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BS: Birdwatching 2009

30 Dec 08 - 08:37 AM (#2527326)
Subject: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Start Jan 1 , Count Speices that you see at your house or yard. See how many you get in 2009. Only from your house or a 100 foot radius from your property. In 2003 I got 49, in 2004 I got 60, and last year I got 63. We can check in once a month to see how we're doing.
Who's in?

A lot of us had fun with this and it helps with your birding skills.
If you hear a bird and you know what it is that counts too.

Raptor


30 Dec 08 - 08:43 AM (#2527332)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

I'll flutter along. Thanks, Raptor.

maeve


30 Dec 08 - 03:41 PM (#2527710)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Escapee

I'll play from northwest Ohio.


31 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM (#2528105)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Not really fair on us urbanites who - if we're really lucky can see an escaped canary (I assume it was an escapee - it certainly isn't native to east London) or the roaming flocks of parakeets that inhabit our larger parks, but for the most part, we get the same old LBJs every year...

Not that I don't love my tits, all three varieties, and the sparrows that have moved back are proving to be entertaining as they imitate the tits, but other than a lost wren, there's nothing exciting going on here...

Still, I'll keep my usual count.

Seen from my kitchen door or in the garden in 2008:
Great tits
Blue tits
Coal tits
Wren
Robins
Magpies
Wood pigeons
Racing pigeons (not so pink but still as stupid)
Canary (the all 'egg yolk yellow' variety, male - well it was singing)
Green finch (or green linnet)
Blackbirds (male and female, unfortunately the nest was robbed out by the magpies)
Black headed gull (in winter and summer plummage)
Assorted BBJ's (Big Black Jobs) that were probably crow, rook and cat.

LTS


31 Dec 08 - 05:45 AM (#2528124)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: freda underhill

On Sunday I went for a walk through the Sydney Botanic Gardens with my daughter, granddaughter and grandson. We saw dozens of flying foxes and a sulphur crested cockatoo.

freda


01 Jan 09 - 09:20 PM (#2529377)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Liz I don't think it's fair that i don't have tits at all.

In Canada we call them Chickadees.

This is more about enjoying our birds with a good excuse than a competition. You can enjoy the birds in a suburb.


01 Jan 09 - 09:44 PM (#2529381)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

I'll play along as I am an avid watcher. However, I will report only when I have the opportunity to do so. It would also be nice so see where folks are reporting from. I for one don't know where many Catters are from and I think in a bird count it is important. I reside in Quebec and spotted 3 male Cow birds and one female today. To G.Damn cold for anything but staying inside.
Beer (adrien)


01 Jan 09 - 10:55 PM (#2529405)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Here in Basking Ridge, I've seen the usual sparrows and such around here. However, a family of tufted titmice and some chickadees have been hanging out earlier in the day.

On my way down from a friend's cabin in the pocono mts, the other day, I saw a flock of wild turkeys and a pileated woodpecker. There are an awful lot of birds out there if you just keep your eyes open.


02 Jan 09 - 02:37 AM (#2529447)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Escapee

Maye Liz could shift her reporting station in a nearby park?


02 Jan 09 - 02:52 AM (#2529449)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Cats

I was so pleased yesteday to see the family of long tailed tits back on my bird table. They are balls of fluff on a stick!


02 Jan 09 - 06:29 AM (#2529491)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

We're in Maine.

Yesterday brought in icy winds; most birds were trying to stay warm. We did see crows, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, American goldfinches, and both hairy and downy woodpeckers. I won't mention the sharpshinned hawk that visited a few days ago since that was last year. Our bantams took one look outside and refused to leave their house, cursing horribly until I finished giving them warm water and fresh food, closing the door behind me.

maeve


02 Jan 09 - 09:09 AM (#2529559)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

I'm in Ontario 1 hour north of Toronto.


02 Jan 09 - 10:44 AM (#2529629)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Arkie

From Mountain View, Arkansas, about 100 miles north of Little Rock and around 100 miles south of the Missouri border, small town of just less than 3000 on the southern fringe of the Ozark mountains. So far this year:

American Goldfinch
Tufted Titmouse
Chickadee
Blue Jay
Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Yellow Breasted Sapsucker


02 Jan 09 - 11:27 AM (#2529663)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Stilly River Sage

Good timing, Raptor! I finally got around to putting up the cast iron hook and hung a full bird feeder on it earlier this week, and yesterday the "discovery" happened--lots of birds hanging around. My usual suspects, I'm afraid. Doves (mourning and white winged), cardinal, and lots of little finches and sparrow types. I'll have to get out a bird book and see what they are. (LGB and LBB are probably not what you want to hear, right?)

SRS


02 Jan 09 - 12:13 PM (#2529707)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

My tits are sulking and are in a foul temper with me... I trimmed all the foliage away from the back fence with a view to replacing it in a couple of weeks. Thus, in one fell swoop, I took out their favourite perches and knocked their feeder over the fence. At least now they can see the cat coming and the new fence will have a bit of trelliswork where they can perch in little squares.

Bastard birds don't know they're born!

LTS


02 Jan 09 - 01:34 PM (#2529780)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Jeri

So far, only:
1. Junco
2. Tufted titmouse
3. Chickadee
4. Cardinal
5. Hairy woodpecker
6. Mourning dove
7. Goldfinch

The first month isn't up yet though, and we're supposed to report monthly. I think I can 'collect' blue jays, crows, perhaps nuthatches and sparrows, but there are loads of juncos.

Haven't seen one of those no-winged bushy-tailed birds yet, but it's probably only a matter of time.


02 Jan 09 - 01:53 PM (#2529795)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

What a difference a day makes. 5 degrees warmer and my feeders and surrounding area is just busy as hell.
Junco (lots)
Chickadee and American Finches (plenty)
Mourning Doves (4)
Cardinals (spotted 1 male and 2 Female)
Cow Birds and lots of Sparrows.

There are two p[air on White Breasted Nuthatches that hang around but not seen today.Adrien


02 Jan 09 - 10:57 PM (#2530185)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

A couple of Blue Jays, 2 red tailed Hawks and a black headed vulture passed by on their way to appointments.


02 Jan 09 - 11:34 PM (#2530205)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

And where abouts are you located Barnacle?
Adrien


03 Jan 09 - 01:36 AM (#2530256)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: mrdux

so far over the last couple days most of the usual winter suspects have made an appearance:

red breasted nuthatch
lots of juncos
song sparrows
english sparrows
chickadees -- chestnut backed and black capped
house finches
bush tits
the usual crows, scrub jays and starlings
robins
a flock of cedar waxwings
flicker
and one cooper's hawk in the apple tree right above one of the feeders in our urban backyard in portland, oregon.

michael


03 Jan 09 - 07:45 AM (#2530353)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: freda underhill

I heard some galahs today, but didn't see them.

freda in Dungog


03 Jan 09 - 07:46 PM (#2530854)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Basking Ridge, NJ.
Spotted a turkey vulture perched in a tree beside the Raritan River today.


03 Jan 09 - 10:12 PM (#2530927)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

This doesn't count at all, but it was the thrill of lifetime for me, so I'm posting it. Just got back from a road trip that included a stop and walk along the Susquehanna River immediately below the Conowingo Dam, near Port Deposit. (just about 3 miles from Camp Ramblewood, where the Getaway used to be held.) I saw 4 Bald Eagles in the tops of trees along a 1/4 mile stretch of river trail. The first I have ever seen in the wild.

Thrilling.

I'm in for the bird count. Have just got feeders up at my new place and will be interested to see if I get different species. Got home late this afternoon for the first time in 2009. Saw a couple of bluebirds, a white-breasted nuthatch, a couple of white-throated sparrows, tufted titmouses, juncos, Carolina or Black-capped chickadees, cardinals, a female red-headed woodpecker, and a Carolina wren.

Raptor, I'm so glad you start us on these projects!

Janie


03 Jan 09 - 10:16 PM (#2530930)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Oh, I'm in the northeast Piedmont region of North Carolina, in a little town called Mebane.

