Category Archives: birdwatching

Splish Splash

Super slow bird watching week here. Just full of the blahs, really. Flat tire, out of bird seed, and did I mention it started raining on Tuesday night.  And continued the entire day on Wednesday? Add wet basement floors (almost a very minor basement flood) to the list.

So, I didn’t do much bird watching during the week.

Yesterday, the sun finally appeared again making things dry enough for a walk around the block with my youngest son.

No geese within view around the pond at the end of the street. Though we did hear a few. Mostly we saw squirrels scurrying around. Coming around the bend to return to our street, we noticed the corner neighbors added a bird bath outside their newly built privacy fence. (Hopefully, it was built to contain small children and not because of nosy neighbors.)

We enjoyed seeing this robin taking his bath. I don’t think he quite enjoyed so much the crazy lady with the camera snapping a couple pictures of him. 

Probably wished his bath were on the other side of the fence! He does look rather annoyed.

Tires replaced on the car yesterday. Perhaps, I’ll finally get out and replace my birdseed later today. Thinking it really is indeed time to scale back the feeders to one finch feeder and set out my hummingbird feeder finally.

I’ll end here by sharing the little tune that sprang into my mind watching the robin in the bath.

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

(We did spot our usual backyard visitors during the course of the week: tufted titmouse, grackles, downy woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays, starlings, cardinals, sparrows, and house finches. Not many out there today with the empty bird feeders.)

Ugly Kids And A Small Beauty

Bit late on my bird watching post.. Seems to be a theme for my previous week in blogging. Still, wanted to share my birds from last week. (Did any one else lose track of the days? Oh, it’s Sunday!).

I’m going to try and keep this shorter as I’ll hopefully be right back here tomorrow with a weekly planning post.

UGLY KIDS

It’s a bit rude to call kids ugly, don’t you think? However, what would you call these fledglings? Beautiful isn’t my answer! 

 

The brown-headed cowbirds found a nest for some eggs. One of their fledglings pictured above and below.

I’m happy to report their adoptive parents weren’t my cardinals! Oddly enough, however, I did capture a cardinal with one of their adoptive mom’s natural babies.

Not to be rude, Mrs. Starling, but your biological children aren’t exactly lookers either.  Perhaps I’m a bit biased against these starlings who reside in our front yard maple tree and “decorate” the side of any car parked too near.

A BIT OF BEAUTY TO END MY POST

Exactly one week ago, so last Sunday, I had an enjoyable little photo session with this little goldfinch. A kind repayment, I think, for my chasing the annoying grackles away from the bird feeders. Please forgive the goldfinch photo overload here. I couldn’t decide which photos I liked the best so you get to see them all!

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For a week that started out with some good bird-watching, the rest of the week was a bit of a dud.  Not an hour before I had my little photo session with the gold finch, I spotted a Baltimore Oriole at the feeder and then in the Oak tree. However, I was too slow with grabbing my camera. (I was working in the garden and not really birding when I spotted it)

Then, later the same day, we watched a bald eagle soaring over a field while waiting for a high school senior graduation parade. Close enough to identify but really too far for a decent photo.

Other than that excitement, it’s been a week of the usual feathered friends in my backyard: sparrows, house finches, blue jays, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, tufted titmice, robins, and cardinals. Oh, and the brown thrasher likes it here and hangs out below the suet feeder quite a bit.  What birds did you spot this past week?

Linking up with Anni’s Bird Depot over at I’d Rather B Birdin’

A Goodbye, Blue Happiness, and A Hello There

Last week we had a yard full of rose-breasted grosbeaks until we did not.

Goodbye grosbeaks!

At one point, I counted at least 7 milling around our feeders and in the yard. My husband even set up his hunting blind in the backyard so I could try for better pictures. (Most my pictures are through the glass on the back door.)

And then by Wednesday, perhaps Thursday, I noticed I didn’t see them any longer.  Come back anytime grosbeaks! We’ll be here.

A Different Bluebird of Happiness

Feeling a bit glum about the disappearance of “my” grosbeaks and a yucky weather week, I went for a walk on our one sunny day. Drove myself to a park full of trails where I often see little bluebirds of happiness. Usually right as I turn the bend into this tree lined area here:

I did see bluebirds around the bend but not the Eastern bluebirds I usually find. Wow, you are a very blue bird indeed!

While I was fairly sure I’d spotted an indigo bunting, I did consult my bird book at home. My youngest son helped me look and compare (I toyed with the idea it might be a blue grosbeak as well) and we’ve decided yes, I did spot a male indigo bunting on my walk. They’d certainly be welcome in my backyard any time as well as the grosbeaks.

A New Hello at Home

It’s baby season in the backyard.

It’s no secret the house sparrows annoy me with their “suet feeder school” (They’ve now also taught a starling these skills along with the blue jay from last week.) However, the little baby sparrows are quite cute and fluffy.

