Category Archives: birdwatching

Dreaming Of Spring

Are you dreaming of spring?

Early last week I spotted a robin near the front yard.  Can you tell it was a cold day?

A robin dreaming of spring…

I noticed the robins don’t ever seem to visit my bird seed supplies. They’re waiting patiently for the ground to thaw and yield up big juicy worms, I guess.  My wait for the ground to thaw and yield up green grass and flowers is not as patient as February slowly passes.

Our Carolina Wren watches for spring to ride in on the wind…

Our weather confuses this one. On warmer days, he’ll pop his head out and glance about looking for the signs of spring. On colder ones, he mostly stays hidden although one day he did chatter at me quite annoyed with our endless winter (mild by many standards but not mild enough for his liking).  He’s another one who ignores my bird-seed offerings.

A slow week for birding around here…

I ran out of bird-seed and didn’t get a chance to get to the store (not because of weather) until Friday.  The squirrel was quite happy to gorge himself on seed once again.  A cardinal and a little sparrow managed to get a turn at least.  I’ve noticed a snowbird hangs out while the squirrel is eating, cleaning up his crumbs.

On Valentine’s Day, I talked my husband into driving over to a pair of local lakes where Trumpeter Swans were supposed to be hanging around. No luck.

We did see plenty of ducks and seagulls (not pictured)…

Other birds spotted this week:

Bluejays, more sparrows and snowbirds, the neighborhood hawk circling a block over, a hawk watching the lake roads, the red-bellied woodpecker, and a few cardinals.

Hopefully, soon spring will arrive with a few more birds and better weather to sit out and watch them.

What birds did you spot last week? Are you dreaming of spring?

Joining in the bird depot link up hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.

 

 

Crows And My Returning Backyard Birds

My birds came back! I think maybe our ping-pong weather might be playing a part in their comings and goings.

Busted bird-feeder or not, I’ve still been sprinkling bird seed on the deck railings. And yelling at the squirrels.

I spotted so many birds this week I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s start with the birds I see fly over head often but seldom do they hang out in our trees.

CROWS!

As I left to pick up my son from school, I heard them first and then, spotted about 6 or 7 crows sitting in the next door neighbor’s oak tree.  They were still hanging out upon our return so I hurried and grabbed the camera.  Getting a group shot proved difficult.

This fellow though hung around a bit after the others flew to their next destination.

What you looking at?

Another crow waited patiently across the street for this fellow to finish looking at the crazy camera lady.  Then, grew tired off waiting. And with a few final, caw-caws, they flew off together to meet up with the gang.

DOVE LOVE

Don’t you know crows are bad luck, asked my son as I was hurrying to grab my camera. I’ve never heard that.  However, if they are, I’m going to think doves bring good luck and we had a few of them come hang out around here as well.

First, this Eurasian Collared-Dove made an appearance early in the week. (Excuse the blurry photos, it was a cold morning when I was trying to get these!) Later, I glanced out the front windows and saw this sight sitting on the wires across the street. Can you tell it was a bit cold and windy on this day? There were five doves in total but I couldn’t determine the type although I lean toward thinking they were Mourning Doves. The one sitting above sat alone a bit apart from the others.

BIRD SEED BUFFET GUESTS

The Dark-Eyed Junco returned first. House finches followed. I even spotted a White-throated sparrow waiting his turn! Then, the Bluejays arrived. So did a busy Nuthatch.  Hard to catch with the camera but I finally managed a not quite so blurry one of the busy bird. ****

Not a bad week for bird-watching considering I didn’t get out and hike anywhere special. The birds all came to me this week!

Other birds spotted but not captured on camera this week: my Carolina Wren (fussing at me about the weather!), Chickadees, Cardinals, Starlings, A Downy Woodpecker (he came to the bird seed and claimed his spot right away), A Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Sea Gulls (flying over head while driving), Pigeons, The Red-Tailed Hawk (just once a block over), Robins, and a few sparrows.

What birds did you notice this week?

Linking up with the Bird Depot, hosted by Anni from I’d Rather B Birdin’. Go and visit for some truly amazing bird photos!

Slow Week For The Birds

This week wasn’t a great one for my bird-watching habits.  I spent more time reading and watching television than I did out looking for birds.  Making sure my cold didn’t linger or turn into any bronchial yuck.

Glancing out the backdoor turned out to be a bit disappointing most the week as well. I’m not sure but I think it may be related to greedy squirrels and/or our neighborhood hawk.

On Monday, I stood at the back door fussing at my “pet” squirrel.  Suddenly, as if he finally heard my words, that little squirrel scampered away from the deck.  I felt quite proud. Until…

A quick shadow and a big swoop over the neighbor’s rooftop. I watched as our little (pretty sure it’s not an adult yet) neighborhood hawk flew over the rooftop and attempted to grab a meal from the neighbor’s front yard.  I can’t speak to his success as I lost sight once he flew into the front since I was looking out the back door.

Our neighborhood hawk wasn’t interested in posing for pictures this week. Here are a few hawk pictures from my visit to the nature center last week.

Nature Center Hawk:

Other Birds I spotted This Week:

Have I mentioned it just wasn’t a good week for bird-watching around here?  The only picture I snapped is of this Starling (I think?) that I was simply trying to identify using the zoom on the camera. 

So, I spotted the typical Starlings sitting on wires including this one in a tree.  Fairly confident on a warmer day, our little Carolina Wren briefly popped out of hiding but not for very long. There was a lonely sparrow all puffed out on a cold day.