Janie


03 Jan 09 - 11:25 PM (#2530947)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joybell

I like playing here.
I'm in south-west Victoria, Australia. It's Summer and a few birds are into a second breeding.
Three baby New Holland Honey-eaters are trying to get nectar out of the long-handled brush that hangs in the tree beside the water dishes. It's the brush I use to clean them.
As well as New Holland Honey Eaters we have:

Australian Magpies
Australian Ravens
Boobook Owl
Wedge-tail Eagles -- part of their hunting range.
Mudlarks
Willie Wagtails -- with 3 babies at the moment
Yellow-rumped Thornbills
Brown Thornbills
Welcome Swallows
Nankeen Kestrels
Brown Falcons
Black and White Chats - visitors
Silvereyes -- visitors
White-faced Herons
Sacred Ibis
Black Swans -- with 7 young ones
Mountain Ducks
Crimson Rosellas -- visitors
Grass Parrots -- visitors
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos -- visitors
Corellas -- visitors
Shining Bronze Cuckoo

Joy


04 Jan 09 - 07:08 PM (#2531585)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Cats

There was an interesting article tonight on the local news. A bird watcher from here [Cornwall, UK] had gone all the way to the Arctic in an endeavour to see a rare Snow Bunting but after 2 weeks there was no sign. When she got back there were all these people camped out in her road with cameras and huge telephoto lenses. There was a Snow Bunting in her garden that had flown down from the Arctic.


04 Jan 09 - 07:37 PM (#2531622)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Obviously, her karma and desire brought it to her. I have often found that when I relax, interesting birds fly right in front of me or, in the case of a very tired woodcock several years ago, land in front of me to be saved from a cat.


04 Jan 09 - 11:48 PM (#2531794)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Location. Location. Location.

I solved a mystery today regarding why a particular feeder was not much being used in spite of what I thought was my care in placing it relatively near to cover. I didn't think about the fact that I was also placing it near the front porch steps, which can not been seen from inside the house.

This morning I strolled out from the side of the house to see a cat crouched on the steps, eyes trained on the feeder. Had a bird failed to notice the feline, it would have been a very easy jump for the cat to the bottom perch of the feeder.


05 Jan 09 - 04:40 AM (#2531865)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Oddly enough, my most popular feeder is only 15' away from the back of the house but the birds love it because it's suspended from an arch (well, more a sort of wood henge) and there is no way the cats can get to it except from above. The birds have plenty of high perches that the cats can't reach and they dangle quite happily off the feeder - although watching a robin trying to do it was hysterical and I wish I'd been able to capture the moment on film... at 4 times the weight of a blue tit, the robin just tipped the feeder over!

LTS


05 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM (#2531870)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

So far this year, in my garden, I've seen:

Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Common Redpoll
House Finches
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Yellow shafted)
Northern Flicker (Orange shafted)
Crow
Pine Grosbeak
Bohemian Waxwing

There are photos of a few here


05 Jan 09 - 07:44 AM (#2531921)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Well, I'd like to join in but we are in the process of gradually moving house (doing up the farmhouse before we move in) so do I count what I see at both houses?
More seriously, it will be interesting to see what turns up 1000' up in the pennines. I had seen pictures of fieldfares in bird books and it mentioned that it was possible to see flocks of them in winter but I had never seen more that one at a time. Yesterday there were over 80 of them in the next field!
Since 1st Jan we also have had flocks of starlings and black-headed gulls, a black backed gull(a lesser I think but nothing to compare size to), several crows and magpies, a blackbird, a robin and a wren.


05 Jan 09 - 11:24 PM (#2532595)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Escapee

The birds know I'm keeping track now. Since the year started I have seen 1 House Sparrow and 1 Mourning Dove in my backyard. Still hear Canada Geese late at though. They sound like a herd of dogs passing overhead. The rest of the birds must still be on vacation.


06 Jan 09 - 12:28 AM (#2532620)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Stilly River Sage

Joybell, you are such a tease! All of your summery exotic birds on this list!

I had a garden outside my kitchen window so I didn't put up the bird feeder for a while (it was up there last year)--I didn't want the feeder seeds in the veggie bed, and frankly, the eggplants were too big to put the feeder in it's usual position. Now the frost has come and the feeder is up because I've cut back the eggplant to the roots (I don't know if they will come back in the spring--this is an experiment).

I have a lot of doves and sparrows, but today I had a black-capped chickadee. Only one, and kind of a loner, but a conspicuous vistor to my feeder (outside the kitchen window, about 8 feet from the house, sitting right beside the driveway pavement). I scattered some seed on the ground to aid in the "discovery" phase and it was quite a gathering.

SRS


06 Jan 09 - 06:42 AM (#2532721)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Roger the Skiffler

We do a weekly garden bird count for the BTO* (also record stag beetles via the same site) I don't know what our annual total is but our weekly total is between 16 and 20 species. Our oddest over the years have been an escaped African Grey parrot and a small flock of (presumabley escaped) zebra finches one year. Ring necked parakeets (escapeees from the 1950s**) are now common in the area.

RtS
*British Trust for Ornithology
** allegedly escaped from a Shepperton film set. Possible Sanders of the River or similar.


06 Jan 09 - 07:39 AM (#2532751)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

The mention of geese heard overhead reminds me that I was doing my Christmas shopping in Lancaster in the late afternoon of the 22nd (I think, it's all a blur now) of December. There was fog and suddenly heard the sound of geese flying over above the noise of the crowds and cars.
It was an almost magical experience to contrast the commercial christmas scene presented to the eyes with the hidden natural world that was above the fog. It brought you back to reality with a bump.


06 Jan 09 - 11:59 AM (#2532972)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Mention of Canadian Geese reminds me that I have forgotten to mention them here as there is a resident population of about 100 living in the pond just down the hill from our house. Arrogant birds, they are.


06 Jan 09 - 12:46 PM (#2533046)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: MartinRyan

Blackbelt's story reminds me of emerging from a pub late one night in the Irish midlands and hearing what seemed to be an endless stream of whimbrel overhead, keeping in contact with low whistles as they headed north on migration. Such moments are, indeed magic.

I'll try to keep a "house list" this year for the thread - I promise!

Regards

p.s. In much of Ireland, whimbrel are still often known as "maybirds" as they are mainly spotted in late April, early May.


07 Jan 09 - 09:48 AM (#2534044)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work

Made my own fat ball yesterday... it's been setting in the fridge overnight and I'll put it out when I get home. Full of fat, gammon rind (sliced to caterpillar size) and sunflower seeds, it'll give the robin and the blackbirds something to do.

Talking of the blackbird, I was standing within arms reach of the female yesterday afternoon - a magical moment. She just looked at me, flicked her tail and hopped off the fence with no sign of alarm.

LTS


13 Jan 09 - 03:13 PM (#2539029)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Blackbelt count at both but only during the time your address is at the house you are counting from.


14 Jan 09 - 03:51 AM (#2539387)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

They like the gammon worms... but it froze out there last week so they've not been able to get them out! There's another in the fridge - sunflower seeds and beef fat. That should be interesting.

They're all sulking at the moment because I've dug up the back fence and trimmed all their low level shrubbery cover back, to replace the fence. Still, the robin got within 5 feet of me yesterday whilst I was raking over old leaves, he liked the bugs that were appearing.

LTS


14 Jan 09 - 07:13 AM (#2539488)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Huh... bloody cheeky robin... I put up the first fence panel, toddled down the garden to pick up the shovel and before I was even 4 paces away the robin was perched happy as you like on the new panel!

Now I have to go and buy a new fence post spike as I appear to have broken one, trying to get it out. To be fair, it was rusted to b*ggery and back!

LTS


14 Jan 09 - 09:11 PM (#2539883)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Escapee

My backyard bird population has rebounded. I think 8 inches of snow have made feeders popular spots. Juncos, cardinals, downy woodpecker, nuthatch. Pretty much back to normal.


15 Jan 09 - 05:43 AM (#2540034)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Last week the wild turkeys reappeared in our yard and across the road in the neighbor's field. Yesterday we had over 50 of them parading through the yard within six feet of the kitchen door.

So far we've seen/heard 19 species:

Wild turkeys
American robins
Ravens
Crows
Black-capped chickadees- more than ever before
Tufted titmouse
Downy woodpeckers
Hairy woodpeckers
Bald eagles
Sharp-shinned hawk
Dark-eyed juncos
Brown creepers
American goldfinches
Mourning doves
Blue jays
Cardinal, male and female
White-throated sparrows
Fox sparrows
Chipping sparrows
Great horned owls
Barred owls
Long earred owls
Saw-whet owl- male

Separate from this thread but of interest: In the fall I held and released a Black-billed cuckoo that hit a window. Such a lovely bird! We also have the yellow-billed cuckoo here. They are two of the very few native birds that eat the 'orrible gypsy moth caterpillars that make my eyes swell closed.

maeve, on a small farm in Midcoast Maine


15 Jan 09 - 06:51 AM (#2540074)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

You've seen 4 owls?
Thats great!


15 Jan 09 - 07:23 AM (#2540088)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Adding the following:

Red-breasted nuthatch
House finch
Goldfinch
Mockingbird
Bluejay
Turkey vulture
Sharp-shinned hawk
Red-tail Hawk
Common Crow


15 Jan 09 - 08:42 AM (#2540169)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work

Whilst wombling through the B&Q carpark (big DIY/hardware chain) I noticed that the number of crows seems to be increasing... or else it was just because the trees are bare that they were more noticeable, but they were huge big birds too....

