Friday, February 27, 2015

Birds of a feather, flock together!


You may recall a recent post on my Winter companion, the American robin 
who hasn't left the garden for several months. His long term 'rental', on
a fig tree branch complete with suet feeder, was tested yesterday following the 
night of heavy snow. 
Mid-morning, while awaiting the return of our power, and staring out the windows 
at the icy conditions, in flew a flock of obviously hungry robins who proceeded to
gobble the seed and crumbs thrown down until we could get to out refill the feeder.
Robins in this large number don't usually arrive until Spring.
Unable to determine which robin might be 'our robin' in such a large group, I was 
wondering if he would perhaps find a mate and leave our habitat with the flock when 
they flew off.
They did what robins do best, nibbled, stood around silently turning their heads and, 
after about 15 minutes they all disappeared.
ALL, except MY robin that is! 
Yes, he didn't leave with the flock!

Apparently he's sticking around to wait for Spring.
Still hanging about the fig tree, quietly sharing the suet feeder with other 
birds, then shuffling about, snacking on seeds and crumbs under the feeder. 
Perhaps he knows a good thing - daily meals no matter the weather, 
melted water in the bird bath for drinking and bathing. . . . .or perhaps he
just feels like he's one of the family here and doesn't want to move out!


Today the sun is shining, much of the 6" of heavy snow is falling 
from branches. Many trees and shrubs look sad, perhaps permanently 
pruned by the weight of the wet then frozen snow. Our cul-de-sac is heavily 
rutted with hard ice where 4-wheeled drive vehicles have been able to turn - we 
are not going out - no reason to take the risk with trees/branches down across
 neighborhood streets, schools and some businesses still closed, and many 
accidents on the highways.

Here's to Spring - sooner rather than later would be really welcome.

I just remembered and thought I'd share this little tidbit with you, my wonderful blogging friends.
Today, February 27, marks 8 years since I first hit that Publish button and became a blogger!
Wow time goes by quickly!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Night in the garden. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . and just where were you last night? 
At 1:30 AM I woke up and went to peek out the windows. Dark, yes. Normal 
dark when slumber muffles the brain and blurs the eyes, definitely not!
I flipped on the the lights in the gazebo hoping to see more. 

This was 'more'. The sky was actually very bright with heavy falling snow.
At 6 :30 AM the power went out. We were under six inches of wet snow, 
bending branches to the ground, snapping pine trees at their 
slender waistlines, silencing the neighborhood streets, and bringing the city 
to a halt yet again.



Our power returned around 11:00 AM. We were fortunate. Many of the 100,000 
area residents who lost power are still awaiting their supply to return. 
Many accidents have occurred taking down wires. The thaw is already well 
underway, however with bitter temperatures tonight, there will be a refreeze and 
tomorrow will be yet another stay close to home day for many, including me!

Suddenly this has become a very long, cold Winter here in the southeast.
Be safe if you too are in the path of these storms and bitter weather patterns.


Consider the Sparrow. . . . . . . . .


Identifying a bird is not really that difficult. By following few basic strategies 
you can increase your chances. First by color, then size, the bill shape, the habitat, 
the food they choose, flight patterns, even perching posture.
Of course having a really great field guide to birds found in your specific area is 
always very useful - I use Birds Of The Carolinas by Stan Tekiela - it has always 
been my favorite.


Waiting for a bird to stand still for more than a few seconds is hard, tiring,
and much patience is required
Believe me on this. . . . . . .I've been holding a camera at the window for long 
periods during this past cold, icy, snowy week, until my arms ached. 
Now and then it brings success and one captures a really good shot, so worth
the discomfort, if you love birds. I'm not a 'birder', but I am a 'bird-watcher' and I do 
love the way they bring movement and life to the garden, and I do spend a small 
fortune on birdseed.

This is the White-throated Sparrow, many are flitting around my garden this year.
A brown bird with gray tan chest and belly. Small yellow spot between the eyes.
Distinctive white or tan throat patch. White or tan stripes alternate with black on crown.
Color of throat patch and crown match. Female is same as male.
Without my field guide, which has much more information on this sweet bird, 
I would not have know this sparrow from the Song Sparrow, House Sparrow or 
Chipping Sparrow.

I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows. . . 

~ Eva Peron ~





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