Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feathered Friends

Now that we are back home, the bird feeders are once again being stocked. This weekend we were welcomed home with a gathering of feathered friends who are fun to watch from the back patio – while  sitting around the chimera enjoying a late afternoon cup of coffee – yes, it’s a “tough” life, but we make the best of it and ENJOY!
At one time 6 or more goldfinches were hanging onto the thistle seed sock. I don’t have a long zoom lens like fellow bloggers Elaine (Artic View) and Mona (Montanagirl) to really capture these backyard visitors. Also, check out Shelley’s  Birding in Michigan  and Frank’s The Early Birder for some amazing shots and wonderful close-ups as well as lots of information.
Even given the limitations of my digital zoom, it’s still wonderful to sit outside and watch and listen to these visitors, especially in late afternoons after working around the yard. As Grenville mentioned in an earlier post, we do have some catching up to do after a month long road trip which was well worth it.
Male and female house finches converged on the feeders with sparrows joining in as well. Next week, we will be heading to the local Tractor Supply to stock up again. It’s amazing how quickly these little birds can go through the feed. They also had help from a blue jay, several mourning doves and a cardinal whose feathers were molting.
The blue jay does not share well and prefers to eat alone after noisily pushing out the other birds.
blue jay
A pair of mourning doves hung out and watched for awhile. They tend to sit in the middle of the flat feeder and seem oblivious to other birds joining in around them.
mourning doves0901 (3)
Some visitors keep a lookout atop the feeders or in the nearby crepe myrtle trees.
birds on feeder collage
bird in crepe (1)
bird in crepe (4)
So far, the annoying crackles and starlings have not returned and good riddance – they usually empty the feeders within hours. Perhaps switching to safflower seed is having an effect as most nuisance birds (and squirrels)  dislike its bitter taste and will usually avoid it. It is a bit more costly and we’ve been mixing it with wild bird seed and sunflower seeds (cardinal’s favorite). Of course, we may expect some VERY unwelcome visitors once the weather turns colder and there is less to forage in the fields. But, at least for now we are enjoying their absence.
Speaking of cold weather, check out the SNOW photos posted by fellow blogger Christer at The Cottage by the Crane Lake.


Mama-Bug said...

Looks like you have quite a few feathered friends! It's so relaxing to watch wildlife.

Lois Evensen said...

So very nice. When my Dad moved in with us when he was in his 80's he would spend hours on our patio watching the birds. I would find him there when I would get home from work and join him with a glass of wine. Wonderful. Such a lovely end to the day.

grammie g said...

Hi Folks...I know what you mean about getting those bird photos!!
I hope your squirrels stay away....I had 5 on my deck into the feeder dropping so destructive!!
Great winter entertainment watching the birds!!

HermitJim said...

They definitely are having a good time, aren't they?

Lots of entertainment in Mother Nature!

Anvilcloud said...

That cardinal looks like he's been dragged through a knothole.

I am now blogging over at The AC is On

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Welcome Mama-Bug and yes when the feeders are full - all 4 of them - we DO have quite a gathering morning and late afternoon.

Yes, Lois is wonderful to bird watch and sitting with the fire lit in these cool late afternoons is a great way to end the day.

Luckily Grammie G we hardly have any squirrels at the feeders. They are too busy chasing each other in the neighbor's pecan tree!

You got that right, HermitJim, Mother Nature gives us better entertainment than TV programs.

The cardinal was definitely not at his best, AC. Yes, I have found your new blog spot on WordPress and it is very nicely done!

Elaine said...

You got some beautiful shots, zoom lens or no. I just wish it was still patio lounging weather here, although our winter has been mild so far. You have such a big variety of birds at your feeders. I am very jealous!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Elaine, no need to be jealous, cause you have some great shots of birds as well. Thanks for the compliment too!

Country Mouse Studio said...

That's a lot of traffic, you got some great shots and that poor Cardinal does look sad

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Country Mouse, yes there has been a LOT of bird traffic at the feeders. SOme mornings and late afternoons there are nearly a dozen birds on the flat feeder alone - house finches, chicadees, sparrows and an occasional cardinal not to mention mourning doves on the ground and goldfinches at the thistle feeder. It's such fun to watch all the goings on.

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