Having finally last summer, managed to see the Hitchcock film, I'm getting worried...

LTS


15 Jan 09 - 09:08 AM (#2540217)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Saw the Barred owls, Raptor, and heard the others. They like to hunt from our woodlot and the neighbor's hayfield. There's been a kerfuffle in Maine recently due to observers feeding owls with released mice; some say it's terrible to interfere with natural selection and to entice the owls closer for photos, others say at least it's food for starving owls moving down from La Belle Canada in their desperate search for food..

And I forgot to list :

Canada geese - one long string of late migrating critters
Red-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch

maeve, little farm in Midcoast Maine...still


15 Jan 09 - 06:17 PM (#2540809)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

"White-breasted nuthatch"

So Kendall has been to visit then?!

LTS


15 Jan 09 - 07:11 PM (#2540858)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Thanks for the reminder, maeve. Canada geese fly over nearly every day on their way to a small local lake.


Here is question about cat deterence that surely some of you have some solutions to offer. I did not realize how many cats there are running around this neighborhood until I got the birdfeeders set-up. There are nearly always at least 2 cats in the yard now, and I have counted a total of 5 different cats that are now drawn here by the bird activity.

The feeders have all been moved or elevated out of leaping cat range now, and I have stopped scattering seed for ground feeders, although they still go after the seed that falls on the ground under the birdfeeders. That is the best I can do for now.

I"m worried my birdbaths will prove lethal for the birds when I start filling them come spring, and I have no clue what I can do to keep the cats away.

There were not so many cats in my old neighborhood, and everyone on the block had feeders out, so it spread out the predators a bit. Here, I have the only birdfeeders in sight, and am surrounded by irresponsible pet owners. I have never had to deal with this problem before.


15 Jan 09 - 11:55 PM (#2541015)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Lady Hillary drew my attention to a Bald Eagle over the Raritan River today.


17 Jan 09 - 08:19 PM (#2541793)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Had a pine warbler today that kept visiting both the suet and the thistle feeder. Hadn't seen one of them here before. Had another bird at the thistle feeder that I still haven't keyed out. Black and white striped. Small. I was headed to the feeder to fill it, and the thing didn't fly until I was within 3 feet. (Neither did a couple of goldfinches.) The closest thing I can find in my field guide is a black-and-white warbler. I doubt it was - this is awfully far north for them to be this time of year, and the Cornell bird site indicates they are primarily carnivores.

The bluebirds were on the feeders today also, which I haven't observed before. It could be the exceptionally cold weather of the past couple of days has brought birds to the feeders that don't usually visit them. Alternately, it is rare that I am home during the day, even on weekends. Mayhap they just don't visit the feeders in the early mornings when I am usually here to observe, but are frequent afternoon visiters.

Upthread I said I had red-headed woodpeckers when I meant to say downy woodpeckers.

Watched a real dust-up between the woodpeckers and a white-breasted nuthatch today.


17 Jan 09 - 08:34 PM (#2541810)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Didn't read the thread... sorry. Just had to post this. Yesterday, I saw sommat I have never seen. Anybody else ever see a flock of Chickadees that numbered over a hundred? I have been around these wonderfully entertaining birds all my life, but never any more than a few dozen in a flock, if even close to that! I was amazed, and entertained to no end. Never seen such a flock!

It was obvious that the flock was "divided". Some groups were moving alternate ways from other groups while feeding, but they were a flock... were they? Maybe it was a few flocks that happened to meet? Anyone see such a flock? Was it just a family reunion?


17 Jan 09 - 08:40 PM (#2541812)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Gnu,

Never! Ever! Didja get pictures?

Janie


17 Jan 09 - 11:41 PM (#2541899)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Yea Gnu! where is the picture. Your one hell of a story teller. I saw a flock of seagulls once eating all the worms when the farmer was plowing his fields. They just don't look proper inland.
In all seriousness Gnu, that would have been a treat to see. I have never heard of such a thing.
Short story.
Last summer my son and his friend were fishing behind the house. I went to see how they were doing and squatted about 10 feet from them. They were both sitting on a log and casting out in the river. I noticed that they both had what looked like sawdust on their shoulders. Not much but enough to be noticed. I looked up and saw this Chickadee going into a small hole in a branch about 4 feet from where they were sitting and coming out and dropping a speck of wood on them. I pointed it out to them then asked them to move away. The bird then started to do the same thing to me. I guess the message it was trying to tell us was to get the hell away from my nesting area. It was fun to watch.
Adrien


18 Jan 09 - 12:44 AM (#2541917)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,hg

Black and white warbler, Janie. They're cool to see...harpgirl


18 Jan 09 - 01:04 AM (#2541920)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joe Offer

There are six national wildlife refuges in a two-county area north of Sacramento, a major stop on the Pacific Flyway. I took my wife birdwatching there today, and it was a perfect experience. This Google image search will give you an idea of what we saw, thousands and thousands of birds - snow geese, white-fronted geese, pintails, cinnamon teals, mallards, redwing blackbirds, coots, lots of redtail hawks, and two great horned owls.
With my binoculars, I looked across the water toward the Sutter Buttes, and the sky was completely full of geese.
We saw the two owls just at sunset - one in a tree, and one flying past right in front of us.
Reminds me how nice it is to live in California.

-Joe-


18 Jan 09 - 06:54 AM (#2542039)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Pics? No, I didn't. I don't think pics of that many Chickadees would turn out, unless you could get the wee ones to line up and smile.


18 Jan 09 - 07:24 AM (#2542051)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Regarding gulls inland- Adrien, we watch for the earthworm-hunting gulls that fly the 13 miles inland to our farm, because that tells us how severe the storms are offshore.

And gnu- The 'Dees we watch here tend to roam about in shifting bands of chickadees, nuthatches, brown creepers, and titmice (occasionally kinglets). The 'Dee flocklets gather together at times, and thus the enormous numbers you mention. Having said that, birders here in Maine are seeing many more this year than usual. Guess it's the Year of the Chickadee in our part of the world from NB to NH.

maeve


18 Jan 09 - 07:46 AM (#2542059)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: VirginiaTam

We joined the RSPB last autumn. Sometimes go to Hanningfield Reservoir and (don't laugh) Fingeringhoe Wick to look at the burdies, though not on the enthusiast's level.

No bird watching to speak of this year yet. There was a very pretty young asian woman in colorful sari hanging laundry in the back garden of our flats once. Does that count?


18 Jan 09 - 08:14 AM (#2542080)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Bobert

The best thing you can do about the cats is position your feeders in a manner where they are open... If they are next to a bushy shrub this gives kitty a big advantage 'cause the birds won't see kitty... I have ours mounted on a power pole.... It is up about 12 feet off the ground and hangs from an old sign bracket from nylon rope that goes tru pulleys so I can lower it tio fil it... The power pole doesn't have much around it and we have four kitties which are good hunters and, yeah, sniff, they do gst a bird now and then but not often 'cause the birds can see them...

I wish I could say that we had spotted soemthing unusual but we haven't... But we do have alot of birds... Like hundreds that either live here on the farm all year 'round or are seasonal... Right now we have nuthatches, chicodees, finches, red bellied woodpeckers, junkos, bluebirds, wrens, a few robins (1st year fir them in the winter, a pair of cardinals, crows and hawks... Not much else???

B~


18 Jan 09 - 09:45 AM (#2542146)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Hi hg! Good to know you are still around.

After looking at many, many images, I think the bird was the very common female house finch whose coloration was a bit darker and toward the black/gray spectrum than most around these parts.


18 Jan 09 - 10:33 AM (#2542180)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

My neighbours over the (new) back fence are also cat owners but have developed a nifty way of getting feeders out of kitty reach.

They have a washing pole which has a pulley attached, at a height of about 15ft. Through this is threaded some washing line, which is attached to a clever feeder arrangment. A clear 'pipe' feeder with little perches and holes at the bottom is attached to a bracket which in turn is attached to a plank of wood. The whole contraption is lowered and raised with the washing line which is secured on the cleat at the bottom of the pole - as it would have been had it still been a washing line. The feeder is prevented from swinging around or blowing in the wind by two large U bolts top and bottom of the plank which go around the pole. The contraption slides up and down the pole easily, doesn't swing around in the wind and has a little shelf at the bottom for a pot that catches rainwater. There are a couple of suet fat balls hanging off the sides and it rests about 12ft above ground and a good 6ft farther up than any kitty, even sitting on the shed roof can manage. The pole is slender and metal so the kitties cannot climb it, and it's just far enough away from the trees that the branches will not support a cats' weight. I'll try and get a photograph of it and put it on Flickr with a link.. it's an ingenious thing, thought up by my neighbours' granddaughter!

