Sunday, March 14, 2010

A New Yard Bird!

After a week of clear, sunny weather much of the snow has melted and turned my yard into a mud-pit. And dispite my warnings, some folks have waited too long for a sure thing seeing the Rosy-Finches that visit here.

Generally, these guys show-up when the mountain weather is particularly bad. That said, they've been here for a good week since the last snow storm, but their numbers dwindled from around 500+ to maybe just 250 pink-butts that come and go before long before noon.

Yesterday morning only 100 or so showed up in the early morning and were gone by 10 o'clock. Late morning visitors did manage to see the Lewis's Woodpecker, a few Evening Grosbeaks, a Cassin's Finch and several other woodpeckers, but were disappointed not to see Rosies. Early afternoon visitors didn't see much at all.

This morning 100-200 Rosies showed up, along with at least as many Red-winged Blackbirds. The flock of blackbirds grew, but the Rosies were gone by ten o'clock. And then the snow started. I was absolutely tickled that the Rosy-Finches came back; first time they've visited in the afternoon in over a week! All three continue to come...including the Coastal or 'Hepburn's' variant. They are such a delight to have back. I just hope we get lots of snow because some folks plan to stop by Monday and Tuesday...early. I'm thinking they might just get to see hundreds of the pink-butts.

While watching the birds and cursing the big, weedy gluttons, I noticed a bright splash of color and realized there was another fairly good-sized bird in the yard that I'd never seen before! A first!

I have seen Meadowlarks before, just not in my yard, so it was easy to find the bird in my field-guides, but not so easy to determine if this was an Eastern or a Western Meadowlark, as their areas apparently overlap here. I felt better when I read that basically the easiest way to tell them apart is by their song, but they weren't singing in the snow.

And then there were two!

It was pretty neat watching these big birds feeding; they'd slam their rather large bill down into the grassy mud and open it...looking all the time for what might turn up. They worked the yard from one side to the other and stayed through several rounds of blackbirds, starlings, pigeons (that's what I call Eurasian Collared-Doves out of total disrespect) and Rosy-Finches all winging up and back all in unison rather like schools of fish.

What a treat, huh.


eileeninmd said...

Lucky you, to have both the rosy finches and the meadowlark for yardbirds. The Meadowlarks are becomming a rare sight to see around my area. I enjoyed your post and photos.

Beverly said...

Well, while the pink-butts have been coming for about 3 years now...and in growing numbers; the Meadowlarks were here ONCE. LOL

I appreciate your visit and your comments. It's a shame, isn't many birds are becoming rare.

All I can say is: PLANT NATIVE!!!

John (Tucker) said...

I can't believe you get Meadowlarks in your yard. They are few and far between on the east coast. Great photos.

Beverly said...

John, thanks for commenting! I love to hear from folks...I learn so much! We have both Western and Eastern Meadowlarks and a couple of larkspurs, as well; but this was definitely a first. I love it...

Thank you too, for your kind comments about my photos...mostly I just do it for identification. I swear I'm VERY lucky having such a birdy yard...even though it takes a lot of work. PLANT NATIVE!

Chas S. Clifton said...

"total disrespect" -- I like that.

Maybe we should just call them "dinner." Any mourning dove recipe will do.

Beverly said...

Heh, heh, heh. One of my dreams is to get one of those really neat cannons; the ones that shoot a huge net to capture a whole buncha birds.

I bet I could make a really good pigeon pie, I'm sure!

[sigh] Would that I still lived in my cabin in the woods (and had these vermin), I'd be sure to invite you, your guns and your dogs!

DJB's Photo Adventures said...

Congratulations on a new yardbird! See you Saturday. Let's hope the Rosis are still coming to visit even if there are only 100!

Beverly said...

Hi Debbie!

Eight is fine...but the earlier the better; yanno? Yeah, as fast as they've been disappearing, I hope they're still here, too!

I'm happy Cole saw so many, and several have seen the Lewis's, too. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

It's snowing to beat the band right now...