Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nature Notes: Moving towards late January

I didn't get the big fluffy snow I've been hoping for but I got a small dusting which had its own beauty.
Considering how cold it was from Tuesday night until Sunday afternoon when it was finally moderate, it's probably just as well that I didn't have a lot of snow to cope with.
The bird tracks above gave me the hint to try and provide some warm water and the carolina chickadee below watched me put out food.
The tufted titmouse below was quick on the mark to get some food.
 Next, a female rufous-sided towhee was getting a snack.
 I went on a walk and spotted the sparrow below in a neighbor's yard.
 A house not too far from me had a large cactus and lirope that looked pretty with a little snow.
 At my house another day, a male rufous-sided towhee eats with his mouth open.
 The little junco below is getting in on the action.
 Every morning I see birds in the tree below that seem to watch me put out cold weather treats.
 I caught the moon before it set for the day.
 I have never seen Canadian Geese before on the baseball field shown below.
The female cardinal motivated me to provide some warm water although it kept freezing again very rapidly. 
 We had a spectacular sunset one evening.
The red-bellied woodpecker was getting an early start on the food I provided during the extra cold spell.
 The brown thrasher also got an early start on the food.
 The nuthatch must have spotted something interesting beneath it.
 I think the mourning dove looked gorgeous all primped out.
When I went for a walk on Friday, I expected the lake to be frozen but the creeks and shallower parts of the lake were the only place I spotted ice.
The highs that day stayed in the teens F (-8 C) but for some reason more of the geese were in the lake than usual in winter. The Canadian Geese normally spend more time in the over wintered grass when it's cold.
The Great Blue Heron was keeping an eye out for fish, at least that's my assumption.
 I think the heron below looks like she's stalking.
The next shot is a Red-Breasted Merganser a bird I've never seen before at Shelley Lake.
The cormorants and gulls took over the fish feeding station.
 They also spent some time in the shallow water.
 I hope the mallard below gets something for all of her efforts.
 If anyone knows what is involved with ice taking the odd form below on the shore, please let me know in a comment. I think it looks like plastic but it's ice.
 In spite of how little snow we got Tuesday night, there was some sticking around six days later because it stayed so cold.
I could have used ice skates to get to the bird baths. All the water that spilled out when I was thawing and dumping created a treacherous area that is still there. I go very carefully with my aluminum hiking stick and watering can. Sounds crazy but it gets difficult to safely make it the few slick feet to the bird baths.


Ela said...

Wonderful photos and lovely birds.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The birds are lucky to have your restaurant there during this cold weather! Your path from the kitchen sounds quite treacherous careful out there!

That sure is different looking ice.

SandyCarlson said...

Lovelier than lovely! Your birds are amazing.

Leora said...

Nice to get just a dusting of snow and not the hazardous driving conditions we now have (then there's the promise of more Artic weather - can't imagine how it will feel in Michelle's area).

Love all your birds - such characters, each one.

Rambling Woods said...

I have to finish my NN post... I don't know what causes the strange ice formations.... Thank you for feeding the birds....Mathis cold weather is deadly.... Michelle

Hootin Anni said...

All I can say is wow!!!
Carver?---loved each and every bird photo you've shared today. Excellent.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for showing all these various birds, and telling their species. Your knowledge is great.
Have a great week.
Wil, ABCW Team

eileeninmd said...

Carver, great variety of birds there. I wish I saw the Towhees in my yard. Congrats on the Merganser sighting. The moon and sunset shots are lovely. Enjoy the rest of your week!

DeniseinVA said...

I think you are smart taking your stick. A lot of trips to the ER going only a few feet on ice. Loved this series of photos Carver.

Anonymous said...

I must have seen the Towhee when I lived in NC, but thanks for posting photos of him. A trip down (failing?) memory lane. Love your any photos. Dianne

•°°• IcyBC •°°• said... looked cold, and I love all your critter shots! They are what always cheer me up when I see them.

A Colorful World said...

Wonderful nature notes! The bird shots are awesome! Glad you didn't get snowed-under!