This is not the first major storm on the second day of December. There was a blizzard in Boston in December in the mid-1990s. The thing is, when we got significant early snow, it generally means that it’s going to be a rough winter. A snowy winter. Last year was, as we say around here, a piece of cake.

Not this year.

Oh how much I want to be wrong about this. And, you never know. We might have a month of fine weather after this. Even two months. It has happened. In terms of weather? If you live around here, EVERYTHING has happened and not just once.

The birds were really hungry today. There were flocks of them surrounding the feeders. I know the squirrels line up in the morning and I let them have the morning to feed, but by lunchtime, it’s time to let the rest of the wildlife have some food. If it were possible to actually reason with the feathery and furry crew, I’d explain that they could share. Squirrels on one feeder, birds on the other.


In fact, I have a picture — something you never see: a Chickadee and a squirrel together on one feeder. If a squirrel and a Chickadee can do it, why can’t our senators and congresspeople be equally reasonable?

THE GOLDFINCH CAME HOME! – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s not the big flock I had last year, but three Goldfinch showed up today and hung around long enough for me to get their pictures. They were the stars of last winter’s bird portraits. They are so awfully cute.

Welcome home American Goldfinch

We also had a visitor I haven’t seen in years. It was a baby Chipmunk! We used to have hordes of Chipmunks chittering at us as they tried to take over the driveway. Then the bobcat showed up and he ate them. All of them. This is the first Chipmunk I’ve seen in at least five years. He was so little!

What a cute pair!

A Titmouse and his little pal

Hunting, I guess, for seeds left on the deck. For some reason, I didn’t take his pictures. I was so bedazzled just seeing him on the deck. I even had time to call Garry over to see him too, so I certainly could have taken his picture, but I was having so much fun watching her skitter around the deck looking for seeds.

A better version of a flying … wren?

The birds are coming back. Slowly. The Mourning Doves are still missing, but maybe they are just being shy. They are also a bit big for these feeders. They liked picking seeds from the deck. They are flat feeders.

On a positive note, we have lots of joyously singing Carolina Wrens.

Fair Lady Cardinal

Also, I saw, but he was gone before I could get the picture, a full red-headed woodpecker. Not the big one who looks like Woody. This one looks just like the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, but his entire head is completely red. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen one outside a bird book.

Sometimes, it’s good to live in the woods.

EVEN MORE BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

Do NOT complain about my birds. I am so thrilled to have my feeders up. When I ramble into my kitchen for morning coffee, there the rails and feeders are all aflutter.

Carolina Wren and a Rose-Breasted Titmouse.

What’s really a bit strange — I’m sure this has something to do with climate change — is we are getting different birds than last year. We have last year’s birds too, but many fewer Goldfinch who were the stars of last winter’s bird population.

Carolina Wren and the white bird I don’t recognize.

We have the same woodpeckers — Downy, Hairy, and Red-Bellied. But we have wrens this year. A flock of Carolina Wrens who normally only arrive in early spring has settled into the feeders.

Carolina Wren and Titmouse

You know you have Carolina Wrens because they have the loudest voice in the woods. Very small birds, but what a voicebox!

There are also Titmice, Chickadees, and Nuthatches (two types): White-Breasted and Red-Breasted.

Carolina Wren

As for the Carolina Wrens, they’ve been bouncing around the woods for several years, but they never came to the feeders. This year we have them and a couple of others I’m not sure I’ve properly identified. All of the small brown wrens look very much alike. Is that offensive to wrens? If so, I apologize. Same rusty brown color. With speckled and barred wings and striped faces.

Incoming but unknown

We also have a big gray bird that looks like the bird you get in a coloring book. He is Standard Bird A and I can’t for the life of me find it in either of my books. I’ve got two books now. The pocket-size (for people with really BIG pockets) Peterson guide and what I got used from Amazon (free overnight shipping) that cost me $3.50, weighs about 20-pounds and describes in intimate detail every known bird in North America. The final one is coming tomorrow or Monday — the Audubon pocket guide –another book for people with super big pockets.

Rose-Breasted Nuthatch

I’ve been trying to get the most recent books because not only have we many fewer birds than we had just a few years ago (down by almost %30!), but they have moved. Migratory birds aren’t migrating.

Rose-Breasted Nuthatch

A few of them are no considered “homeless.” They don’t have an area of North America that is their breeding ground. This does not bode well for a bird species. But at least they are still alive and maybe if we can slow this changing climate down, our feathered friends will settle down too.

Flying wren

I’ve seen a few Cardinals and for the first time, a bunch of Blue Jays. Still no Robins. I hope they come back. Also, no doves this year. There’s a big white and slightly orange bird of unknown vintage.

For someone who loves taking bird pictures, I’m really not very good at identifying them, so anyone who’d like to help, please, HELP.