Last weekend's Great Backyard Bird Count was less successful than previous years because the pesky squirrels kept many birds away from my backyard. H.H. filled the bird feeders; he cleaned out and topped up the heated water dish. I charged the battery in my camera and washed the French windows so I'd have a clear view. Our so-called squirrel-proof feeder proved worthless and I spent much of the weekend screaming at the bad actors. One squirrel even managed to remove the roof ...
|Pesky squirrel scared away the birds|
Here are pictures of some of the birds brave enough to come near in spite of the squirrels:
|Male house finches|
Sparrows are our most prolific visitors. We have several types including the white throated sparrow and song sparrow. The house sparrow, pictured here, is not really a sparrow but a member of the weaver finch family. There are so many sparrows again this year. I know that when spring arrives, I must protect the seeds I sow in the kitchen garden.
|House sparrow left; female house finch above|
During the bird count I saw only two of my adorable bluebirds at the heated water dish. I think bluebirds are my best loved ...
... or maybe my favorite is the cheeky, titmouse. It's so difficult to choose.
H.H. hangs a block of suet in a cage that is really squirrel proof so we are blessed to see several downy woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers. The nutchatch and wren like the suet also. Sorry, I didn't take pictures of all of them.
|Downy woodpecker waiting for his turn at the suet block|
The American goldfinch loves sunflower seeds. I believe the male goldfinches are getting their summer yellow feathers very early this year. Maybe it's the unusually warm and sunny weather. Looking back over my previous GBBC postings, this year's event is unusual because there is no snow. Yesterday, the temperature hit 72 degrees -- unheard of for February! A plunge in temperature and a storm, however, are on their way.
On the last day of the count, a flock of red-winged blackbirds flew down into the lower field. One obligingly came near enough for a photograph.
My most unusual sighting this year: A hawk perching in the pear tree watching the little birds at the feeder. Usually, hawks don't come so close to the house. We see many red-tailed hawks flying overhead, but this one was different. His cinnamon colored breast and the bold white spots on his wings when he flew away makes me think this may be a red-shouldered hawk.
How was the 2017 GBBD for you? Did you spot anything unusual?
The warm weather has me checking for early blooms. I see so many hellebores on other garden blogs and on Instagram, but no luck here. There are some nice fat buds waiting to burst open though.
Daffodil and crocus shoots abound in every flower bed -- early for February. I'm joining the National Garden Bureau's Daffodil Watch. They have declared 2017 'The Year of the Daffodil." Click on the link to join in the fun.
|Bottom left crocus shoots, bottom right and top are daffodil shoots|
Now for my first flowers of the year: Snowdrop Galanthus 'Atkinsii'. I purchased it from Carolyn's Shade Garden several years ago. It didn't bloom last year, so I'm very happy today!
|Snowdrop Galanthus 'Atkinsii'.|
This week marks my blog's 9th birthday. My first posting, February 21, 2008, was on the Mac platform. I switched to Blogger two years later because the links were more reliable. I have written more than 220 postings -- not as prolific as some, but a steady two or three each month. I find them invaluable to mark the progress of my gardens. Click on last year's birthday link here, or check out the featured post in the sidebar, to see the changes over the years. The best reason to keep blogging, however, is the wonderful like-minded friends I have made all over the world. Because you keep reading and commenting, I keep blogging.
Thank you dear friends!
I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.