Archive for May, 2014

A Day of Firsts

6:35 am.
First hummingbird siting. She was here for about 15 seconds and took off.
Now it feels like spring.

First tulip bud

Noon update: first really heart-stopping clap of thunder. Wow it’s really pouring.


Handsome Dude and Ladyfriend

We don’t get wood ducks too often, and it’s always special when they show up. She preferred the high ground while he investigated the terra firma.


Colorful Spring

Our plants are all coming in late this year, not surprising given the winter we had and its late exit. However, our feathered friends are making up for them with the color they’re providing. I finally got some shots of that red headed woodpecker, although not good ones. He/she hangs around under the platform feeder where we have an inverted suet feeder. It’s shady under there and not a great place to get a good shot. We had a rose-breasted grosbeak enjoying the jelly today.


Join Feederwatch

Feederwatch is a citizen science group that tracks bird activity from October through April every year.  We’ve been participating for several years and it’s a lot of fun, helping to cheer up some of those wintery days.  They’re taking registrations for this fall now.

Everything you need to know is on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.


Birds aflutter

We’re having a huge amount of bird activity at our feeders, including a couple of species we have never or rarely seen.  The red-headed woodpecker is visiting often, something new for our feeders.  Sadly I haven’t been able to capture a photo; he doesn’t stay put very long.  I’m hoping he’s decided he likes our buffet and hangs around.

Although we’ve had rare sitings of Baltimore Orioles in the past, this spring we’ve got a couple that are visting often.  We’ve encouraged this behavior with a little bowl of grape jelly which they really love.  An American Redstart, an orange and black warbler that we’ve never seen before, was here the other day.  Indigo Buntings show up very briefly in spring, and we’ve had a couple sitings. The goldfinches and yellow-rumped warblers are everywhere, in quantities that are truly amazing.  There have been times when all the feeders are covered with them, swirling around and trying to land.  What a show it’s been.


Clockwise from the upper left:  American Redstart, Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting



Red headed woodpecker

I saw my first ever red headed woodpecker today. Unfortunately he was in a bunch of branches and pretty far away so no picture, but he was beautiful. It’s been a good backyard birding spring, with several species we have either never gotten before, or only rarely have seen. No hummingbird sitings yet. We’re keeping the feeder stoked with fresh syrup for them, the equivalent of a hummer welcome mat.


Flowers are always a welcome sight at this time of year, and the azaleas are some of the first. In the background, to the right, you can see the Bleeding Hearts looking very happy and healthy.  We have a great crop of juniper berries too.  I wonder how you make gin….



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