I'm insanely jealous of it as we don't have a washing pole. I may adapt it to run up the back of the house but that will take some thinking and a very long ladder.

LTS


18 Jan 09 - 10:10 PM (#2542739)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Sounds like there's a good marketing opportunity for somebody here!


19 Jan 09 - 06:44 AM (#2542925)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

Been a really good week, with redwings and a fieldfare joining our regular blackbirds, and a very approachable goldcrest. I might just start a year list, for home/ garden. But do you count birds flying over?


19 Jan 09 - 08:12 AM (#2542969)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Adding a brown creeper and a red-bellied woodpecker to the list.


21 Jan 09 - 06:48 PM (#2545514)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

"Fly, little brother!"


23 Jan 09 - 07:38 PM (#2547455)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Count all birds Seen or heard from home Including those that fly over.


23 Jan 09 - 08:08 PM (#2547470)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Still trying to key out the bird that I thought was a black-and-white warbler, then thought was an unusally dark female house finch.

It came to the window feeder a couple of times during the few days of really cold and snowy weather we had. Small, slender bird. Long, thin, slightly curved, black beak. buff-to-yellow rump patches visible when it takes flight. No yellow on wings that I could see. Too far north to be a black-and-white warbler. Possibly a yellow-rumped warbler. Haven't seen it since the weather warmed up and the snow melted.


23 Jan 09 - 11:06 PM (#2547576)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

We're in Silver Spring, Maryland, about 15 minutes from Washington, DC.

Birds seen so far this year:

Northern Cardinals
Carolina Chickadees
Tufted Titmice
White Breasted Nuthatches
English Sparrows
Song Sparrows
White Throated Sparrows
Northern Juncos
Mourning Doves
Carolina Wrens
Downy Woodpeckers
Hairy (and Hairy-ette) Woodpeckers
Red Bellied Woodpeckers
American Crows
American Goldfinches
Pine Siskins (first time I've ever seen them here)
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, on the suet feeder

Janie, congrats on seeing all those bald eagles. ragdall, thank you very much for the photo link. Nice pics!

I enjoy this bird count. I spend a lot of my day, actually, peeking out at the feeders to see if there's anything either newsworthy (like the pine siskins) or just photoworthy. Sadly, the photos would turn out a whole lot better if I'd clean the thrown suet off the windows! Our feeders are all very close to the house which probably puts off a few birds but we still enjoy a nice variety. Janie I especially envy you the bluebirds. We get all kinds of migrants that like wooded yards, but I've never seen a bluebird here.


24 Jan 09 - 05:33 AM (#2547682)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Roger the Skiffler

Doing the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. 16 species in an hour over breakfast today.

RtS


24 Jan 09 - 05:45 AM (#2547689)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

Adding:
European Starling
American Tree Sparrow
Hairy Woodpecker

to my previous list:

Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Common Redpoll
House Finch
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Yellow shafted)
Northern Flicker (Red shafted)
Crow
Pine Grosbeak
Bohemian Waxwing

rags


24 Jan 09 - 06:09 AM (#2547700)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/


24 Jan 09 - 06:14 AM (#2547701)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

and the Irish equivalent:

http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/News/15thAnnualGardenBirdSurveynowunderway/tabid/578/Default.aspx


24 Jan 09 - 10:27 AM (#2547813)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Clifton53

I always look out my upstairs window in back of the house, the other day I saw a movement in the neighbor's yard but it was behind some shrubs and fence etc, but a red-tailed hawk was chowing down on something, probably one of my neighbor's pigeons. Mid-morning, clear and cold, residential area, like he owned the joint.Then he rested up in the elm for a half-hour.

Along with the usual gang of Canadian geese, a huge flock of brants has taken up along the bayfront near me. Noisier even than the geese and twice as messy on the walking paths at the waterfront park.

Last year they seemed to stay in the water. But now they cover the playing fields and paths too. We have to avoid stretches of the path that are too fouled to walk on


24 Jan 09 - 12:36 PM (#2547915)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

Well today I can add blue jays to my list. There were 3 of them in a bush in the yard. My son noticed them. Then he noticed the little fox that was taking a nap under the bush! It stayed for about half an hour.

We live in a suburban area, a block from a major intersection, but with a creek and a park about a mile away. I'm wondering why we're seeing so much more winter wildlife than usual. We have two young raccoons in our attic, too.... UGH. I have to have a medical procedure Monday but ... Soon as it's done we are going to put raccoon trapping at the top of our priority list. They are probably siblings and I'm hoping they can be released together some place far far away from here. Then we'll have the problem of cleanup which is a much bigger challenge. (I think. I'm hoping raccoons will be tempted to get into a humane trap if it's baited with hot dogs or bacon. We're probably going to have to get professional help with this....)


24 Jan 09 - 01:50 PM (#2547984)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST, heric

I FINALLY got to taste a Eurasian / American Wigeon cross, with basil and ginger . . oops wrong thread sorry.


29 Jan 09 - 03:11 PM (#2552204)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

We had a mockingbird on the suet feeder today. I've heard blue jays a few more times and the ruby-throated kinglet is still coming around. Here's my list so far (for my own convenience I prefer to keep the whole list in one place.)

We ran out of sunflower seeds due to the greed of the squirrels. A male cardinal is trying to hang from the suet feeder. Good luck to him! His feet aren't made for that....

Northern Cardinals
Carolina Chickadees
Tufted Titmice
White Breasted Nuthatches
English Sparrows
Song Sparrows
White Throated Sparrows
Northern Juncos
Mourning Doves
Carolina Wrens
Downy Woodpeckers
Hairy (and Hairy-ette) Woodpeckers
Red Bellied Woodpeckers
American Crows
American Goldfinches
Pine Siskins (first time I've ever seen them here)
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, on the suet feeder
Blue Jays
Northern Mockingbird


29 Jan 09 - 03:40 PM (#2552226)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

The Cedar Waxwings are back in the apple tree, for a few weeks, but not like last winter. Now, they are only a small flock. Of course, last year, it was mid-February before they were there en masse - about 200 strong.

Hmmmm.... last year, we saw the lone robin first on Feb 16 but one has been there for the past few weeks.... suppose the robin and the waxwings are forward scouts from recon-div?


29 Jan 09 - 05:22 PM (#2552305)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Just got an e-mail informing me of the Great Backyard Bird Count coming up in Feb. 2009.
Here is the information if you are interested in taking part.
http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/


30 Jan 09 - 06:53 AM (#2552737)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Not a word of lie..... not one word...

At about 5AM, I was making tea. Pine cones were falling out of a tree at the edge of my backyard and landing on the frozen snow. It was -12C. What? Noooo. No way. Squirrel? I strained my eyes and scanned the tree, backlit by a light on the apartment building behind it. Couldn't see anything.

I was just getting a cup of tea, 7:25AM, and I looked at the "pine cones" in the still dim morning light. Looked funny. Binoculars. Buns... about 50 in all. Mostly under one pine. Stored in the tree(s) by crows, jays...???

And, what the heck was throwing them all from the tree at 5AM (no wind)????

I am curious!


30 Jan 09 - 06:59 AM (#2552745)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

How funny, gnu. Keep watching them sneaky critters. I need to know whether I have to worry about bun-throwers in our pines, too!

maeve


30 Jan 09 - 08:31 AM (#2552803)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Case solved. After I ran some errands, I investigated. I went to the edge of the snow-cleared area of my patio and there it was, behind the garage... a foam plate stacked with buns and bread on top of a snow mound. I circled Mum's house and walked down the sidewalk that runs next to her house and connects to a dead end street. Along the rear of the fence, human tracks.

Someone was out at 5AM, in -12C cold, trudged through knee deep and crusty snow, and threw buns all over the arse end of my backyard. I'd guess about 100 buns.

I just hope they don't keep doing it... there is gonna be a whack seagulls out there when they spot the stuff. And seagulls don't just squawk.

Who? And why? And why not in their own yard?


30 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM (#2552886)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Strikes me as rather bazaar, gnu. I'm glad you solved that part of the mystery. Bird sanctuary people say that sort of food is not good for wildlings. Who would throw old bread in someone else's yard?


30 Jan 09 - 10:48 AM (#2552917)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Who indeed, Maeve... the thought plickens.


30 Jan 09 - 12:01 PM (#2552990)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: MartinRyan

Quiet start to the bird year here, a few miles from Kinvara in the West of Ireland. I don't put out food - so I just see what the wind blows in, which totals about 18 so far, with nothing special. Things will pick up in spring....

