A WILD RUSHING OF HUNGRY BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

So this morning, there were a few birds around, but since I took a lot of pictures yesterday, I decided to have some coffee and a muffin and maybe pictures later.

About an hour later, I went into the kitchen to see what I could grab to eat and there was a mad flapping around the feeder and every bird in the woods was trying to get a few seeds.

Maybe they thawed a bit since yesterday, but the birds were really, really hungry today.

Cardinal and Junco – Frozen seeds?
Flock of hungry Warblers
A landing bird and a lot of Warblers
Flying Warbler and a clinging Nuthatch
Junco landing, Chickadee in eating mode
More hungry Warblers
Junco on the Toad

And Cardinal on a branch, too!

Cardinal on a branch
Nuthatch, Junco, Warblers – Pass that seed!
And a big mourning dove to clean up anything that fell on the deck!
Yellow Warbler waiting his turn for the feeder

MOURNING DOVES – Marilyn Armstrong

Although I appreciate the Doves — they are our major “clean up” birds — they have got to be the dullest birds in the wood. They stake out a claim on a branch and just sit there.

Occasionally, they turn their heads right or left. Every now and then, they lift a wing and stick their head under it.

Mostly, they sit. Like big, brown cushions, they relax on a thick branch which is their version of a recliner, I think. They seem to be waiting for something, but I have no idea what it might be.

One Mourning Dove
Almost looking at each other!
Notice that their heads moved

Sometimes, they look at each other. Usually, they just stare vacantly ahead. The good news is that they are pretty big and if you can find the right setting (on MY camera it’s “Setting” as primary), they make a pretty picture.

But they don’t do anything but sit on that branch and stare.

Oh wow! Looking at each other! So exciting!

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.

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.

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.

FRIDAY BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

The birds don’t like the very cold weather and except for a brief flurry late in the day, I saw them occasionally dart to the feeder, then fly off, seeds in mouths.

They must have special hideouts for the super cold weather.

I did take a few pictures. I missed the best one of the day when one of the Juncos was sitting right on top of the stone toad who guards the sundial, but I got a couple of birds near him. A Junco, on the stand next to the toad and a Warbler on the rail. And, of course, the unstoppable Nuthatches.

They are a very photogenic bird and unlike other birds, they tend to hang on the feeder long enough for me to press the shutter.

Warbler and Mr. Toad
Junco and Nuthatch

This feeder was full to the top on Sunday evening, so even if I’m not getting the pictures, they are eating!

Junco takes a flyer while scattering some seeds. Nuthatch hangs on
Nuthatch ponders future in the woods
Quick stopover by warbler and Chickadee
You can’t stop a determined Chickadee

It’s not time to refill the feeder until Sunday, so I hope they can make it! I notice they’ve picked out all their favorite bits. All the black oil Sunflower seeds are gone and what’s left are the little bits. Well, I have a whole new batch of the high-octane birdseed waiting. Gotta keep the birds healthy.