A NEW BIRD – Marilyn Armstrong

I knew we had another couple of other woodpeckers. We have a full red-headed one — not the big Pileated Woodpecker — but a smaller one who is as rare as the big one. Maybe more so. This woodpecker is not rare, at least in the way that birds are counted … but he doesn’t show up much, either.

Gold-Fronted Woodpecker with a Junco

This one is a Golden Fronted Woodpecker. I’ve seen him before but never had a chance to get a picture of him. The woodpeckers — collectively — are early and late eaters, not middle of the day feeders. They feed before I finish getting my coffee put together.

Bright head of the Gold-Fronted Woodpecker

This morning, the oil delivery truck showed up very early and I had to hustle the dogs inside the house. I turned on the coffee … and there he was! Not the one with the solid red-head, but a completely different one. In appearance, closer to a flicker than a woodpecker, but The Book says he is a Gold Fronted Woodpecker and he is quite lovely.

He also only eats from the flat feeder from which I have a very difficult time getting pictures. I managed to get these, however. The odd blind slat reflection is exactly what it looks like — a reflection of our living room blinds on the glass in the dining room.

It’s difficult to take pictures when it is sunny early in the day. The sun shines almost directly in through the back French doors creating a lot of refraction, reflection and odd bounces of light.

Today, I got pictures.

For your amusement and amazement, here is our Golden Fronted Woodpecker. With a black ladder-back and gold around his beak and wings, and one scarlet (almost dark orange) patch on his head. A lovely fellow!

WHAT WOULD THE BIRDS DO? – Marilyn Armstrong

I didn’t take pictures today. When I was ready to shoot, the birds were off in the boughs of trees. Sleeping, I presume. They probably had a later dinner, but I was tired and I have a lot of pictures already taken. This is a sort of “best of birds” from the past week.

A pair of Mourning Doves

So today, just pictures. Tomorrow is a feeder filling day. Which may mean I can shoot — or not. It depends on how terrified they are when we fill the feeder. Thursday I’ve got my cardiologist and that’s just outside of Boston so I won’t be doing much that day.

And we are supposedly getting snow Friday and Saturday. So we’ll so how the rest of the week goes.

BLUE AND YELLOW – SKY, SEA, FLOWERS AND AT LEAST ONE BIRD – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue and Yellow

Photos: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Some of these have gotten a little too complicated for me. The one with color and it has to end in A? Nope, sorry. I’ll be very interested in what everyone else comes up with, though. I think it’s that I’m not feeling well and feeling definitely cranky.

I’m really not sure how much material I have, but I’ll give it a try! Let me start with flowers because, for me, most color starts with flowers — or birds!

Then I take a look at oceans and skies. You just never know about that.

Yellow and blue on Rt. 201 to Skowhegan – a bit impressionist!

And what about those Arizona mountains? Gotta be something there, right?

Blue and yellow daisies
Yellow stone Arizona desert – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong – Yellow boat and blue water!
Bluewater and yellow leaves at the Mumford Dam
You can’t stop a determined blue and yellow Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse – Blue and yellow bird!
Blue jeans and a yellow gymnasium floor
Early morning in Vermont – a blue and yellow time of day!

MORE WEEKEND BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

I took so many pictures over the weekend, I’m still trying to catch up with the stuff I’ve already downloaded.

Woodpecker with a red cap
Nuthatch with seed
Yellow warbler with a seed
Black-and-White Woodpecker
Vintage Chickadee

MORE BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

So even though I didn’t shoot any more pictures today, I shot so many yesterday I’m not running out anytime soon.

Chickadee

We are actually expecting our first serious snowstorm next weekend. Pretty much the right time of year, too.

A pair of yellow Warblers

Although we have had years when we had serious snow on the ground from before Thanksgiving, many years our first heavy snow is the end of January and beginning of February.

Junco enjoying table feeding. Juncos like feeding on flat surfaces. Mourning Doves, too.
A stone toad, a hungry Junco, and deck rail that badly needs a paint job

March is also a heavy snow month and we don’t really get much of a whiff of spring until May and even then, spring usually lasts an afternoon. The next day, it’s summer.

Flapping Warbler, contemplative Warbler, and a Junco
Hard to miss those markings

That wasn’t true last year, though. It stayed winter until it was absolutely summer. The spring flowers all bloomed in July.

When the big bird eats, the other birds wait. Not far away, mind you … but they wait.
Woodpecker

Despite the absence of snow so far, winter isn’t too far off the rails. Yet. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

SECOND SUNDAY’S BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

We filled the feeder yesterday and the birds scattered. I was pretty sure they’d be back today.

One flies off as the other gives it a push
Nuthatch and Warbler

Boyoboy, were they back. It was like a bird festival out there. Every bird in our woods was trying to knock every other bird off the feeder. They do play a feathery version of “king of the feeder.” However, when the woodpecker showed up, they gave a collective sigh and waited until he’d eaten his fill.

Junco with toad
The Woodpecker and the Nuthatch. You can see how much bigger the woodpecker is because the nuthatch isn’t small

I haven’t even processed half the pictures I shot so they will show up later in the week. We still haven’t had any snow, but I think before the month is out, we’re going to get hit by something. So far, all the storms have been south of here and gone out to sea, or in the north while we got rain.

Woodpecker takes the feeder
He likes to circle the feeder to make sure he gets a little of everything

So we shall see. I gave in and I ordered a bigger cover for the car. We need a garage, but lacking one, we need something more than just a windshield cover.

Yellow Warbler
A couple of Mourning Doves

It’ll take two of us to get this one on the car. It looked really easy in the online instructions, but I have a feeling it’s not as easy as it looks in their video. Meanwhile, our birds will be fed. That makes me feel better. I always felt bad for them when the weather got really bad.

BIRDS OF THE SECOND SUNDAY – Marilyn Armstrong

The bird feeder was almost empty today. Although I haven’t been seeing lots of birds, the feeder has been emptying steadily and fast. I think they eat more food in the winter. They need more calories to keep warm. Our birds are quite fat, so I think we’re doing a good job.

Garry agreed to help me fill the feeder. I can do it alone, but it’s a lot easier with help, though it’s even easier when the help is the tall son.

A well-rounded Tufted Titmouse, rear view

The problem is, the moment we went out to add food to the feeder, the birds flew away and didn’t come back. They’ll be back tomorrow. It’s going to be close to zero tomorrow and they will be hungry.

Chickadee and toad

I feel by now they should get it — that we are not going to eat them. We are the feeders, not the eaters. It probably didn’t help that The Duke came out to help us with the feeding. He actually might eat them.

The Duke is not committed to saving the wildlife. As far as he is concerned, all those little, feathered flyers are snack-food.

Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse
Titmouse and Junco
Full face shot of Chickadee
Two Tufted Titmice
The ubiquitous Nuthatch

I am taking fewer pictures because I think my hard drive is filling up with feathers. I’m aiming for interesting pictures rather than sheer volume. But all bets are off when the woodpeckers come around. I totally lose control.