Category Archives: birdwatching

Gold and Green on the First Day of Autumn

For the first day of fall, I decided to take a walk. Ventured off to the same old “secret” park in search of blue birds. When I first arrived and for a large portion of my walk, I saw not one single bird! Thankfully, all the late summer/early fall wild flowers were busy blooming so I enjoyed the views. I wished I’d not been so lazy to as only carried the camera with the zoom lens attached. Endless areas of goldenrod and daisies and other wildflowers I couldn’t begin to name.

Stumbled across all my usual backyard birds. Chickadees, cardinals, and Carolina wrens. Enjoyed the pursuit of the blue birds but the closest I came to finding any were the busy (and noisy) blue jays.

Ready to call it a day, I turned the corner only to be startled by a fellow walker coming from a different direction than I normally venture. Asked where that trail went, connected to the soccer fields. Didn’t realize the trail connected. So as he went on his way, I extended my walk a bit.

So glad I did! Didn’t realize the bridge went over a little stream before going beside the youth soccer fields.

The turkey vultures started circling but I kept on walking…

And stopping on the bridge again as I returned, I spotted a little group of gold finches.

Zoomed in closer to see them and discovered a green mystery bird joining in the fun!

It’s Not Easy Identifying Green

My first thought: Whoa! I’ve never seen a green goldfinch before! Second thought: Did someone lose a pet bird?

There simply aren’t a lot (any I’ve ever noticed) of green birds around here. After a rather unsatisfying result on the phone’s bird app. And searches in my bird book and on-line, I’ve narrowed my results down to some type of warbler. What do you think?

Maybe a pine warbler? Please, tell me this isn’t a gold finch. I don’t think so because the beaks are shaped different. The bird app wanted to say an olive warbler but the coloring doesn’t match. There were some old abandoned Christmas trees gathered in an area not far from here so I guess they could count as the pines? The goldfinches in the trees and not on the ground seemed to be hanging out on elms.

My camera battery died just as I found this group of birds. So only one more look. I really am at loss here. And wanting to go back and look for this bird again.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

I went ahead and put out a second bird feeder this week. Haven’t seen any new birds in the backyard but between the fledgling cardinals (noticed it was a family of four, mom, dad, and a brother and sister), doves, and sparrows the feeders were emptying fast. Wanted to give the poor little house finches, chickadees, and nuthatches an equal chance. The tufted titmice are still around as well. And I hear blue jays high up in the oak tree. And crows flying over head sometimes.

Mr. Hummingbird still finds it warm enough to hang out and guard his feeder. Gives the sparrows a bit of a wary eye. They ignore him but he’s ready for a fight should they try for his food. And the red-bellied woodpeckers are visiting a bit more often.

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’.

 

Fledgling Cardinal

Posting my bird-watching post late again. We took a little road trip yesterday and I hoped maybe to have an exciting bird or two to share. However, nothing. So, back to plan A and the few shots of the fledgling cardinal from the backyard. There’s a group of them hanging around but I seem to have caught only the one in my (presentable) photos.

For whatever reason, I didn’t do much bird-watching last week. And now that it’s a new week, I can not even tell you what I actually did do last week. I do remember being a bit frustrated trying to take photos with the new camera and moved it into auto for most shots or sometimes something called guide mode.

Well, enough chitchat. I know you’re here to see bird photos. 

Mostly, they hang out around the bird feeder in the back yard. Though I do sometimes see them in the neighbor’s front yard trees as well.

If they are on or near the feeders, they tend to fly off as soon as I open the backdoor. However, I managed to catch feeding time one day by sneaking around from the front door over to the backyard.

They have distinct chirp and I can always tell when they are out there. I do hope they’ll stick around for a while longer.

Other Birds Spotted This Week

In addition to the cardinals hanging around the bird feeder, the house sparrows returned to clean me out of seed in an annoyingly fast fashion.

Mr. Hummingbird continues to man his sentry post around his feeder from early morning until late at night. I’ve spotted the blue jays in the oak trees again. And our regular house finches, chickadees, and titmice still arrive each late afternoon and evening for a bite to eat. As does the nuthatch.

I hadn’t seen them regularly for a bit but I’m seeing more of the red-bellied woodpeckers again. Even saw one on the regular feeder as opposed to the suet feeder one afternoon! The downy woodpeckers are also still hanging out on the suet feeder.

The doves are still out there and refusing to associate with the little gray cat. The cardinals won’t play with her either. No idea why.

Don’t worry she was in the middle of taking a bath not licking her chomps after a tasty “chicken” dinner.

One late morning, I looked out and saw a small yellow bird on the ground. A new to me looking bird that I instinctively thought some type of vireo but the bird app on my phone suggested a sedge wren. Only there for an instant so I’m not sure. Hope it means the migrating birds are on their way back through our area. This morning my husband said he heard an owl out in the backyard in the early morning (before daylight) hours.

Yesterday, we mostly saw turkey vultures and a few hawks as we drove the highway on our day trip (well, we went and picked up something my husband bought and came home, not exactly a day trip though it took all day).  What birds did you spot last week?

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

 

House Finches

I thought for a change of pace, I’d share some photos of our resident house finches. My plan to take photos of them throughout the week didn’t pan out as the weather didn’t cooperate much. Much as my plan to finish this post on Saturday didn’t work either.

Cold, dark, raining, and gloomy most of last week. Still managed a few photos here and there around the clouds.

The house finches were the first birds to find my feeders once I started setting them out. They are patient little birds who wait for me to fill the feeders and put up with the other “guests” arriving at their cafe.

They don’t seem bothered by most of the other birds.

Better at simply waiting their turn, yielding gracefully to the larger (and sometimes smaller) birds at the feeder. That said, they do tend to get into rows within their own little crowds fairly often during the busier days around the feeder.

