Owen filled the feeder yesterday and there were dozens of birds around the feeder this morning, including some I didn’t recognize.

Downy Woodpecker

I think the unseasonably warm weather is bringing the migrating birds back at least a month early. I hope the weather doesn’t suddenly change! I’ve seen it happen before where a warm spell in February brought back nesters who were frozen when winter blew back in.


But this year, we haven’t really had something I’d call winter. We’ve had some extremely cold days and a tiny bit of snow, but between the few cold days have been a lot more warm ones. I’ve got ants in the house. In February! And there have been ticks in the yard all winter. That’s not a real winter, folks. This is  … kind of like late March? Early April?

Junco on the railing

I swear to you I picked up my camera this morning and every interesting bird fled. As I see them, they see me. They don’t mind me standing and watching them, but the moment I aim the camera at them, they fly away … except for the “old-timers” who have finally figured out that I’m not going to do anything to them.


I did get a few cute pictures, though, so I thought I’d show them to you. I thought I’d also share the interesting news that I can’t use my lens except at its shortest length, which would be about 200 mm (per 35 mm standard). If I extend, the pictures get blurry because the lens is too “close.” Never thought that would happen!

Downy Woodpecker

I can shoot longer when I’m shooting birds on branches in the woods, but not when they are on the deck or the feeders.

Titmouse and Goldfinch

11 thoughts on “BIRDS DU JOUR MINUS THE ONES I MISSED – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. How big are woodpeckers, Marilyn? In comparison to finches for example. I always imagined that they were larger but I have never seen one as we don’t have them or if we do not the same ones.


    1. THESE downy woodpeckers are the smallest of the woodpeckers, so they are maybe the size of a thrush or robin? About 6 to 8 inches long. Finches are about half that size. Does that help?

      Hairy Woodpeckers which are identical to the Downy Woodpeckers are about an inch or two longer and fatter … and THEN there are the Ladderback bunch, which are about the same size as the Hairy Woodpecker, but a very different shaped bird.

      But there’s the Pileated Woodpecker who is not a “feeder” bird so he doesn’t come close to the house, though I’ve seen him in the woods. He’s the size of a falcon … quite a sizeable bird. You don’t see them much, but you can hear them punching holes in the oak trees throughout the summer.


      1. Yes that does help. We have robins although they are different from the European ones. Naomi gave me a book about Tasmanian birds for a welcome home present so I will enjoy trying to identify birds I see in my garden or round the district.


  2. Beautiful photos and birds Marilyn!

    I also share your pain with the zoom focus, although more often with flowers than bird shots – i have to content myself with a wider frame and cropping the image to give the size i wanted. Changing to aperture or shutter priority settings made next to no difference.

    I think you’re right about the goldfinch – in it’s winter plumage. 🙂


    1. I have an actual macro lens too. It’s just I tend to use whatever happens to be ON the camera and rarely change lenses. I hate changing lenses so when I’m “out and about” I use my “do it all” camera … but while it will shoot pretty close, it won’t shoot like a macro shoots which is ultra close.

      I might have to give in an actually change lenses sometimes. Gads.

      Liked by 1 person

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