Category Archives: birdwatching

Humming in the Rain

It’s been a rainy week. I’ve either been working or watching it rain. Yesterday morning I finally braved the soggy swamp of our backyard to go refill the bird feeder.

When at home, I spent most my time watching out for our ruby-throated hummingbird, stepping out on the back deck, battling mosquitoes, to try for a few decent photos.

Finally caught one where the ruby throat is visible!

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from all that wing flapping while eating…

I think this one missed the sunshine!

So did I! Yesterday started out rainy (again) but ended on a nice weather note.

And we woke up this morning to crisp, cool air and clear skies. Since I awoke at 5:15 a.m. today, I ventured out for a walk around the park I am always driving through on my way to work. 

Birds Spotted In the Park

A happy hummingbird! Reflects how I felt to see some sun again today after so many rainy days this week.

I took a walk down to the lake. Spotted some mallard ducks.  I saw the one pictured below first as it was with just one other fairly close to the fishing dock. The ones above I saw a bit later on my walk.

And while not the best photo, this cardinal sang to me as I hit the final stretch of my walk around the park so I didn’t want to leave him out. 

A Few Other Birds I Spotted This Week

Crows fussing at a cat a few yards over. Turkey vultures sitting on light poles in the rainy weather. A mockingbird at work! A new young cardinal hanging out at our backyard feeder. The downy woodpeckers. Think I caught a glimpse of a brown thrasher in the park. Mourning doves both at home, near my work, and in the park. Sparrows. Saw a robin. Canada geese in the park. House finches. Tufted titmice. Chickadees. And squirrels, at my bird feeder. SIGH.

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’.

A Lovey Dove-y Week

I’m a bit late to share my bird watching post as I ran errands this morning, then we attended a graduation party (small, mostly family) in the afternoon. And I’m not sure where the rest of the day went after that.

Despite the raging pandemic, I had a really nice week. One filled with pleasant surprises. Not many photos as I was at work for most of it.  One filled with more bird watching experiences than photos.

The Mourning Doves

I did capture some images of the mourning doves that clean up under my bird feeders. They probably thought it was Thanksgiving tonight as I accidentally spilled more seed than usual (new, large bag). Thank goodness the blackbirds and grackles have moved elsewhere!

I took these photos earlier in the week. One of the doves looked a bit smaller than the others. I’m not sure if it was a fledgling or not. 

Usually, I don’t pay very much attention to the mourning doves.  I’m focused on the antics of the house finches or chickadees or waiting impatiently for the hummingbird to show. The doves caught my eye this week as I spotted this out the window:

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a dove land on my feeders like that! Even recently mentioned to a friend that doves didn’t usually land on the feeders. “My” mourning doves typically clean up and eat the seed spilled by on to the ground by the other birds (and the human who can’t quite manage a 20 lb bag of seed). Do your doves land on the feeders?

Other Bird Watching Experiences From The Week

Mentioned in my post on Wednesday, seeing hummingbirds not on feeders but rather feasting on trumpet vine flowers and then zinnias at work.

Also at my work, a small delight every time I opened the door to run to go on my break, a group of goldfinches feasting on the sunflowers planted near the wall. You just know I’m over here trying to figure out how to grow my own group of sunflowers now! Of course, I can’t get the one lonely little sunflower I have in a pot to bloom. So realistically, I’ll just be content to enjoy the scene at my work.

Caught a glimpse of a very bright blue bird one morning on the drive through the park en route to work. Not sure if it was an Eastern bluebird or an indigo bunting.

Listening to a group of tufted titmice raise a ruckus about the almost empty bird feeder late one evening.

(Not feathered friends: I spotted a bunny hiding under a neighbor’s car one morning. Spied a blue-tailed skink hiding under a log on the playground. Watched a chipmunk scurry across the road one morning. And saw a deer feeding right next to the roundabout in the park!)

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And to end the post, here’s my list of all the other birds I spotted this week: chickadees, downy woodpeckers, cardinals, a mockingbird, turkey vultures, crows, starlings, and sparrows. Also, heard but not seen: a group of blue jays calling.

What birds did you spot this week?

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

 

Variety of Backyard Birds

Enjoyed the antics of a wide range of our backyard birds this week! Even spotted some birds I’d not seen hanging around our yard in a while.

The house finches are regular customers at the backyard feeders but I don’t always get to see the tufted titmouse. Rare to see it sitting still and so close to a house finch as well.

Tufted-Titmouse

Usually have to try and capture quick snaps of them as they hurry to and from the bird feeder. The one above stopped briefly on the fence.  Speaking of stopping briefly…

Ruby-throated hummingbird

This bird’s been taunting me. Likes to sit on a wire that runs across our backyard. And about the time I notice it, fly over to take a quick sip from the feeder before zooming away.

Though it doesn’t show in the shots above, the throat on this little bird is as bright (maybe brighter) than the color of this…

Cardinal

He’s been hanging out at the neighbor’s yard. I think he likes their food better than ours. Right on the post above him sat a…

Robin

It was odd how I was thinking that I’d not seen many robins lately, looked up and saw one sitting on the post! Two other feathered friends I’d not seen in a while also came to visit:

Carolina Wren

and a…

White-breasted Nuthatch

I sat outside on our deck with evening approaching (and my furry cat assistant by my side) for most of these pictures.

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We also enjoy just watching the bird antics:

I think I’m turning my youngest son into a bird-watcher as well. He often goes to the backdoor now, looks out and reports what birds he sees. Heard him laughing one day, he said the silly chickadee was trying to eat out of the hummingbird feeder. Sorry I missed that one. I did enjoy watching the silly little chickadee challenge the downy woodpecker on the suet feeder. Guess who won that match? I’ll give you a hint. It was not the chickadee.

