Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snow is Eminent (...they say)

Snow is eminent, I heard on the radio today…and so you’d think by the way the birds went through the feed. Even the woodies seemed to be stocking up, they were here a lot. I need to win the lottery. I suppose first, I should discover what it is, really, that I need to improve my photography. Is the problem my window or is a PowerShot G3 just not good enough? I’ve read to use a Digiscope one must have at least a 4.0 mega-pixel camera. Mine is just that. Perhaps it is the ‘telephoto lens’ I got for it…all excited that I was to even find a digital camera with an interchangeable lens…seven years ago, mind you. Gads, I have so much to learn…but first I have to fix the window! I have links regarding the scopes on the right side of the page.

I’ll show off a really bad shot I got of the raptor that hangs around; was the first time I saw it’s front side. Perhaps there is a clue there about what kind it might be. If ya can see it! Ha

I did get some good opportunities to show I really do see two types of Chickadee here, and more on the paler-pinky colored birds. You can see how pale their ‘red’ is compared to the other ‘red’ ones. Perhaps they’re female-types, I dunno. Do you? Still, they are quite different from the little stripped brown birds I bet are females. [Addendum: The stripy ones are House Finches and the pale-bellied ones with the very red heads are Cassin's Finch]

One Chickadee type has a dark strip through its eye…but there is white above it, as if it has white eyebrows. I believe it’s the Mountain Chickadee. The other Chickadee type has a beautiful full-black cap…and surely must be the Black-capped Chickadee. See, I learn quick! LOL

I can see, I'm going to have to clean up my clothes line, too...these clothspins and stuff are making this much to busyh! LOL

The wind was blowing too, so it was hard to get the camera focused, but I did get a couple more little shots of the Nuthatch who visits, as well as one of the woodpecker types. I believe I have two; both a Hairy and a Downy…as there is a big difference in size, but I think both have red on them. I’d imagine females do not.I miss being up at the cabin…I remember once hearing cranes fly overhead; I thought I was hearing chickens! They fly so much higher than do geese it took awhile to find them, chattering on their way to the dunes, I suppose. I used to watch wild turkey chicks with their mothers right outside my window; it seemed nothing was afraid…I guess they didn’t see that many people up there. It was so lovely to wander around and look at stuff. I once saw a bear with a blond strip down it’s back…it looked like a punk-bear the way the blond looked in dappled sunlight. I found out later that our black bears are not just black or cinnamon…but sometimes have patches of blond; stripes down their backs or bibs under their chins.

My friend Tony says I can go back up and hike around his place. He and his family bought a place mile or so past my old cabin. I’d love to arrange some birding trips up there, when the snow melts.

I was asked to post a couple more of the pictures I took of the bear that spent a day in a tree in my front yard. They are fairly tolerant here, as long as you ignore them; but they drive my dog, nuts. He’s a Livestock Guardian Dog, an Akbash Dog, that I got when I thought I was going to spend the rest of my days in Paradise. I watched him keep a double-tagged bear (bright yellow tag in each ear means it was becoming a problem) out of our meadow all by himself. LGDs don’t hunt or harass bears, wolves, or lions…but they do run them off when they come around. Such a good doggie mine is!

Here are the pictures I took of the bear who was hanging around ...and you thought birds were messy! These guys come to town to gorge on apples, and the piles they leave are humongous!


Sherrie said...

Hi, Beverly!

Your chickadee IDs are spot on: Mountain and Black-capped. As for your finches, house finches are EXTREMELY variable (darn things). You might check out Cassin's finches as an option, too. Purple finches aren't so common in these here parts, but I've heard rumor that there are more around than usual this winter.

As for rosy-finches... hm. They tend to be a high altitude beastie, but with all this weather we've been having, I don't think I'd be too surprised if some found their way down. (I'm not sure how far south they typically range or what your altitude is there in LV.) You'll notice them from the rest of your finches because they'll look like sumo wrestlers by comparison.

Three cheers for your enthusiasm and curiosity and your growing knowledge. Ain't it fun to figure stuff out?

Beverly said...

Thank you, Sherrie!

LV is just above 7000', nestled in the cleavage of the Spanish Peaks (Wahatoyas, or 'Breasts of the World', as natives called them. (My brother calls 'em The Two Boobs.))

You must know I peruse your blog regularly; it’s a favorite I’ve noted on mine. I checked out your website and noticed your linocuts. As a kid, we made them in school, albeit rough; I can appreciate the work you put into them. They’re beautiful. In some ways your work reminds me of wood burning I used to do. I remember one I did of a chickadee on a branch; I must have been fourteen years old…that’s how long I’ve liked the jaunty, little birds.

Thanks again.