Regards


30 Jan 09 - 01:37 PM (#2553068)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Mum reminded me who might have been the bunner... there's an elderly lad on that dead end street who ain't all there. Last summer, Mum saw him putting "something" near the corner of her fence and asked me to investigate. It was a fair bit of Chinese food.

Now, it's even stranger... there are still a LOT of buns and bread out there. Why aren't the seagulls and crows and pigions and such eating them?


31 Jan 09 - 09:03 AM (#2553615)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Bread is about the worst thing to feed gulls/birds/ or anything. NO nutricinal value at all and it makes them fell full but weakens them. And discurages migration making them lazy.Sometimes people put them out soaked in antifreeze to cul the wildlife.
I'd talk to this person if I were you.


31 Jan 09 - 10:08 AM (#2553654)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Yesterday I saw an owl near Morristown and a flock of wild turkeys less than a mile from the house. This is the second time I have seen turkeys in our neighborhood.

I get the feeling that the wild is adapting and reclaiming its turf.


31 Jan 09 - 10:47 AM (#2553691)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Raptor... didn't even know s/he was there as it was 5AM and s/he was behind my garage. I thought they were pine cones.

I do try to feed certain birds scrap suet and the like. My neighbour has MANY feeders out.


31 Jan 09 - 01:31 PM (#2553795)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

And in my neck of the woods, bread crumbs guarantee a starling invasion. Ugh!


31 Jan 09 - 02:14 PM (#2553825)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Even the Starlings won't eat this stuff... ???? Maybe I should try to get some and smell it?... like Raptor said, maybe someone did lace it??


31 Jan 09 - 06:35 PM (#2554016)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Arkie

Its sunset, so not likely to add to the list today. Here is my January feathered visitation in north central Arkansas, USA.

American Goldfinch
Blue Jay
Cardinal
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Chipping Sparrow
Crow
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
House Finch
House Sparrow
Junco
Mockingbird
Mourning Dove
Pine Siskin
Pine Warbler
Purple Finch
Red Bellied Woodpecker
Robin
Starling
Tufted Titmouse
White Breasted Nuthatch
White Throated Sparrow
Yellow Breasted Sapsucker


31 Jan 09 - 07:21 PM (#2554061)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joybell

I enjoy coming here. All of your birds seem so exotic.
Three bird observations.

1. Three very young New Holland Honeyeaters swinging on the long-handled brush I use to clean the bird baths. It hangs in a tree by the bird bathing area. They were probing the bristles for honey. I suppose it does look like the blooms on the Callistemons (Bottle-brushes). These Honey-eaters don't mind about flower colour too much, although they prefer the red flowers.

2. Several different species of bird perched around the rim of a water bowl trying to survive the heat. Usually there's a definite order to use of the water bowls, with squabbles if someone uses them out of turn. Our Willie-wagtails were shoulder to shoulder with Blackbirds and Thornbills. They just hate each other.

3. One of my now wild Magpie orphans -- Lenny -- mastered the pulling-off of the cover on their food bowl in three days. The bowl has a clear plastic cover with a string attached to the top. Pull the string and the food is available to the Magpies and not the earlier arrivals like Sparrows. Here are the stages:

Day One -- Stand and stare at the food under the cover and scream for help.

Day Two -- Repeat Day One. Stand ON TOP of the cover while pulling the string between the feet. Fall off and scream for help.

Day Three -- Repeat Days One and Two. Stand to one side and pull string. Drop cover neatly on ground. Throw head back and sing wildly. Eat food.

Lenny is a clown. We love him a lot. The others just wait for him to remove the cover. They think he's God.

Cheers, Joy


01 Feb 09 - 09:37 AM (#2554413)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Newport Boy

UK, about 12 miles north of Bristol and 3 miles from the Severn estuary.

For January - in the garden:

Blackbird
Song Thrush
House Sparrow
Dunnock
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Chaffinch
Goldfinch (unusual this time of year)
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Magpie (always 2)
Crow (usually 2, but sometimes 4)
Robin
Wren

In the field behind or the orchard opposite:

Fieldfare (it must be cold - they've usually moved on by now)
Starlings
Gulls (type uncertain)
Buzzard (just the one, feeding every day on earthworms)
Grey Heron

The birdwatching in the orchard took a back seat last week while we used the binoculars to watch 2 foxes mating - for over half an hour!

Phil


01 Feb 09 - 04:55 PM (#2554759)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

January List:

American Goldfinch
Black capped Chickadee
Dark eyed Junco
Pine Siskin
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Nothern Cardinal
Red Breasted NuthatchMourning Dove
American Crow
European Starling
American Tree Sparrow
Common Redpoll
Sharp Shinned Hawk
16 spiecies

Raptor


01 Feb 09 - 05:21 PM (#2554786)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Jeri

Dark eyed Junco
Tufted titmouse
Black Capped Chickadee
Cardinal
Hairy woodpecker
Mourning dove
Goldfinch
American Robin
Blue Jay
White Breasted Nuthatch
Crow

That's it for me so far.

I always have had a flock of House Sparrows hitting the feeder daily. This year, I haven't seen any. (There were a few in December.) I don't know where they've gone, but the Juncos have replaced them as most prevalent feeder frequenter. I saw a Bald Eagle a couple weeks ago, but I was a bit over 10 miles away from home.


01 Feb 09 - 09:44 PM (#2554928)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joybell

They've migrated to Western Victoria, Jeri along with hundreds of their friends.


02 Feb 09 - 03:23 AM (#2555033)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Martin Harwood

Here's my list for January. Small garden with big views in Sheffield, Yorkshire

House Sparrow
Dunnock
Great tit
blue tit
coal tit
long tailed tit
chaffinch
bull finch
wren
starling
blackbird
song thrush
robin
magpie
carrion crow
wood pigeon
collared dove
herring gull
black headed gull
tawny owl (heard not seen)
sparrowhawk
buzzard

This is my favourite mudcat thread, happy birding folks!


02 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM (#2555126)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: McGrath of Harlow

Driving snow outside. Put out some food for them - it's great birdwatching weather as they all mill around to grab some. More important, it give the poor creatures something to eat. (And water too of course.)


02 Feb 09 - 07:19 AM (#2555132)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

January's list, 29 species, small farm in Midcoast Maine, USA

Wild turkeys 60+
American robins
Ravens
Crows
Black-capped chickadees- more than ever before
Tufted titmouse
Downy woodpeckers
Hairy woodpeckers
Bald eagles
Sharp-shinned hawk
Dark-eyed juncos
Brown creepers
American goldfinches
Mourning doves
Blue jays
Cardinal, male and female
White-throated sparrows
Fox sparrows
White-throated
Chipping sparrows
Great horned owls
Barred owls
Long earred owls
Saw-whet owl- male
Unidentified hawk
Canada geese
red-breasted nuthatch
common (white-breasted) nuthatch
starlings




maeve


02 Feb 09 - 07:24 AM (#2555136)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Great list Maeve.
Adrien


02 Feb 09 - 08:25 AM (#2555171)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Martin Harwood

lots of redwings and fieldfares flying over today


02 Feb 09 - 12:39 PM (#2555350)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Escapee

House sparrows
Starlings
Mourning doves
Juncos
Goldfinches
Carolina wren
Cardinals
Downy Woodpeckers
Red-bellied woodpeckers
Crows
Canada geese
Broad-winged hawk (ate a junco, no more birds in the yard that day)

Greetings from snow covered northwest Ohio. Crows and geese are constant passers-by, everybody else was in my backyard.


02 Feb 09 - 03:26 PM (#2555485)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Clifton53

Today I saw a Cooper's hawk (I believe it was a Cooper's) in the backyard,perched in my crabapple tree, talons full of a fresh killed sparrow and ignoring the grey squirrel below him. I've seen this bird before but never had it sit still for me like today.

Yesterday in Asbury Park in the lake on the south side of town, there was one of the crowned herons mixed in with the gulls, although we could not tell which type.

Can't wait 'til spring!!


02 Feb 09 - 05:03 PM (#2555561)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Adrien, for the first 2 years we lived here, we didn't have any birds-not even chickadees. The land was sick; the black locust trees out front along the road were dying and hadn't bloomed in years. Trees in the forest and woodlot were crowded and entangled with storm-felled balsam firs. The wild black cherries were disfigured with Black knot. The earth was covered with broken glass, old cars and appliances, rusty metal, plastic. It was neither safe nor possible to even walk through the back "yard".

After we cleaned out diseased trees and planted native and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees along with flower gardens, many birds began to nest here. Some winter over and still others stop by for a rest during spring and fall migration.