I find myself talking to them almost as though they were house pets (though I’ll stick with just the cat inside).

Found myself quite relieved to again spot two of my favorites after the recent hawk visit.

Other Backyard Happenings

Trying to keep things kind of short since my post is late. However, before I end I want to share some interesting things I spotted around the feeders last week.

  • Mr hummingbird went over and checked out the suet feeder! I’ve already got the sparrows eating from it (again). Thankfully, he opted to go back to his sentry post and skip the suet.
  • Peace doves? Not so much lately. I watched them sitting on the feeder and fence flapping their wings to shoo off all the other birds.
  • Looked out the window yesterday morning in time to see them all frozen on the ground. And no other birds around as well. I’m sure the hawk hid somewhere close but I never spotted him.
  • And finally, much to my surprise I looked out the front door this morning to see a goldfinch sitting atop the hanger for a basket of mum flowers! My guess is he was more interested in the spent bee balm.

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Other birds spotted this week: a brief glimpse of a blue jay (I hear them more often now), sparrows, chickadees, the tufted titmice, downy woodpeckers, the red-bellied woodpecker, and a brown thrasher!

What birds have you spotted this week?

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

Backyard Birds

Nothing too exciting happening around here. It’s been a bit of an off week for some reason but the backyard birds kept right on schedule with their ever entertaining antics.

Chickadee

The tufted titmouse usually arrives in the late afternoon to early evenings.

And once I see the first one, I know to look for the second one. They stick together.

Finally captured a picture of the nuthatch on the regular bird feeder. Wonder what he was discussing with the tufted titmouse?

I think he was perhaps sharing a bit of gossip about the slow eating habits of the downy woodpeckers.

Can’t you imagine him just saying, “Are you done yet? Want to speed things along?” to that downy woodpecker.  You can see another downy woodpecker off to the right in the photo above. It seems most birds around the backyard are arriving in pairs. I even saw another nuthatch one evening.

Lots of doves still hanging around under and sometimes on the feeder. Occasionally, the little gray cat will meander over and ask if they want to play. The answer much to her dismay is always no.

Those mourning doves can be a bit snobbish. The Eurasian collared doves are just shy, I think. Can hardly open the back door for a picture without them taking cover. They flew to the far tree in a neighbor’s yard.

The Hummingbirds

Next, let’s talk about our resident hummingbirds. Or perhaps I should say hummingbird. The fearless guardian of the feeder.

Not much phases this little guy. He sits and guards the feeder. And occasionally makes rounds checking the utility of each “flower” on the feeder.

Here’s a rare instance where you can see him sitting on the fence (a blur in the background) while another hummingbird eats.

He must of have been daydreaming. Usually, at the first sign of another hummingbird, the chase starts. And they zip around the deck and through the garden while he makes his position clear. Then, he returns to the fence and resumes guard duty. Or sometimes he stops to inspect the feeder. If he’s feeling particularly feisty, I sometimes spot him over by the regular feeder making sure all the birds know their places.

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Finally, Mr. Flamingo wanted you all to see his new fall fashion.

Other birds spotted this week: sparrows, cardinals, Carolina wrens, heard blue jays but didn’t see them, robins (at work), turkey vultures (while driving), crows (while driving), red-bellied woodpeckers, and my ever present house finches.

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

New Regular Around The Bird Seed Cafe

Every once in a while, I spot a nuthatch on the suet feeder. However, this week I noticed a nuthatch visiting the regular feeder and enjoying the safflower seeds. I tried to capture him on the bird feeder but never quite managed.

However, I did capture him doing his nutty nuthatch antics around the yard. 

Did you know they sometimes work as telephone wire repairman?

Ah, here’s the problem…

They also have quite a distinct call. It’s fun hearing it when I step out on to the back deck.  I watched my nuthatch chase off a hummingbird one day. That was a first as usually my hummingbirds do not back down to even much larger birds.

A Few Other Birds Spotted Around The Yard

A few of my regulars are also returning to the back yard more frequently. While focusing on the nuthatch, I also managed to catch a couple of Carolina wrens in the background. Pretty sure one is a young fledgling.

A beautiful new cardinal is frequenting the feeder. And we saw 2 more in the trees this afternoon!

The downy woodpeckers are always happy to find the suet feeder full. However, they’ll hop over and grab some safflower seed if suet runs out.

And last (but of course, not least!), the red-bellied woodpecker is back more often lately. Felt a little camera shy at first.

However, he went ahead and posed for me.

Other Birds Spotted But Not Shared On “Film” This Week

  • We’re seeing lots more hummingbirds visit our feeders. We have one regular fellow who likes to sit on the fence and claim ownership of the feeder. He even danced with me a bit on Tuesday morning as I cleaned and replaced the food in “his” feeder.
  • Spotted a turkey vulture sitting in a tree while on a recent hike. Unfortunately, he took off just as I managed to focus the camera. I also heard several chickadees and blue jays on the same hike.
  • Also, hearing the blue jays in the oak trees in the neighbor’s yard. I think they’re in a contest with the squirrels to see who can pelt our deck and the top of my car with the most acorns. Squirrels seem to be winning. Want to feel like Chicken Little? Come hang out on our backyard deck!
  • Tufted titmice, mourning doves, and house finches are still our regular every day visitors. And the house sparrows as well.

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I splurged 2 weeks ago and bought a “real” camera (Nikon 3500). This was my first bird watching post using photos I took using it. Still very much in a learning curve as I realize how much the old bridge camera did for me. I think I took all these images on actual auto mode (not the A which I learned last week meant aperture mode. I have a long way to go learning all this. At least, I have fun backyard subjects for my practice.)

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

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