Category Archives: birdwatching

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’.

 

 

 

 

Bird Watching Treat for Halloween Week

I ended up working a lot of this week. And the weather was weird.

The week started with snow! In October, not unheard of for around here but not the norm either. 

The lucky neighbors I don’t know (they posted video on the next door neighborhood site where people usually think dogs are wolves (yes, really) spotted a woodcock in their yard! Tried not to become too green with envy.

After the snow, we got rain. It melted the snow but didn’t make for great photo taking days. Somewhere in the week, I did take down the Hummingbird feeder and return a regular feeder in its place. Made the house finches happy. 

A Trick

Can any of you identify this bird eating from my suet feeder?

Thankfully, he left some for the red-bellied woodpecker. How about an in focus woodpecker photo this week?

And Then, A Treat

Worked a lot of full days this week but one day on my break I went over to the park. And to my surprise, I sat watching Cedar Waxwings eat berries right in front of me. Of course, I only had my cell phone and took the photos through the car windshield so not the best photos. These birds are supposedly year-round in our area but this marks only the third time I’ve ever been lucky enough to view them.

It really took a lot of self-control to return to work instead of driving furiously home for my “real” camera. However, I love my job enough I did return to work.

A Bit More Excitement at Home

Thought about returning to the park on my day off (Thursday) but feeling a bit lazy passed on the idea. Much to my surprise, it worked out in my favor. Glancing out the backdoor at the bird feeders something sitting on the wires above caught my eye.

Another treat for me. Rushed inside and grabbed the camera, ran outside (wishing I’d also grabbed a jacket) and saw the same bird I’d just seen sitting on the wire now in one of the backyard maple trees. Another Cedar waxwing!

(Pretty far up in the tree, so still not the most detailed photos but you can see the bright yellow on the tail feathers in these photos.)

Since it was an on-line school week for my youngest son, I went and grabbed him as well after taking a few photos. Sadly, the bird had already flown away.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

Now that we’ve waited our “five minutes” it’s 60 degrees and sunny today. I’m also just about out of bird seed (again) no thanks to too many squirrels and a multitude of house sparrows.

Hanging out around our feeder earlier in the week, I did spot 8 cardinals at once one morning. A robin on the deck railing started the week on Sunday. The dark-eyed juncos and white-throated sparrows both returned to the yard, oddly, timing their arrival with the snow.

I’ve caught glimpses of some tiny yellow bird (dear Merlin bird ID, it’s NOT a goldfinch. UGH) hanging around the hydrangea and on the ground below it. Watched some sparrows chase it from the feeder one day. My guess is some type of warbler. Not sure I’ll see it again but maybe if I do, I’ll manage a photo.

Those along with our usual guests comprised of chickadees, tufted titmice, a pair of nuthatches, and the downy woodpeckers round out the birds I spotted this week. Not sure I want to count the gulls I saw fly over head as I was entering Target this morning. Heard a tale once they’re a sign of snow arriving. Had enough snow until Christmas.

What birds did you spot this week?

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

 

Birds Spotted Last Weekend

Had a post all set to publish while we were away last Saturday. Not sure, exactly what happened but time to simply move on to the current one where I can hit the publish “now” button.

Last weekend, we were in Arkansas. Thought I’d spot more birds than I did. My husband lured me on the trip with a thought that I’d be seeing lots of birds to photograph.

I went along with the idea but of course, you don’t see many birds when riding on a ATV. And we were with a group of friends and their family so weren’t exactly setting our own pace. Saw lots of beautiful scenery, just not a lot of birds.

Thought I saw a kingfisher fly by during one stop. However, we never stopped long enough to wait for the birds like bird watching really requires.

My bird watching happened mostly in the early morning or late afternoons down by the part of the Buffalo National River running behind our cabin. Unfortunately, I didn’t see many birds there either. They always seemed to be slightly out of camera range.  Or flying away as I spotted them.

Think the image below is of a blue heron if I remember correctly. We spotted a couple each day,  just out of camera range, of course.

I took most (maybe all) of these photos with my old bridge camera as it had the better zoom lens. Did I mention the day I finally had the most time to spend with the camera also happened to be gray and gloomy? Many silhouette pictures to follow.

The pros among you might be able to identify the birds in the images. I didn’t have many guesses without better views.  Hopefully, you’ll still find the images interesting.

A Bird I Knew

I did identify a red bellied woodpecker high in the tree tops. He blended so well I didn’t even realize he was there until he moved!

Again, not the best photos as I was stretching the zoom camera lens on the gray skied day. These photos are of the tippy top of the tree.

There was another bird in the tree as well. Maybe another young red bellied woodpecker? Hard to tell as their were more branches and a bit more motion from this bird.

Here’s a further out photo showing them both (looking more closely, I now spot 3 birds) in the tree:

Birds Spotted This Week

Once we arrived home, I admit to not picking up my camera much. It’s pretty much just been a lazy week where I’ve felt stuck in vacation mode. So, to break up the monotony before I simply “tell” about the birds I’ve spotted. Here’s a somewhat in focus photo of a different winged creature I spotted in Arkansas:

On our way there and home, I spotted several hawks. And we crossed over Truman Lake, easily spotting the big group of pelicans each time.

Just before we crossed over into our own county, I glanced out the window as I’d been doing counting hawks and went: Whoa! There’s a bald eagle sitting in that tree!

At home, in our backyard, we’ve seen the usual. Along with a blue jay under the feeder one day.

However, Thursday morning I spotted my first white-throated sparrow of the season. And yesterday, J asked me what kind of bird was on our deck. Got up to look and interestingly enough, with snow in our forecast (not happy) for early next week….a snowbird’s arrived.  Interesting timing for our dark eyed junco don’t you think?

The feeders ran out while we were away (and I was out of food), fixed that yesterday so hopefully, next Saturday, I’ll share better bird pictures and maybe some of our returning guests.

What birds did you spot last week?

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

 

 

 

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