ALL CREATURES – Marilyn Armstrong

Many creatures crossed our deck today. When I first peeked out my bathroom window at around 5 in the morning, there were three squirrels hanging onto the feeders. I went back to bed.

When I got up later, there were at least half a dozen Brown-Headed Cowbirds chowing down. I turned on the coffee and looked again. A big Red-Bellied Woodpecker and a small flock of House Finches and Goldfinches were chowing down. I went to take a picture and before I turned it on, they were gone. Vanished. Poof!

House Finches and I think the bird with the blue bill is a Bluebird
House Finches

I went back to the kitchen, cut open a couple of English muffins and popped them into the toaster. More Cowbirds, miscellaneous finches and a couple of Chickadees. I went and picked up my camera. Both feeders were empty.


Back to the kitchen. Garry was setting up the coffee, so I cream cheesed the English muffins. When I turned around there were half a dozen House Finches and a big Red-Bellied Woodpecker. I went and picked up the camera. They did not all fly away.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

The woodpecker played peek-a-boo with me, then abandoned ship and a squirrel took over his spot. It was the middle of the day when squirrels are not usually out and about, but this squirrel seriously needs to have a chat with an older, more mature squirrel and get a grip on the dangers of squirreldom.

And although the House Finches hung around a bit, mostly, they were out of focus, but then the Cowbirds came back … and they were in focus. Not that they are particularly interesting, but they are big and easy to shoot (with a camera).

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

25 thoughts on “ALL CREATURES – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. The birds are very busy in the morning. I got some really good pictures today. Just as well. This is a really boring time of year to take pictures. No flowers, nothing blooming. It’s all muddy and gray. If it weren’t for the birds, I wouldn’t have anything to shoot at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great tale – isn‘t it just called LIFE? Things are happening while we turn the head ‚just for a second‘….!? I absolutely ADORE the red woodpecker peeking through the fodder-cage – you should make that a picture in your kitchen! I would…. Thank you so much for just making my day.

    I also like Pat‘s comment – sadly, in the Paris region, no train or metro is *EVER* so empty as your feeder is when you‘re ready with your camera!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s weird, actually, because I haven’t even turned the camera on. They just vanish. Sometimes, I can see them in the nearby trees, but usually, it as if they literally disappeared. They don’t fly off the feeders, either. They just dive off. Today, though, I got some good pictures. They sat still for a while. Finally!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely way to start the day. We don’t have cowbirds over here, but they look rather cute and they’re very photogenic. Glad to hear not all your garden visitors flew away when you picked up your camera. Great results – you’re a dab hand at snapping wildlife. And of course, the ubiquitous squirrel – no garden well equipped with bird feeders would be complete without a squirrel getting in on the act. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cowbirds are long-time residents of the valley. Apparently the first arrived around 1830 and have been hanging around ever since. They don’t build nests. They drop their eggs into other birds’ nests and let them do the parenting, so a lot of people have a grudge against them. But they are pretty easy-going, non-bullying birds otherwise — except for that invader the nests of other birds issue. At least they don’t kill the other baby birds. They just leave an egg behind and move on.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My goodness, dropping eggs in other birds nests is a bit of a risk in more ways than one, isn’t it? It’s a wonder they haven’t died out… But they’re sweet little things and I’m glad to have discovered them through you. They obviously took to the valley when they arrived there in 1830. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That little squirrel is going to get grabbed by a hawk. There have been some BIG hawks — they might even be eagles because they are really huge — and they are hungry. That little guy doesn’t seem to get the whole thing about hiding when the big birds are flying.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. Leslie, as a young newsie at ABC News, my first gig was taking in phone voicers/voice reports and typing up verbatims. You had to be very fast and accurate, Many of these voicers were from overseas and on strict deadlines. I turned out to be one of the fastest and most accurate. I still don’t know how I managed that up against skilled typists. I wouldn’t try that today. I think maybe I was so driven by anxiety to succeed/not fail. Make sense?

                  On ANOTHER note: Kevin Pillar, your former centerfielder, is having an excellent day with his new team, the San Francisco Giants. The Giants announcers are raving about getting Pillar in a “one-sided” deal. That aside, the Blue Jays really played the Red Sox well. Very agressive and doing surprising things — like stealing home. Sox looked dumb founded.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. We’re going to regret the loss of Kevin. We are having a lot going on sports wise. The Maple Leafs lost last nigh and I think the Raptors did too. But low and behold the Jays won.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Leslie, a lot of sports talk about the Boston-Toronto rivalry, especially in hockey. I’m not a hockey fan but appreciate the passion of fans. I just never have been able to wrap my head around hockey. That attitude disturbed many people, including an old friend/former work colleague who used to play hockey WITHOUT a helmet.

                      Liked by 1 person

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