Friday, March 30, 2012

Out Like a Lamb

Our Spring has been glorious, and March is leaving like a lamb. The ducks are gone, replaced by the hummingbirds. We have a few flower pics to share this time, and one of my favorite birds in the bluebonnets. Enjoy.

Here is the Silver-crested Purple Sylvia! The setting is the field by our house, with the best showing of bluebonnets we've had in the 17 springs we've owned this land. Mom, I think your outfit looks really purple in this photo!

These days I camp out on the porch in the late afternoons hoping to get a shot of the hummers.

The sun was far enough down to flip up the flash. This is a male Black-chinned.

This shot is at the office. Plenty of activity.

The Lady Banks Rose didn't put on a big show this year, but what she shows is appreciated.

The bluebonnets are increasing every day. I took the opportunity one morning to get this shot of our field.

Winkley's had this 'Knockout Rose' bush, and I couldn't resist it, as I needed to replace the one that succumbed to the drought. Impressive so far.

At the office, juvenile male and female Redwinged Blackbirds enjoying a sip.

Plentiful at the office, absent at the house. The male Lesser Goldfinch.

As you can see, the finches love the thistle feeders at the office.

The House Finch giving me an attitude at the office thistle feeder.


Male House Finch.

The Cardinal should have known better than to mess with a feeder designed for smaller birds! The House Finch is letting him know; Not Welcome!

I don't care, I'll just bend a little lower to get somethin' to eat.

At the house, I've nicknamed this one 'Scarface'. He hangs out at the Banks rose. April always holds promise for the birds passing through on their way to the Summer home. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sure Signs of Spring

This Sunday morning we had our first hummingbird buzz the porch, so the feeders magically appeared. Since we are so close to March 21st, I take this as a sure sign of Spring. In truth, we still have some of our Winter visitors, but now we are looking forward all the more to our returning Summer regulars.

At the office deck, this Carolina Wren shows up now and again to pick up a few seeds. The Bewick's Wren has been serenading us at the home porch.

One of my favorites at the office feeders, the male Lesser Goldfinch. The bird guides indicate that to the west, the black-back is not as prominent as the green-back. I'm not sure, but some of my guys seem to appear more green-backed?

Then again, maybe he just doesn't have his full colors on!

We have never seen our place this green at this point in Spring, and the yard is full of butterflies checking out the wildflowers.

One of our Winter visitors, the Junco, enjoying my offering of seed on the stone patio.

All of the Ring-necked ducks except one female appeared to have left. Then one morning we spy a young duck on the pond, and think maybe this is the reason she was hanging around. Caught a shot of the diving action.

Apparently a young Ring-necked duck.

This is the female we are calling Mom!

The other single duck still hanging in there is this female Gadwall, with a snack.

I've been seeing some Myrtle Warblers around the porch at the house. This fellow was in the closest oak this morning, so I caught some pix. When I see little tufts of down sticking out, I figure it's a young'un.

One of our favs around the house, the Eastern Phoebe, checking out the yard for something to snack on.

I noticed last night that there is a new Phoebe nest on the back porch beam.

Trompin' through the woods with the grands last week, and we heard the familiar tap-tapping of a woodpecker. Looks like a Ladder-backed goin' after some bugs.

I heard a familiar woodpecker call from a nearby tree at my porch. Just was able to get a back-side shot of a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

So we'll close by welcoming our first hummingbird of the season, a Black-chinned male. So far he has shown no desire to light on the feeder while eating, so he may just be passin' through.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Signs of Spring

Even though we are seeing signs of Spring, many of our Winter regulars are still hanging around, much to our enjoyment. Three types of ducks are still hanging out on the pond, including a first time visitor. This week's offering also includes a variety of flora. Enjoy.

Every Texan has eyes trained to scan fields in early March for tell-tale spears of bluebonnets. I spied a few on our land, and am excited about the promise of a bumper crop coming.

The Lady Banks Rose is showing signs that there is yet life in the old girl!

The Vinca Major survived last summer's dearth of rain, and is showing a few early blooms.

Pretty convinced this church-going squirrel is a Baptist, as he insists on eating every time he comes to the chapel!

The American Goldfinches have been missing the last few days at the office, but I have had a few show up at the house.

This is the female Lesser Goldfinch.

I've kept the sock and tube full of thistle, and they've been emptying them regularly.

Not unusual to have four birds on this feeder at once.

That black above his beak will cover his forehead, and that back will be solid yellow.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is hanging in there at the office.

And Saturday morning I spied my first one at the house.

The male and female House Finch on the deck at the office.

House Finch

The Spotted Towhee continues to be elusive. He just likes to stay in the underbrush, so to get a shot I have to do a 'stake-out'!

The Spotted Towhee is a winter visitor that I expect to be gone before long.

The peach trees have dropped their blooms. But before they were done, I noticed the bees were working them pretty good one day, so I decided to see if I could get a pic. Amazing creatures that benefit us in many ways.

If you ever see a little bird that just spends all his time 'creeping' up the tree trunk and then starts over at the bottom, that is a Creeper. It's a little blurry, but my best shot so far.

Our pound puppy Mirabelle enjoying a nap in our lush yard, (compliments of the God of nature, and Him alone!)

This sunny Sunday afternoon, two Gadwalls cruising by a pile of Red-ear turtles sunning on the bank.

The Ringneck ducks that continue to grace our pond.

The male Ringneck found the floating board, and enjoys preening himself there.

An early morning light on the pond, and the male Ringneck.

The Red-winged Blackbirds are still enjoying my feed on the deck. This is an immature male. I know, I know!

The Carolina Chickadee, always present.

Welcome our first-time visitor to the pond, the Hooded Merganser. This is the look after he comes up out of the water, with his 'do' slicked down.

When dried off, that head of feathers is all puffy, and something to behold.

As you can see here, the female's puff is even bigger, just not as brightly marked. These two provided us with a lot of viewing pleasure.