Category Archives: backyard
Can you spare a few minutes for the next 4 days to count birds at your feeders? No feeders? S’okay. You don’t need feeders, you can go to the local park or wildlife refuge. You can also include fly-overs and birds you hear if you are sure of the call. Yes, It is time once again for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I love that this event is short, only 4 days and that I can count as much or as little as I can or have time for. It is not a huge commitment, BUT your data combined with that of all the other participants can help give a glimpse of the bird population this winter.
Remember last year when we were awash in Pine Siskins? This year I have nary a one. But luckily, I do not need to have rare or unusual birds to participate in the count. I want my lone American Tree Sparrow to be counted. It comes very winter by itself and hangs around with the Junco crowd. I have a Carolina Wren or maybe 2 and lots of Chickadees and Titmice and Nutchatches.
It is going to be cold this weekend, so bundle up when you go and keep me posted.
I stood looking down from the bedroom window at the snow. The pristine blanket of white was broken by a trail leading from the woods down and around the top of the property. I squinted against the blandness of white on white. The tracks followed the edge of the mountain laurel, stopping at the sandbox then making a beeline to the bird feeders before wandering off through the arborvitae hedge to the neighbors yard. What the heck! I threw off my robe, gathering clothes as I headed down the stairs. I wanted to see if I could tell what they were, so I grabbed my camera as I headed out.
Well, I don’t know. They look sort of like cat prints. But big. Maybe 2 inches across. I didn’t see any claw marks, so I don’t think they are a dog. Have you seen bobcat prints? How big are they? There is a Weimaraner that lives up the hill. Could it be her?
I had just fed the birds and was sitting in the garage with the door open when I heard the scrape of the plow coming up the driveway. The driver waved as he inched past making a wide swath through the knee-deep snow. The birds scattered but returned when he backed away to make another pass. The driver was someone I had never seen. He rolled down his window as he prepared to make the final pass and hollered above the roar of the diesel, “Are you a birdwatcher?” I nodded happily and pointed at the busy feeders. “I love Chickadees,” he shouted and with a smile and a promise to be back, he crawled down the steep drive onto the unplowed street.
Today’s snow birds were: Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Cardinal, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jay
Out by the road, in the worst possible place in terms of feng shui (my money corner-perhaps that explains everything) I have a brush pile. It started because, well, partly I am lazy and partly I am cheap and well, I have the land to do it. And heck, the birds and critters love it… so…there it is. To be brutally honest, I have 3 brushpiles. Top, middle and bottom of the property. The one I see most is the one at the bottom, out by the road.
From where I sit in the family room I can see a large Forsythia bush by the back deck. The other day, I happened to look up and noticed the leaves jumping. Since there has been a large flock of mixed migrant buddies lurking silently in the trees for about a week. I thought, perhaps, I could sneak out and see what was what. I caught a glimpse of a clean eyebrow as one of the birds flitted away. I dashed out to see them chase each other through the oaks in backyard. As I stood there craning my neck trying to figure out if this was my regular backyard crew, a caught a flicker of movement out by the brush pile.
Hey! I know you. Long time no see. How has your summer been? How are the wife and kids? Yeah I know the neighborhood has had a lot of hoodlum this year, but they have moved on and it’s peaceful again. Hope you can hang out for a while. Feeders won’t go up until the bears go down, but you know the drill.