Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why we didn't get a Teacup Dog!!!

No pictures with this post, I didn't have my camera in my hand. Even if I did there would have been no way for me to react fast enough!
I sent Beardsley out to chase squirrels the other day and I stood at the patio door watching him. As he got into the middle of the yard he was buzzed by the Cooper's Hawk!! The hawk came within a foot of him and then went up into the tree and sat for a minute before taking off again. I guess the hawk thought that Mr. B was interfering with "his" hunting grounds! Beardsley looked around and tried to figure out what had just happened, gave up and went back to digging grass up and eating it. I have NO fear any hawk could ever lift that dog off the ground!! Heavens, I have a hard time lifting him up!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nuttall's Drumming

Spring has been in the air for a month or so around here. We have had baby House Sparrows starting in Mid March, the female Hooded Orioles have arrived, and the spring migration for the hummingbirds has started. Another way we can tell is the Drumming of the Nuttall's Woodpeckers on anything that makes noise! There are several Nuttall's that come into the yard all the time so we have been listening to lots and lots of drumming. I thought the males would be the only ones doing the drumming, calling in females and marking territory but reading the Sibley guide book both the males and females do the drumming in the spring. There is one in our yard that has found the bat house that is near our bedroom door. This morning we woke up to him going around the bat house and drumming on all the different areas of the bat house. Of course every different area made a different sound. It was nice to wake up to the new work of the composer Mr. Woodpecker of the Wood Symphony.

The Nuttall's are regular visitors to the seed feeders and even more regular visitors to the nectar feeders. As I am writing this I am watching a female eating bugs off the Maple Tree in the backyard. It looks like she has a hole where there was a branch cut off. It looks like she is eating something out of the hole. I guess I will have to go out tomorrow and check out what is in there!!

When I am in the front bedroom at the computer I can look and see this sight. They hang on to the rail upside down at first and then work themselves upright.

Look at his nails and you can see how they can walk up and down trees and poles with ease. Those are sharp and strong claws!! You can't see his tail in this picture but they use the tail to brace himself as he clings to the tree.
The drumming of the Nuttall's Woodpecker, such a wonderful part of spring!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yardbirds March & April

It has been a year since I did anything in this blog. I don't know what happened to the last 12 months but they sure flew!! Speaking of flying I thought I would list the birds that have been in the yard over the last couple of weeks.

Rufous Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Blackchinned Hummingbird
Allen's Hummingbird
BlackHeaded Grosbeak
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
House Finch
California Towhee
Nuttall's Woodpecker
Cedar Waxwing
Lots of Duck flying over
Cooper's Hawk
Sharpshin Hawk
Redshoulder Hawk flying over
Redtailed Hawk flying over
American Mockingbirds
White crowned Sparrows
Golden crowned Sparrow
Blackeyed Junco
Black Phoebe
American Crow
As I am writing this I am watching the hummingbird feeder in the front yard. There has been anywhere from 7 to 15 hummers flying around it for the last hour! It is now around 7:30 pm so they are filling up before they head off to bed. It is getting dark so they should be heading off to bed soon. Sounds good to me!!

We have has several Cedar Waxwings come into the yard the last few weeks. The thing with Cedar Wings is that they come and go so quickly. If you aren't looking outside at the right time you never know they have been there. The pictures I took are through the bedroom patio door so you really can't see them but I'm going to post them anyway.

They are such beautiful bird. The feathers are so smooth they don't seem like feathers at all. They have a black mask on their face and yellow on the bottom of their tails and red on the wings. The the most fun thing is the top knot on their heads! It sticks out the back like an old fashion Ducktail hairdo.
They come into the yard to eat the Pyracantha berries. There will be a whole flock that come in at one time anywhere from 5 to a couple dozen. They will eat for awhile and then all of a sudden they take off and they are gone. As I said, if you hadn't been looking at the right time they would be gone and there would be no way to know they had been there.

Yesterday (I have taken at least two weeks to get this blog written so I think this part was written around the first of April) I saw the first Male Blackhead Grosbeak in the yard for this year. I noticed I had written last year that in a couple of weeks I had several pairs in the yard so hopefully they are just coming in and there will be lots more.

Blackhead Grosbeak

They like the Black Oil Sunflower seeds that I put out on the platform feeder. This one is right by my bedroom door so I can see them first thing in the morning. I think you can guess how they got their names!

I have seen several Rufous Hummingbirds the past couple of days. I also saw one Blackchinned Hummingbird this morning. I guess the migration crowded is heading in now. The next month should be very very busy. I will be buying lots and lots of sugar from Costco!!

Rufous Hummingbird

The male Hooded Orioles are back now. I haven't seen any females yet but they should be here in another week or so. The males always come in first to stake out the best areas. I don't know how many are around yet but there doesn't seem as many as there has been in the years past. Hopefully I just not seeing them!! April 15th: Saw our first females yesterday!! About two weeks later than the males.

Hooded Oriole
Here he is hiding the bushes by the Oriole feeder on the back fence.

The White crowned Sparrows are still around in great number. I think I saw a Golden crowned this morning but I didn't have my glasses by my bed so I could tell for sure. April 15Th: The white crowns are still here but their number is getting less and less all the time.

The Goldfinches are eating me out of house and home! There are so many of them. I only have the one thistle feeder up right now so they are all on it. Most are the Lesser Goldfinches but I have had several American Goldfinches. I keep looking for a Lawrence but no luck yet!!!! I can keep my fingers crossed on that one. I know they are across Janss Road so they aren't far from here.

I am going to go ahead and post this and then finish the post tomorrow or next week. I have a couple more things to write but right now I just want to take my shower and climb into bed!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Before and After

A rather sad post but one that wasn't unexpected. The past couple of weeks we have had a white dove hanging out in the yard. It is one of those that they let go at weddings etc. I could tell she was used to people as she would land within a couple of feet of me. She wouldn't let me get right next to her but she wouldn't panic either.

One of the problems when semi-tame birds get loose is they aren't used to taking care of themselves in the wild. She was lucky that she found an easy food source at the feeders in the yard but then again she wasn't lucky to find such a easy food source. I'm sure you can guess what happened this afternoon. I looked out the window and this is what I saw.

One of the several hawks that come around everyday found a very easy meal. I'm sure she didn't put up much of a fight. How would she know that she was in danger? I can't be mad at the hawks as they need to eat but I sure to miss that dove!!

The Trees by Philip Larkin

"The Trees"
by Philip Larkin,
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.