Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nature Notes: Messy winter

For this post I'm going to begin with shot I took this morning (Wednesday) and move backwards.
The junco above is looking for seeds that have fallen off the deck wall and table where I have feeding stations. The nuthatch is having a snack above the junco in the shot below.
You can't tell from these shots but everything still has a layer of ice from Monday night's freezing rain and Tuesday's freezing drizzle.
The house finch above is pausing from partaking of its breakfast. The waxwing below is stoically sitting on an icy branch.
It's very rare to see robins in the winter although I know they are around but they rarely eat seeds on the deck in bad weather. This one must be hungry to join the rest of the birds.
Yesterday the watering can was an ice water can.
The grass was almost as slick as the harder surfaces.
I wasn't strong enough to use my snow shovel to break up the ice for walking paths but I found it works pretty well as something to balance on when I took out bird seed.
The blue jay is perched underneath icicles although they are hard to see.
The rest of the shots are moving back prior to the ice storm although it was cold. The female cardinal is enjoying some fresh water.
I think there is a mix of waxwings, sparrows, and juncos in the shot below.
They seem rather companionable on perched on the branches.
It almost looks like a ghost is flying towards the red-bellied woodpecker below.
I am surprised how many cardinals are about. There are times when I've spotted dozens of them, about half male like the ones below and half female.
There are always a fair number of brown thrashers too.
The roufus-sided towhee is kind enough to sing for me, although it's far more vocal in the spring. I just noticed there is a sparrow on the far left of this shot. I didn't even see it until I started writing the post.
The grackle is quite stylish with his black and blue feathers.
The tufted titmouse is a flighty fellow.
The squirrel approaches while the brown thrasher ruffles his feathers.
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Caron said...

You are so fortunate to have such a variety of birds and to be able to identify them! That waxwing is beautiful, but I started being envious of the collection as a whole when I saw the woodpecker.

??? said...

Wonderful collection of birds. I'm glad that the ice is more or less gone around here, although I still got to use my spikes a few times.

Leora said...

I had a pretty water can like that that "died" because I left it in the freezing cold one winter. Must be better about fall clean up.

I love the thrasher at the bottom of the bottom photos. Most of the birds in our area must have flown down to visit you.

srp said...

We had a little ice but so many small shards of crystalline material on the walks today. What I have noticed different here in VA this year is that my bluebirds have stayed for the winter. Previously, they have migrated south and while the wild bird store tells me some can stay, we have four or five that keep coming back to the feeders and tapping on the windows. I can't help think they are some of this years fledglings... we supplied live meal worms while they were in the nest and they still expect them. They just don't look quite as mature as the parents did.

NicoleB, Kuwait said...

What a variety of birds you have in your garden.
It never seizes to amaze me!
That sparrow, is it a tree sparrow?
And that ice reminds me of Hungary. We had that sometimes too, the icing over. So hard to get anywhere :)

EG CameraGirl said...

You have a wonderful collection of birds at your feeders!

This post was wonderful, Carver!

Marvin said...

Thanks so much for sharing your birds. I love how the cardinals congregate in winter instead of fighting for territory and females like the males do in spring and summer.

Arija said...

From the very first shot I felt, rather than saw the crust of ice.
A garden fork is lighter to carry and digs into the ice a little thus giving more grip. We always kept a box of dry sand on the verandah to strew on the icy paths.

You have so many birds waiting in your soup kitchen. It must be quite wonderful to have such a following coming around for photo ops.

Please take care of yourself as well as the birds.

Arija said...

If it keeps re-freezing on your deck, how about getting those skate on a wizzing around the feeders.

OOps, gotta get that tongue out a my ckeeky cheek!

Cloudia said...

Love your birds. Thanks

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Sally in WA said...

Such a wide variety of visitors. How lucky for you. Cardinals will always be my favorites though. I miss not being able to sit and watch them living in the Pacific Northwest.

Martha Z said...

Such an amazing variety feeding in your yard. I have many birds but not the variety.

Michelle said...

Lovely the spring I put out raisins for the robins. You soften then up in warm water first. It is hard for them to find the fruit they need as I have never seen them eating seeds....Michelle

MyMaracas said...

How lucky you are to have so many little characters to entertain you at your feeder. Thanks for sharing them with us.