Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Winter Day

Sooooo...snow for the past couple of says. Yesterday not so much...and it was lovely. Today I woke up to over a foot of snow; it's almost noon and it's still snowing. I love it...except I'm missing even more work! [sigh] At least I can make up some of the time here at home. Ever try 'LogMeIn'? I like it.

I've been keeping a close watch on the birdies...but am sad to report I've not seen the Rosies yet. Year before last I had all three; but perhaps it's too early, yet. I'll let ya know...
So far, on my upside-down suet-feeder I've had Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches and
............. Magpies! Yup, the Black-billed Magpies have figured out how to jump up from below (unlike the little birds who start on top and walk below) and hang on, wings flapping, tails spread...while they mostly hack away at the cake and then pick up the pieces that fall below. It's funny to watch, I'll try for a photo.

I'm dismayed at how many Eurasian Collared-Doves (not Eurasian-colored Doves, as I've heard them called!) and how many House Sparrows have invaded my place. I've had troubles with the Doves and Red-winged Blackbirds in the past...but I've never seen so many of the House Sparrows. They are vermin...and they ruin other birds' eggs and kill their nestlings; not to mention compete for food. I'll tell you, by shear numbers they're getting the bulk of the food I put out.

It seems one was nearly lunch to another creature;
it lost it's tail! Doesn't seem to bother it much, though.

I like to toss seed out the back door where I can watch the birds come onto the little cement walk-way there. I've seen several Dark-eyed Juncos (mostly Oregon, Gray Headed, Pink-sided and Slate colored, but I've also seen the Cassiars (like the Oregon but with very dark wings) and occasionally the 'White-winged' sweeties that display two white wing-bars (though not seen this year yet). Some look like they could be 'Red-backed'...but I've never seen that bi-colored bill...so are obviously the Gray-headed versions, with the standard pink bill.

One thing that has surprised me
...finding a crow just outside the door! I feed the Magpies dog-kibble, fat and meat scraps, and sometimes leftover cake I get from work. Cake and doughnuts are much better for birds than is plain bread...as the fat and sugar content is higher and at least provided instant energy; I still don't feed it often. One of these times, I'll get a shot of the fat-worms I've made for them!

What else is here on this very snow day? Both American and Lesser Goldfinch (a beautiful black-backed male that was still in breeding yellow), several White-crowned Sparrows (lots of youngsters still in brown crowns), at least one White-throated Sparrow today, and three (3!) Hermit Thrushes on the berry-covered front fence.

Oh, and now there are two White-winged doves! These are tropical birds, yanno.

I meant to say something about the evergreen tree; it's a Blue Spruce that I made sure wasn't too damaged when I had the fence built. It's really grown since I moved in here, some four or five years ago. The thing is though, I need more evergreens. You can't believe how many birds use this tree for cover and shelter from rain and snow. Besides, they make the bones of a garden...and I need more bones! LOL

It's now close to five o'clock, and it's still snowing. I'm guessing we've had at least 18 inches. But it's been lovely, light and calm; a beautiful day.

4 comments:

Bosque Bill said...

Thanks for the report. We've had a taste of winter down here; 25 at night, but above freezing during the day.

Had my latest ever hummingbird sighting today, maybe because I've never left the feeders out this late - the sugar water frozen solid this morning.

It was a female Black-chinned and I told her to fly away south as fast as she can.

It was snowing when she was at the feeder and about a dozen juncos passed through, too. Now the sun is out and the snow is gone.

Beverly said...

LOL Hey, Bill! I gave up trying to keep the nectar feeders out there ...the stuff keeps freezing. It's only about 30 degrees outside.

I don't understand the White-winged doves...they're supposed to be a tropical bird; remember the one whose feet froze last year? I hope these two guys head south real soon.

It's sure fun to see the Hermit Thrushes...I just added another photo. Remember; you're the one who provided the ID for me...and from a lousy picture, too!

Thanks again!

scienceguy288 said...

How did you get that circular shot? Was that done with a lens or computer software?

Beverly said...

SG, that's a mechanical thang...called vignetting...caused when stacking lens; as in digital photography. Sometimes good, sometimes not...like when ya crop off half the 'circle'. As you all know, I'm not much of a photographer...I'm just trying to 'illustrate' my blog.