Sunday, February 23, 2014

Waning Winter

The temps are warming, even though we expect at least one more freeze. Flowers are budding, and we expect some of our winter regulars will be moving on soon. Enjoy them while they are here, and the thistle wars have definitely picked up!

 The American Goldfinches have been showing up at the thistle socks in greater numbers.

 The male Cardinals are trying to show us just how crimson they can get.

 Thistle wars are back! Just give me a little sunshine, and I'll give you some stop action!

Male and female Lesser Goldfinch.

 Let's see how intimidating we can be.

 Head for the hills!

No, that's not kissing!

 The two female wild turkeys dropped out of their roost this morning, but I was surprised by the Tom. And oh, was he proud!

He can strut his stuff for sure!

 House finch and Titmouse at one of my new feeders.

 The shy sparrow watchin' out for incoming.

And here it comes!

Peach trees caught me by surprise.

 Now if they can just avoid any more frost!

 Vinca major out under the big oak. Need some more spring rain.

Ready for a large load of composted garden soil. This veggie garden off the end of my porch will include a few flowers for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

The very elusive and solitary Spotted Towhee, on the ground under the deck at the office.

Bathtime, and it's not even Saturday night!

First shot of a male American Goldfinch in transition. Sometime this spring most of his body will be the same color as that brilliant yellow shoulder.

The American Goldfinches added another dimension to the 'thistle wars'. 

Gettin' a little crowded around here!

Excuse me!

The Lesser is smaller, but has plenty of fight in him!

Back at the house, this peaceful dove is not willing to share the seed platform.
Imagine that!

The Eastern Phoebes are active, and should be nesting soon.

If you need a side-by-side comparison, here is a Wren and a Sparrow together.
They really are nothing alike!

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker still enjoying some suet cake.

To close, here are some shots of the Gadwalls erupting off the pond this afternoon.

That first wingbeat really makes a splash, and gets them in the air.
We'll enjoy them on the pond while we can.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Some Winter Regulars

Yes, they are regulars, but still special! It is crazy how the 'familiarity breeds contempt' saying comes into play with the birds you see all the time. I know some folks would love to be able to look out their window and see 15 Northern Cardinals! The temps are warming up, so we expect to see travelers before long. Enjoy this week's offering.

We 'only' have a few Gadwalls as regulars on the pond right now. This pair was making some seasonal appropriate shapes with their reflections (turn your head to the right, you might see some hearts!)

 And this fellow has the right color scheme for Valentine's day! It was cold, and he came up on the table very close to the window for a pose.

 You can see the affect of the cold temps, puffy feathers!

 Just like the Cardinal, this Chipping Sparrow came up on the table right next to the glass where my camera lens awaited him.

 Hunkered down, chowin' down.

 The American Goldfinch at the thistle sock.

 Some kind of puffed up on this cold windy day.

The breezes were catching the feathers and ruffling them for this catch.

 Lesser Goldfinches staying faithful to the thistle tube feeder.

 But always contentious.

 Back at the house, I'm proud to show off my own contingent of Lesser Goldfinches. And they are still contentious!

 Saturday I put out a new peanutty suet cake, and it didn't take the Ladder-back long to come check it out!

Nice profile!

 Always faithful Chickadees, coming close for some sunflower seed.

 Grab it and run!

 I promise I did not click on some special effects for this pic, it just came out strange. I'm sure it had something to do with the direct sunlight and how the camera senses the image.

Say goodnight, my little chickadee!