The black locust trees bloom each year. The locust beetles that were killing them have in turn been cleaned out by sparrows, kinglets, chickadees, nuthatches, and brown creepers that search every inch of rough-cabled bark. In early summer when they are in bloom, you can hear thousands of bees humming way up in the fragrant blossoms. Late into the autumn the bees are working the New England asters, anise hyssop, and roses.

Sorry for the drift, Raptor.

maeve


02 Feb 09 - 07:06 PM (#2555686)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Maeve,
That was a wonderful drift and I don't think one person on this thread would mind it at all. A great story and one that some folks could learn from.
Adrien


02 Feb 09 - 08:44 PM (#2555748)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

January 2009 Yard Bird List
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Black Vulture
Black-capped Chickadee
Bluejay
Brown Creeper
Canada Geese
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Dark-eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
House Finch
Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal
Northern Mockingbird
Pine Siskin
Pine Warbler
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-tail Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Starling
Tufted Titmouse
Turkey Vulture
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow


04 Feb 09 - 10:32 AM (#2557048)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Well over 30 American goldfinches visited our front yard feeders, shrubs, and trees yesterday. Then this morning, the chickadees and juncos were the first out, while an American robin sang from a tree nearby. This is the first year we've seen the juncos eating from the feeders rather than the ground underneath.

maeve


04 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM (#2557126)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I catch Maeve's drift too, Beer, and it's not thread drift at all! Nice post.


04 Feb 09 - 06:27 PM (#2557407)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

They had that problem in China years ago - crops failed because they were being eaten by insects, which in turn were not being eaten by birds because the wholesale felling of trees and shrubs for fuel had taken away their habitat. The Chinese government blamed the birds for the crop failure, thinking they ate the seeds, so set up a scheme whereby anyone taking in a certain amount of bird corpses got a monetary reward.

Of course, when it was discovered that the crops died faster because the insects were eating and damaging them, it was too late.

LTS


04 Feb 09 - 08:20 PM (#2557499)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: bbc

Hi, I just dropped by to see what's been going on. For 2 1/2 weeks, I had an extremely rare bird (for my area) visiting my feeders--an adult male Bullock's Oriole. He was a really sweet bird & I enjoyed his stay. Many birders came to visit him, since he will probably be the only one they ever see in person. He was the first confirmed sighting in my 11-county region, with only half a dozen ever reported in the whole state of New York. As I understand it, in the winter, he should have been in Mexico or Guatamala &, the rest of the year, west of Indiana. Lovely bird, too. Here's my account on flickr:

Bullock's Oriole

Here's an account of some of the birds seen in my yard, at the intersection of New York, Massachusetts, & Connecticut, USA, by one of the birders who came to see my Bullock's Oriole:
"American Goldfinches, Blue Jays, Black-Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers were constant at the feeders while American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows fed on the spilled seed on the ground with a few Northern Cardinals and Mourning Doves. As we watched the feeders some more (Still no Oriole mind you), a small group of Pine Siskins came to the feeders, along with House and a lone Purple Finch. On a tree near the feeders we spotted a Brown Creeper working its way up along with a White-breasted Nuthatch."
Duane & I really enjoy the wildlife in our area!

best,

bbc


05 Feb 09 - 04:02 AM (#2557727)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: My guru always said

Since the snow we've had a couple of new visitors to the bird lawn, a Blackcap and a Redwing. I have been putting out extra food and am sure that many others in the UK are doing the same. Bet there aren't many gardens with a heated bird-bath though *grin*

Lovely story Maeve, well done for making such a difference!


05 Feb 09 - 08:56 AM (#2557908)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Went outside earlier this morning with one of me wife's pot and wooden spoon and scarred a Pileated (not Ivory Bill)Woodpeckers away. It was making a breakfast out of one of my cedar trees that must have a few grubs in it. Well I'm sorry, go visit my neighbors. Man, can they make a hole in a tree some fast.
Adrien


05 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM (#2558426)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Beer, that's because the bugs being eaten have damaged the fibers of the wood.

The owl I saw on 1 Feb. appears to have been a short eared owl, based on size, appearance and the maps in Peterson's.


06 Feb 09 - 10:32 AM (#2559026)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

A slate colored junco just hopped by on the porch.


06 Feb 09 - 05:32 PM (#2559456)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Tangledwood

Let's see, we have:

Australian Magpie
Pied Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird
Noisy Miner (not mynah)
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Channel-billed Cuckoo (migrates from Papua New Guinea)
Torresian Crow (favoured "host" of the cuckoo)
King Parrot
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Figbird
Maned Duck
Sacred Ibis
Masked Lapwing
Striated Pardalote
White Cockatoos passing through
Galah
Currawongs and Koels seem to be away on holiday at present.
Kookaburra

One kookaburra has become a problem. During the breeding season it's not uncommon for a bird to repeatedly "attack" it's reflection in a window. When this one started I screened the necessary windows but it started attacking the cedar house walls instead. This isn't just a gentle pecking, but a dive from the tree tops, impacting beak first! This has been going on for over two months now, on my house and the neighbours. The normally pointed beak now has a flat tip.


06 Feb 09 - 05:34 PM (#2559460)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Tangledwood

Nearly forgot the Brush Turkey


06 Feb 09 - 06:32 PM (#2559535)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Little Hawk

Still nothing but crows here.


07 Feb 09 - 04:43 AM (#2559814)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to do housework

A wood pigeon and some black headed gulls in winter plummage have visited us this week.

The tits are hiding in a warm place somewhere... I hear them but can't see them. The sparrows are popping up now and then, the robin has hidden himself in a barn with his head under his wing if he has any sense (there's a large brick garage/workshed at the end of the block that will double as a barn if necessary) and the blackbirds are bemoaning the loss of their nest site from last year. The weight of the snow has broken one of my buddliea branches, which is a good incentive for me to hack down the remainder sometime this month, before the birds start building again. It is too big and unwieldy, so it's time for it to have a radical prune.

I think the gulls were just after anything they could get... they certainly couldn't get to the feeders but there was the tail end of a home-made fat ball that was accessible. Seems like they enjoyed it.

LTS


07 Feb 09 - 11:47 AM (#2560052)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Yesterday afternoon... drunk robin. This robin has been rather flighty about my presence. All birds have that sense of danger when you focus your attention on them, but this one was moreso. Until yesterday afternoon.

It was feathered into a little hollow in the snow next to a fallen apple and it was vigorously eating. I had to get into the garage and the door is about 12 feet from where it was. Looked right at me and went back at the apple. I stepped into full view alongside the garage and it chirped and lifted and tried to land in the tree - three times. It got rather upset and was chirping in such a manner that I knew it was swearing (wait for it) like a drunk sailor.


07 Feb 09 - 10:33 PM (#2560548)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Dead Pine Siskin on the walk. At first I thought it had been mauled by the herd of cats, but then I noticed a spot with a bit of down clinging to it on the window.


08 Feb 09 - 06:31 AM (#2560675)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: My guru always said

A pair of Bullfinches this morning & they love the sunflower hearts! Only the second time I've seen them here in 5 years!

I'm glad to report that we have 4 sorts of Tits at the moment *grin*


09 Feb 09 - 05:32 AM (#2561505)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Couldn't let this thread fall off the board eh.


09 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM (#2561511)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

The chickadees' calls are taking on more musical spring tones these days.

maeve


09 Feb 09 - 07:34 AM (#2561578)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

The Cardinals are going nuts. They won't stop singing. Love itb but half of Feb. is still here and March can be a bugger.
Adrien


09 Feb 09 - 06:51 PM (#2562240)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

Snow has brought lots more redwings and fieldfares through this week, and the blackbirds have been crazy. The other day I saw two snipe flying over, probably looking for somewhere that wasn't frozen. Today I was treated to hearing a siskin singing from an alder tree just round the corner from home.


09 Feb 09 - 08:17 PM (#2562316)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Our little bantam hen Nutmeg has laid the first egg of the year as far as our little flock is concerned. Spring started today here!

maeve


10 Feb 09 - 07:32 AM (#2562579)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

While sitting out in the yard late last night, I was startled to hear the unmistakable calls of a killdeer as it flew a transverse across the yard and the neighborhood. From the sound, it was moving fast and sounded quite alarmed. I'm thinking there must have been an owl in hot pursuit.


10 Feb 09 - 07:35 AM (#2562582)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

I guess Janie you don't live in the frozen North.
Adrien


10 Feb 09 - 12:34 PM (#2562864)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Ah Beer, I live in the sweet, sunny southern USA in North Carolina, where we are having a week of unusually lovely weather with highs in the upper 60's and low 70's (F). Unseasonably mild, even for here.


