Sunday, February 24, 2013

Winter Fading Mix

Where has February gone? I see my blog posts seem to start out with the next verse of an old song, but life happens when you fully intend to download some good pictures. So be blessed with our offering of February's visitors and discoveries!

 The only time we get to see American Goldfinches is in the winter, when they don't have their 'full glory' on! This guy seems to have a little halo where he'll have a black cap this summer.

 The female American Goldfinches even have more yellow to show than their female cousins, the Lesser Goldfinch.

 These guys always brighten up the office deck when they show up at the thistle feeder.

Male Lesser on left, male American on right, and two female American Goldfinches in the center.

The Pine Siskins like to mix it up with each other and the Goldfinches around the feeder.

 My Grape Holly plants, or Leather-leaf, put out their yellow blooms this year. And as you can see, a local bee appreciates it. 

The White-crowned Sparrow has been very elusive this winter, rarely coming around the feeders in the yard.

 It is a Song Sparrow, or possibly Savannah. I just don't see them enough to know the difference.

 This young House Sparrow provided some afternoon entertainment. He was so puffed up and moving slow. I was glad there wasn't a predator around. He actually took a short nap there on the rock!

 The Chickadees have discovered the new feeder at the house.

 Our diving ducks, the Ringnecks, continue to enjoy the offerings of our pond.

They are not as skittish as the Gadwalls, and don't mind coming up close enough to the near shore for a better shot.

An early morning encounter, when the surface of the pond was like blue mercury.

 I thought I had been spying a broad white center stripe on a duck bill out there. This pic confirms; we have an American Wigeon on the pond. The top duck is the only one among the Gadwalls and Ringnecks. His blue flash on the side of his head gave him away.

 It's cool when they are taking a nap on the pond.

 Sunday morning near freezing, causing the steam to rise from the warm pond waters. The sun was coming up, and it was one glorious morning on the porch!

Later the Gadwalls were spooked by my activity, and staging to make their escape. One wrong move, and they erupt into flight.

From the other end of the porch, the Carolina Jessamine that I nursed through our last dry summer is bursting forth. I know the date isn't right, but looks like Spring is bustin' out all over to me! Let's see what kind of bug and bird magnet this plant turns out to be.