Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Feeder Birds

 Since the calendar says its Spring I have been trying to resume some of my spring-like activities such as walking and gardening. With Winter battling to hang on my walks around Long Pond are tantamount to walking on a Slushy and my gardening is limited to putting seeds in an indoor sprouting box. Although today has been hopeful with the 13 degree high temp, it is not expected to stay. I have been in my driveway sprinkling snow from the huge banks on either side of  on to the driveway (that's a change) in order to hasten the melting process. I want it gone now!

While it was a bit tricky to stay on my feet while walking the Long Pond Trail, I was rewarded with a few common feeder birds feeding on the seeds left behind by walkers before me. The Red-breasted Nuthatch above is very quick. It would flash in, get a seed, and flash out. This Blue Jay on the other hand was considerably more bold. It stayed to eat up and lick its lips while I looked on.
 Beyond the trails many faithful backyard birders continue to top up their feeders with the delicacies that the small birds just can't resist. A small flock of Common Redpolls periodically returns to this feeder near Quidi Vidi Lake. It is not a good place to take pictures because it is necessary to stay in the car and that creates quite a distance to the feeders. This one looks like a little angel bird.
 The Purple Finch are increasing in numbers these days and can be found at several feeders around town. The female Purple Finch have been more prevalent than the males. I am waiting for a great opportunity to shoot some shots of the male. Their plumage is quite bright at this time of the year.
 Then, there is the Fox Sparrow whose first appearances in April heralds the arrival of Spring. When we see the Fox Sparrows show up, it just confirms that the calendar is right. Now, all we have to do is get the weather to cooperate.
This great little Fox Sparrow was photographed in Goulds where it stayed at the feeders for less than 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes happened to coincide with the arrival of a woodpecker at the top of a far-off tree. I was straining against the back light with my binoculars to determine if it was a Hairy Woodpecker (have never seen one) or the very common Northern Flicker. I lost the good opportunity to photograph the bird-in-hand because I was trying to id the "two-in-the-bush." It turned out to be the Northern Flicker.

Follow up to Who Birds?:  I had five responses to the question posed relating to personality types and birdwatching. Where there were some similarities, there was no across the broad personality dimension that applied to all. In order to get any kind of pattern, it would really be necessary to have at least 100 samples.  I guess I will go on puzzling over who would find birdwatching an enjoyable pastime.

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