10 Feb 09 - 12:39 PM (#2562870)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Well if all goes according to plan I will be in Florida in two weeks for 10 days. I can hardly wait. It has been 27 years since I have been South for a winter break.
Adrien


10 Feb 09 - 12:52 PM (#2562877)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: VirginiaTam

I saw white and black swans flying to the Chelmer River yesterday. Today the river is flooded. It is in the news in UK. Wonder what happened to the swans?


10 Feb 09 - 02:44 PM (#2563007)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Enjoy. (And hope your dates don't coinside with Spring Break!)


10 Feb 09 - 09:29 PM (#2563376)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

As Lady Hillary and I were crossing the Delaware River today, a full grown Bald Eagle crossed the bridge in front of us. When I asked the toll taker how he was enjoying the Baldies, he said that they had been driven South by ice further up the river so they could have access to flowing water.


11 Feb 09 - 07:45 AM (#2563690)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts tomorrow. Anyone here participating?
Adrien


11 Feb 09 - 08:40 AM (#2563745)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

We are, Beer. Here's the link


maeve


11 Feb 09 - 09:11 AM (#2563764)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Thanks Maeve. I have been doing it for about 6 years now. I wish more folks would do it. It is not difficult and it's fun.
Adrien


11 Feb 09 - 02:47 PM (#2564157)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I'll try, if I can remember.


11 Feb 09 - 03:19 PM (#2564200)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

I'll also be participating.


11 Feb 09 - 11:48 PM (#2564604)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Many of you have probably already seen this, but just in case....The Audubon Society released a 40 year study yesterday indicating a significant number of bird species are expanding their winter range north, probably due to global warming. I haven't seen or read the study itself, but the Raleigh N&O printed the following:

As Climate Warms, Birds Move North


12 Feb 09 - 08:50 AM (#2564838)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Interesting read Janie.
Well the bird count started and all I've seen so far this morning is one Dove. The temperature skyrocket to plus 4c (about 40 F) and it is nothing but fog outside.


12 Feb 09 - 03:31 PM (#2565238)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: VirginiaTam

A whole troup of swans flew down by river today. Lovely to see. I keep hearing birds especially in early evening (starting to sound like spring) but have not seen them.

Joybell what fun!


12 Feb 09 - 03:46 PM (#2565254)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

My bird count today... many birds... all soaking wet from a drenching and driving rain. And, it's gonna snow and freeze this eve. Poor buggers!


14 Feb 09 - 05:27 AM (#2566598)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Newport Boy

OK - looking for a relaxation of the rules here.

Yesterday afternoon we took a walk down the lane and about 400m from the house there was a kingfisher perched on a small branch above the stream. Brilliant colours on a winter's day - that's the first one we've seen locally for about 5 years.

And then, 300m further on, a pair of little egrets - that's a first sighting locally.

Can I include these in my February total? Please!

Phil


14 Feb 09 - 06:06 PM (#2567053)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ranger1

I didn't join in here earlier because I don't see much at all from our apartment. However, I decided to stretch the rules a bit (hope you don't mind, Raptor!) to include work. OK, so it's a big stretch, considering I work at a 1000 acre state park in Maine, but I wanna play, too!

If I just list the birds outside the shop, does that count?
Black-capped chickadee
Red-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch
Junco
Downy woodpecker
Hairy woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker
Mourning dove
Robin
White-throated sparrow
White-winged crossbill

I also interrupted a pair of great horned owls a couple of weeks ago, but that was out on one of the trails.


15 Feb 09 - 12:39 AM (#2567214)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Oh, I miss hearing Pileated Woodpeckers, and seeing them flash through the woods.    I'm jealous Tammy.


15 Feb 09 - 01:52 AM (#2567230)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joybell

Yesterday a THIRD batch of baby Willie Wagtails fledged. I can't believe it. They usually nest in Spring and it's the end of Summer. Last week when the temperature reached 116 -- more in the sun -- they must have been squashed in one of those beautiful, but quite inadequate, little nests that look like grey bowler hats without a brim. Of the size to fit on a mouse's head. Willie Wagtails are about the size of a skinny Robin. How did their mother do it? It must have been Father and earlier children perched on the rim of a bird-bath panting in the heat.
Cheers, Joy


15 Feb 09 - 05:32 AM (#2567288)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: My guru always said

The past few days I've seen a Goldcrest flitting about amongst various branches of trees & shrubs, I hope there's 2 of them. I've seen them bathing before in one of our birdbaths & they're just lovely.

A couple of years ago we had Robins build a nest in our garden shredder hopper which was in the garage. We videoed about an hour each day & whittled it down to a couple of hours from egg to fledging, just lovely! The shredder has the start of another nest in it now but it's now outside the garage so may not be as safe for the prospective family. It's under an overhang so at least it'll be dry, we'll keep an eye on it!

We've got a few nest-boxes up (mostly for our Tits) and one now contains a camera *grin* That's going to be good fun!


15 Feb 09 - 01:04 PM (#2567600)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Submitted my Bird list. It turned out much better than I had expected.
Adrien


15 Feb 09 - 01:22 PM (#2567616)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Now, this struck me so funny, I burst out laughing.

Just up the street from me is a music school. They were late setting out their garbage and it didn't get picked up. The nummie-dummies didn't have the sense to bring it back in or whatever. A large blue bag (dry, recyclable) and a smaller green (wet) bag, that I would guess would "weigh" at least 5kg, were near the curb. The gulls or crows must have gotten at the green bag and pulled it into the school driveway and splayed it open.

When I came down the street a short while ago, there were no gulls or crows, but there were a half dozen Chickadees picking away at the garbage.

I went back with a camera, but someone from the school was claening up.


15 Feb 09 - 04:13 PM (#2567763)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Joybell

I love this thread.


15 Feb 09 - 07:56 PM (#2567892)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Yesterday Lady Hillary and I went to the local Audubon center. When we walked around the site, there was not action. All of the action was at the birdfeeders in the back of the center.

Among the usual suspects, we also saw a goldfinch in its winter coloration as well as various finches and hairy, spiny and redbreasted woodpeckers.


16 Feb 09 - 12:39 AM (#2567995)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

The Bluebirds, Robins and Chickadees seem to have disappeared. Haven't seen any of them in several days. They are year-round species in this area, but maybe these particular birds only winter here.

Kildeer are also year-round species in this area, but not in the habitat in my yard or immediate neighborhood. They are migrating through right now, though, and I hear them up high as they fly over at night, in small groups that I wonder if they may be family groups of three or five or so. Saw 5 of them last night flying close overhead at a shopping center car lot. Wouldn't have noticed them except for their calls. They swooped down toward the lights, catching the few insects that are out now, then wheeled away to the north, gaining altitude as they went.


16 Feb 09 - 07:22 AM (#2568125)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST

EBarnacle- "spiny woodpecker"? I am wondering if that might be a downy?

I get a kick out of the black-capped chickadees tucking black oil sunflower seeds in cracks in the siding and roof. Sometimes the nuthatches join in the fun. Then they go seed hunting on the house when the feeders empty out.

maeve


16 Feb 09 - 07:59 AM (#2568143)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: freda underhill

It has been bucketing rain here in Sydney (I wish some of it would go down south). As I type, a frog is croaking in the back yard. but I haven't seen any birds lately!


16 Feb 09 - 08:51 AM (#2568171)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Chickadees et my cookie, sorry

maeve


16 Feb 09 - 10:10 AM (#2568207)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Catherine Jayne

I don't know much about birds but every morning Harry and I put food out for them and then stand in the kitchen window and watch them fly down into the garden. Today we had 2 doves, a magpie which scared the doves off, and quite a few pigeons the heron landed on the garage and scared them all off!


16 Feb 09 - 06:11 PM (#2568640)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Yup, for some reason, I call downies spinies.


17 Feb 09 - 11:31 AM (#2569198)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to do housework

The resident robin has been serenading the neighbourhood this afternoon, I think he's after a girl... either that or he's warning everyone else off. The tits seemed to like it, at one point there were 3 or 4 sitting just below him, like groupies in the mosh pit....

LTS


17 Feb 09 - 12:42 PM (#2569269)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Newport Boy

LtS - we've had 3 robins today, just outside the back door. Two posing and singing, with the other watching critically.

Guess the sexes (the clue is in the 'critically').

Phil


17 Feb 09 - 09:22 PM (#2569653)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Phil

Sorry you'll need to catch those birds from your property.

The kingfisher you might hear as they constantly chatter whilst flying around the area.

I had White winged crossbills about 200 meters from my house that I'm not counting.