And so are the babies of my regular backyard residents, the house finches. I’ve been quite enamored with this little one:

Makes me smile. The little gray cat, not so much. She doesn’t care and these birds distract me from my more important duties like showering her with constant attention (until she’s tired of it).

Why do you want to watch birds when you could be petting me?

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Other birds spotted this week: a nuthatch, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, robins, bluejays, cardinals, grackles, brown-headed cowbirds (though not as many thank goodness!), starlings, goldfinch, and my white-crowned sparrow (he also disappeared it seems about the same time as the grosbeaks). Oh, and turkey vultures plus maybe a killdeer (not sure, far away in tall grass) at the park.

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

Now Showing In The Backyard

Happy World Migratory Bird Day! It’s been slow around here so far this morning but yesterday was exciting. This week brought a few new and exciting birds to our yard. Some of our “old” birds learned new tricks. And we even had a garden rescue!

First to show this week. A new one for our yard! And believe it or not, the reason I started feeding the birds. Who knew it would be so hard to attract these little birds…

GOLD FINCH!

Some credit must go to the Tractor Supply store as I’ve bought these little white bags of food previously at other stores with no luck. Right away, I noticed I could actually smell this stuff as I put it out. So perhaps my other food was stale. I don’t know. However, the very next day I had a gold finch on it!

The above photo might have been better had some nitwit realized they left their camera on close-up mode a bit sooner. Anyway, this little goldfinch departed and returned with friends! Just one more because this fellow is handsome!

Also, showing up in our backyard: A White-Crowned Sparrow and a pair of Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks!

Let me apologize in advance as these photos aren’t the best quality but the Rose-breasted grosbeaks is another first for us! 

And it certainly was strange when my husband happened to be watching a show about Alaska and they showed footage of the white-crowned sparrows just after I’d seen one. He really needs to get a move on. It’s bit late for him to be hanging around here.

New Skills From A Blue jay!

Not sure if the house sparrows are running a secret school teaching other birds about how to manage the suet feeder but this happened yesterday morning:

And Now, A Garden Rescue Story!

It’s nesting season around our backyard. And garden season. We finally tilled our garden last Saturday. A pair of cardinals likes to nest under the gutter curve near the garden. Not a great spot but certainly better than the boxwood bush by the front porch. I finally succeeded in getting them to move away from that sight.

On Sunday, I was walking around surveying the garden work and noticed what looked like a bird embryo on top of the dirt. Hoping we hadn’t done something to harm it with our tilling, I returned inside to grab something to remove it and mentioned it to my husband.

Windblown cardinal

He said he’d seen an egg there the previous night. We’ve had some super windy days so were not sure whether it blew out of the nest or someone evicted it. A concern of mine considering the run of brown headed cowbirds around here lately.

As I returned to it with two paper bowls, it moved! My husband scooped it up and returned it to the nest. Later, mama returned. And just yesterday, the baby bird remained still getting care from the mama bird. Sadly, the other egg in the nest had a hole in it and never hatched.

Fingers crossed mama cardinal is raising an actual cardinal and not a darn brown headed cowbird. We’ll know in time, I suppose.

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

 

Five On Friday: Bird Photo Outtakes

Had a hard time deciding what to share for a Five on Friday today. My friend, Rebecca shared birds today for her Five on Friday and it gave me an idea.

I love watching the birds. And I take quite a few photos (really an obnoxious amount). Recently, I revived my Saturday bird watching posts.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some of my bird photo outtakes with you. Sometimes I have fun photos that I haven’t shared simply because it’s a repeat bird from the previous week. Or the bird didn’t really cooperate. Hope you enjoy these 5 fun photos.

This pair resides by the pond at the end of our street.

ONE: Geese Portrait

TWO: House Finch

I’m guilty of ignoring these fun birds a lot in my blog. I have a whole bunch who spend lots of time at my feeders. And I do enjoy watching them. They’ll wait for me on days I need to fill the feeders and aren’t even put off by the little gray cat. This little fellow posed for me.

THREE: Brown Thrasher

I noticed this bird sitting on a branch when I was outside soaking up some sunlight one day. Couldn’t resist snapping photo.

FOUR: Robin

I can’t seem to get a decent photo of one of our most common backyard birds! However, I like how this photo somehow came out looking a bit like a painting. 

FIVE: Baby Sparrows

I fuss a lot about the house sparrows. They eat at my suet feeder and chase the downy woodpecker away. He’s been fighting back lately. Hooray. However, even I can admit the little baby sparrows are cute. Saw this fun sight today.

No idea why these sparrows were all in the fence but I thought it was interesting. So did our cat. Don’t worry, she behaved.

It’s so fluffy!

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Are you a bird watcher, too? Be sure and check out my post tomorrow for more birds.

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