Did I mention our see-saw weather?  Yesterday was in the upper 40s. Today is down to 21 degrees with a feels like reading of 6 and not going to get warmer.

Seagulls flew overhead as I was taking my youngest son to school.  On the some day to-do list is to figure out where that flock is flying.

Also saw the resident Canada geese on the lake and in the air on my way to work both on Thursday and Friday.  Finally, I spotted a few fluffy Robins as I drove through the park on my lunch break as well as a few Cardinals sitting in the trees overlooking the playground.

****

What birds did you spot this week?

Be sure to go check out the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’ for all kinds of fabulous bird tales and photos!

 

 

A Visit To Lakeside Nature Center

On Thursday, I went on a small adventure to a local nature center.  First, I took a hike on their paved trail. You can read a bit about that in yesterday’s post.

After my short hike, I ventured inside Lakeside Nature Center where the snakes are safely behind glass.  The boys and I used to visit the center quite a bit when they were young and needed to get out of the house during the long, cold winter days.

I took most my photos from indoors and through the glass windows.

Birds At The Nature Center

Eagles!

They’ve had a pair of eagles on display as long as I can recall. One of the resident eagles unfortunately can not fly. He also did not seem too keen on posing for my camera. The other eagle only has limited flight capabilities. I felt as though I won the lottery when she decided to take a bath while I was watching through the glass.  And leaving the pond area

Owls!

I’m reading a book about a biologist who adopted a baby barn owl so I really wanted to see their resident barn owl. The book’s called Wesley the Owl, The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien. Very interesting read though there are parts of the book I think only a biologist could enjoy.  I didn’t take pictures of the plaques about every bird on display. Most if not all are residents due to injuries and used now for public education.

American Kestrel!

I should have snapped a picture of the plaque. It said these beautiful birds were now regularly being spotted in the Kansas City area. I’ll be keeping my eyes open. This one seemed to pose for me. Unfortunately, while my model did great, my camera skills didn’t keep up so just one share-worthy photo.

Mississippi Kite!

Another new since I’d been there resident at the nature center. Also, a beautiful bird! ****

Other birds in the nature center included a red-tailed hawk, a turkey vulture, and a peregrine falcon (I wanted to get a shot of the falcon but his display faced the other direction and there were too many reflections to capture him properly).

One interesting note: I kept thinking I saw a dog wandering behind on the trails while photographing the birds and thinking what? It was not a dog. The nature center now has a coyote in residence (and not on the trails though he has plenty of room). Some ….person decided to try to raise a coyote as a pet. Obviously, it didn’t work out for either of them.

Outside!

I also enjoyed their large outside area of bird-feeders though I didn’t manage to capture a photo while the birds were feasting. Photo from inside. However, I did manage a quick photo of this busy little nuthatch while hiking on the trail.

Other birds spotted this week: Also on the nature trail, plenty of dark-eyed Juncos as well as a red-bellied woodpecker.  Heard but not seen on the trail: a Bluejay.  Heard and spotted at home: more Blue jays, Cardinals, Sparrows, and Snowbirds. Spotted on a wire while driving: a Dove plus several Starlings. Also, noticed a few Geese on a lake plus flying overhead on my way to work. And a few Robins thinking perhaps spring arrived. Sorry, Robins, today’s forecast says not yet.

What birds did you spot this week?

Linking up with Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’. Be sure and go check out her beautiful bird photos!

Bird-Feeder Blues

At first glance, you may think this title implies a post full of birds in a shades of blue.

Maybe she’ll share a few pictures of Bluejays? Yes, I have two pictures of a Bluejay to share but this post is about a different kind of blues.  Listen up and I’ll tell my sorry tale. The plans for a beautiful bird-feeder gone wrong.  Attacked by villainous creatures in broad daylight!

They came calling early sneaking along the shadows… And it was uncommonly cold out there with sub-zero wind chills.  I tried to be generous.  Even spread some seed along the deck railings so they wouldn’t have to ravage the actual bird feeder.

Are squirrels related to locusts? Did someone command a squirrel plague upon my bird feeder? A few sweet little song birds did manage to find some bits of seed around the broken feeder during one of the 5-minute periods when I’d successfully shooed the squirrels away 3 feet to one of the maple trees.

The snowbirds did not seem overly intimidated by the sordid squirrel population inhabiting their new feeding grounds.  And my favorite little Chickadees mostly take their meals to go anyway.  The rest of the birds found solace in the sloppy seeds the squirrels dropped on the deck and visited during the times I clapped my hands and stomped my feet enough for the squirrels to back up a few paces.  I threw some bread crumbs and fruit out for the birds as well since the squirrels were sopping up all their seed.  The squirrels weren’t even satisfied with just the seeds! With apologies to T.S. Eliot, perhaps the world ends with neither a whimper nor a bang but when a squirrel or two-thousand of them simply eat the whole dang thing gone!

Other birds spotted (but not photographed) when squirrels weren’t scurrying:

My Carolina wren came out to sing in the warmer weather this morning! Geese flying over head yesterday. A Mockingbird while I was taking my work break at a local park yesterday.  Sparrows, house finches, a nuthatch, the red-bellied woodpecker, and another pair of Chickadees. Cardinals and a few robins in the trees. A starling keeping watch.

What birds did you spot this week?

Any squirrel solutions to offer me?  Even now with the bird-feeder in pieces on the ground, a squirrel sits waiting to see if I’ll come fix it and offer up more food.

*****

Linking up my post with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’ as well as Saturday’s Critters hosted by Viewing Nature With Eileen.  Go check out both blogs for some amazing shots of birds and other animals.

 

 

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