Before I end my post, I  wanted to thank Phil from Another Bird Blog for his advice last week about speeding up the ISO setting on my camera. Motivated me to take my camera off the “bird watching” auto setting and see what happened. Reminded me I bought the bridge camera to learn all the “fancy” stuff in the first place.

Finally, a few other birds spotted but not pictured from the week (not all were in the backyard): turkey vultures, chickadees, sparrows, starlings, mourning doves, Eurasian collared dove (this morning!), and oddly enough, a little goldfinch singing away in the tree I parked by at Target today. What birds did you spot this week?

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

 

 

 

 

My Little Chickadee

Should be plural as a few visit my bird feeders.

I’ve learned to recognize their unmistakable calls. 

Here’s one more photo but it’s a bit blurry. Most my snaps this week were either in low light or as I was in a hurry and so…blurry. This is one of the best of the blurry photos.

The rest were too blurry to even consider sharing.  Though no more bird photos to share, I did spot a decent variety of birds during the week.

Earlier in the week:

Monday, I watched a pair of doves fly into a conifer tree. And quickly out of it as they realized the noise and activity level of the preschool children playing below them.

Tuesday, I watched more mourning dove antics as one of my backyard doves tried to claim the “king of the hill” spot on top of the bird feeder. I also watched a pair of downy woodpeckers eat at the suet feeder.

Wednesday, the halfway point of the week arrives, things start to get a bit blurry. I think this day I spotted an Eastern blue bird sitting on a wire (90% sure). I also spotted the usual turkey vultures over the park land beyond the playground boundary. And robins. At home and at school.

Later in the week:

Thursday, yet another working day, I tried for some early morning shots of our regular bird feeder customers. Lots of blurry house finch photos I won’t show you. Here’s a non blurry photo of my cone flowers instead.

You can see the fallen petals from my bee balm on the greenery. Maybe some day my cone flowers will be like the school ones and almost as tall as me. Right now they are just barely a foot tall.  Thursday evening, with most the light gone and the lightening bugs arriving, we spotted our hummingbird eating at the feeder and taking a few quick breaks on the fence. No photos, too dark outside.

Yesterday, for a brief moment, I enjoyed watching a mockingbird hop on a fence at work. And spotted a few sparrows. Again, I spotted the doves near the playground. Perhaps they love the children, too?

My July looks quite busy but I’ll still be watching for the birds and trying for better focused photos.  I’ll end my post with one more fun photo to make up for the lack of bird pictures.

My mushroom fairy house. I think a fairy moved in and planted actual mushrooms!

My fairy yielded quite the crop! If only our actual garden fared so well.

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What birds did you spot this week?

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

Red, White, And Blue Jay

Getting my post up a bit early today as later, we’re having my husband’s sister and her family over this afternoon to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Earlier in the week, I thought it would be fun to capture red, white, and blue birds in honor of our holiday. Figured I’d have to go for a walk at my “secret” (not anymore, SIGH) park in search of blue birds. Week didn’t work out quite like that. However, the blue birds came to me in the form of a little blue jay family.

RED

However, first the red birds! What else do you think of when I say red bird but a cardinal (or a baseball team across the state from us. We’re all “Royals” over here.) 

However, our resident house finch sports a bit of red as well.

WHITE

White birds are harder to spot in these parts. So, ironically, the red-bellied woodpecker agreed to loan me a shot of its white upper belly for this post.

BLUE

The blue part of this post comes with a story! About a blue jay family and a little gray cat.

Our little gray cat likes to do this out on the front porch or the back deck. She usually snoozes happily while the birds eat at the feeders.

One of her favorite front porch napping spots.

Yesterday, while she was out there, I heard a racket. You really can’t miss the call (shrill of an upset parent) blue jay.  I found one on our porch railing screaming at our little gray cat.

I stepped out in the yard to see what was happening. The cat who had been on the porch followed me. The blue jays (there were two now) continued to scream at us both. Why?

Aha! A baby learning to fly.

The cat and I wandered around to the back yard and the blue jays went back about their business. The cat found a new peaceful place to sleep (she never even noticed the baby bird!) and I went back to whatever I was doing.  Didn’t give it any more thought. Later, the same front porch racket. Same thing. Cat trying to nap.

Blue jays fussing (loudly) at her. Louder than last time though. And just as much fussing at me the moment I stepped out the door. Soon, I discovered why. Baby blue jay was hanging out quite low in the tree.

Not the greatest photo as this happened around 7:30 PM and I was losing light fast. Here’s how low the little thing managed to get in the tree.

It’s just a little to the right of the fence post up there. I immediately took my “assistant” off duty (though, she still hadn’t noticed the baby bird!) and brought her inside. Worried that perhaps the baby was injured but my husband said it was probably just resting. It was still there after dark.

Hooray For The Baby Jay!

Honestly, I didn’t expect it to make it through the night. We have plenty of other outdoor cats around here as well as raccoons, possums, etc. However, happy news to report. My husband saw it there this morning. Hooray! Baby bird survived the night. And flew off with its parents to the another house (I heard them fussing a bit but not as much).

The cat is also happy to get her napping spot back for awhile today.

What’s a cat gotta do to get a decent nap around here?

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In other bird news, I heard a hummingbird call for the first time (well, the first time I could identify it) this week! A majestic blue heron flew over this morning. Other birds spotted around the yard include sparrows, downy woodpeckers, robins, hummingbirds, grackles, and mourning doves.

What birds did you spot this week?

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

 

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