quite skittish making decent photos of them hard to obtain.

Backyard Cardinals and Sparrows

The above photos were all from today. Next, I’ll share my photos from the one walk to managed to take this week.

Spotted At The Park

Did I mention it was a slow bird-watching week despite fantastic weather?  The park seemed unusually quiet. Perhaps my timing? Only time available for me to go was basically the noon hour.

These winged creatures were happy to guide me along on the path taking breaks from the wild daisies (about the only flower blooms left).

Spotted a couple “whirly birds” though only grabbed a photo of one.

Only feathered birds spotted were cardinals. One posed but my backyard photos were better. Heard some wrens as I passed them. And of course, a few blue jays. Took both cameras allowing me to zoom in on this little bird. Want to try and id it from a fuzzy photo? Some sort of sparrow.

A peaceful walk in beautiful weather just not a productive one for bird-watching.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

Not a lot of time to watch for birds this week so maybe that explains my poor luck. Out the back door, I spotted our usual friends: the tufted titmice, the pair of nuthatches, house finches, a few robins, and two white-throated sparrows. Three crows sat in our front yard maple tree one morning as we left for school. And I’ve seen the occasional dark-eyed junco this week. If furry birds count, then the squirrels at the feeders are certainly abundant. Pretty sure one thinks it’s a house pet. Trying to refrain from giving him a name. One morning I briefly saw the flicker woodpecker in the oak tree. And the red-bellied and downy woodpeckers were around here and there.

Even without a lot of birds to enjoy (this week), I can’t help but enjoy the end of the fall colors around here. I often share views of the neighbor’s oak tree but here is the other neighbor’s sweet gum tree. Gorgeous color almost makes me forget about those spiky seed balls it throws to the ground.

At work, we saw more squirrels. Is it the year of the squirrel? And a chipmunk yesterday! I also spotted more sparrows and a few blue jays. One my break, a duck flew toward a pond at that park. What birds did you spot this week?

**Joining in with The Bird Depot hosted by Anni at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

 

 

 

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