Trust me you'll feel better about your final list dec 31 if you don't cheat.

Raptor


17 Feb 09 - 09:49 PM (#2569659)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

To Me (Maybe us) up North, I can hardly wait for the first sound of the Robin as it indicates that spring is at hand. I read many years ago that the early pioneers use to welcome the Bluebird as the sign of spring. wish i could remember where I read it but it was to long ago.
Adrien


18 Feb 09 - 10:44 AM (#2570020)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Newport Boy

Raptor

I wasn't intending to cheat - just seeking a relaxation of the rules - a very different matter. I'll just keep the birds on a separate (private) list.

I doubt I'll hear the kingfishers here - our kingfishers stick fairly closely to the streams.

Phil


18 Feb 09 - 06:36 PM (#2570451)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Does 'from your property' include my car - which I part own so is my property... because if it does I can add black headed gulls to the list, caught midway between winter and summer plummage. Spotted them this afternoon whilst shopping near the gasworks and river. They all look like they've stuck their heads up a sooty chimney!

LTS


19 Feb 09 - 02:03 PM (#2571062)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: My guru always said

There was a green long-tailed parakeet on my washing line till I opened my curtain this morning which scared if off thankfully! We definitely don't want to attract them into our garden, they live in huge colonies & strip gardens very quickly.


19 Feb 09 - 02:47 PM (#2571102)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: VirginiaTam

2 predated pigeons in car park at work.

Yuck!


19 Feb 09 - 06:43 PM (#2571294)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Phil
I didn't mean to imply at all that you would cheat I misused the word I'm teribly sorry if I've offended.

Nor do we need to adhear to "rules" at all.

I started this thread a number of years ago because I thought that some of the fellow folks might enjoy keeping a "house list" as I have since I've lived at my house.

Most of the people I know that Bird(watch) keep several lists. A house list, A county list and thier year list. As well as thier life list.

For the House list we've always said that one should be able to see or hear the bird from thier own property.

David


20 Feb 09 - 11:04 AM (#2571790)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

As my Peterson's was in my car when it burned, I lost the only list I kept. Having been attempting to reconstruct this, I can only agree that a duplicate record is very useful.


22 Feb 09 - 12:15 AM (#2572915)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Saw a male cardinal in Summer colors as we were getting on the highway today. He was eating something on the ground. I hope he knows something we don't know.


22 Feb 09 - 12:21 PM (#2573058)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

There is an ill-looking male house finch hanging around that has a grayish tumor or growth on one side of his throat.


22 Feb 09 - 01:03 PM (#2573079)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Been cruising the web, and it looks like that bird may have Avian Pox. The websites all say I should take down the feeders and isinfect them, which I will do, but it also seems likely this bird will continue to recontaminate the feeders until it dies. I'm wondering if I sould take the feeders down altogether for a while.

Any thoughts?


22 Feb 09 - 02:54 PM (#2573162)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Janie, please call your local Cooperative Extention office or Audubon Society office. It's important to report such local disease outbreaks, and they can give you appropriate guidelines for dealing with it

maeve
.


22 Feb 09 - 03:32 PM (#2573188)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Good idea Maeve. Thanks!


23 Feb 09 - 07:42 AM (#2573619)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

I heard a skylark yesterday but couldn't spot it. I wasn't expecting to hear one this early in the year.
This is about 1000' up in the Lancashire pennines and it certainly felt cold to me with the wind-chill factor, but there was no mistaking the song.


26 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM (#2576233)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Last week we enjoyed watching a sharp-shinned hawk perch in the locust trees in our front yard; diving five or more times in attempts to catch the cheeky chickadees with no success at all. The black-caps just laughed and ducked into the beauty bush, then back out to the feeders. When we last saw the hawk it was a streak heading for the raucous blue jays out back.

Janie, you're welcome. Were you able to get any more information about your sick bird?

maeve


26 Feb 09 - 10:15 PM (#2576928)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

The county extension service didn't seem too interested, which surprised me considering the number of poultry operations in the area. I e-mailed the local Audubon Society but have not had a response.

Other than that, all I could do was follow the advice on websites about disinfecting feeders and raking up the hulls under the feeders. I haven't seen the bird since Sunday, but I am not home to do any bird watching during the week.


27 Feb 09 - 06:07 AM (#2577075)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Sounds like you've done what you can, Janie. Thanks for the update.
There are any number of wild bird ailments, and I haven't made a study of them. The cleanup and disinfection are important, and you've taken care of both.

We've never seen so many mourning doves and chickadees. The doves are cleaning up the millet from the bird seed mix we bought when black oil sunflower seed was sold out in our area. The chickadees are bouncing around from feeders to shrubs and trees, zinging around their almost-spring calls like thawed lightning.

maeve


01 Mar 09 - 12:59 PM (#2578620)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

We have bad weather coming, and the birds know it.   The yard is swarming with birds.

The goldfinches are molting.


01 Mar 09 - 01:21 PM (#2578631)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Same here, Janie. I chucked some suet trimmings out and whistled for my buddy. Immediately, I heard a gull. I shut the door and came into the office, wishing I had waited for when my buddy was out back. Just as I sat down, I heard the scuffle and then there was an awful noise as two gulls fighting over a scrap in mid air connected... one with the telephone line and the other with the cable.

I jumped up to see if they were okay (gone) and spotted a Blue Jay heading for the pines with his prize. His lucky day.


01 Mar 09 - 05:22 PM (#2578797)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Only one additional species to add to my list for February -

Eastern Towhee


01 Mar 09 - 05:46 PM (#2578821)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Jeri

I saw a bird in a tree yesterday that I can't find in my field guide. Grey on top with a white underneath, and it was fairly big and sort of dumpy with a longish, straight beak. It might have been the female of some species and the male might be brighter, but I don't know what the heck it was. Sitting on top of a smallish ash tree growing through a pine.


01 Mar 09 - 06:13 PM (#2578841)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

The rare Grey Dumpy Ash Piner? In winter plummage?

Don't that BUG ya? I have seen three in the past month that I can not ID. One bunch, I have NEVER seen before. And, by the time I get the camera ready, gone! Grrrrrrrrrrrr


01 Mar 09 - 06:22 PM (#2578844)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Jeri

I kept seeing this boring little pale olivey bird and it took me a couple years before I figured out it was a female indigo bunting. I'd seen the male and finally though to look for pictures of the female on the web, and there she was! The boy goldfinches have the teeniest hint of gold, so I guess spring must be around the corner.

And the sweet little feathered pigs are going through a feeder full in about a day and a half.


02 Mar 09 - 01:47 PM (#2579460)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Mention of birds who bug us reminds me that Lady Hillary and I have a visitor who spends his nights in our lamp outside the condo. Any time we get anywhere near, he takes off and the lighting conditions have not yet let us ID him.


02 Mar 09 - 05:50 PM (#2579723)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

EBarnacle,

I think you are in the UK, so I wouldn't have any kind of clue.    Here in the SE USA, a bird spending the night in such a place would most likely be a wren.

I positively identified a Yellow-Rumped Warbler this afternoon on the suet feeder. I think there have been a few of them around all winter, but this is the first time one was close enough for long enough for me to make a certain ID.


02 Mar 09 - 05:55 PM (#2579726)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Jeri

He's in the US. One year, I kept having to let birds out of an unused chimney via the cleaning door. I don't know, though. Maybe they CAN flap their way nearly straight up


02 Mar 09 - 10:32 PM (#2579915)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

I'm in New Jersey. Tonight, I got close enough to identify the fact that it has a seed eater's beak. Still, no time for a real ID.


03 Mar 09 - 05:22 AM (#2580085)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Newport Boy

February was colder and quieter. Of the 19 species in January, two missing - no Goldfinch or Heron. But I had one Kestrel, making my total 20 (and I haven't counted the Kingfisher or Egrets).

Phil


03 Mar 09 - 07:38 AM (#2580150)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Anyone got any ideas what could be making a call something like a golden plover, but a bit lower pitched, at dusk? Heard this last Saturday evening after sunset in the Lancashire pennines.


04 Mar 09 - 06:43 AM (#2580939)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

Red kite, flying over the street at the back of our house. That makes 27 that I can recall so far this year.


05 Mar 09 - 07:02 AM (#2581682)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Can't let this thread fall off the board.


05 Mar 09 - 04:41 PM (#2582084)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Got a nice photo of a Canada Goose on our large park lake, it was feeding with the Swans, it didn`t mingle with the large flock of Grey Lag geese, this is the first Canada Goose I have seen here.
Anyone in north-east Ireland ever spot one?, don`t know if they are common here.


05 Mar 09 - 09:58 PM (#2582285)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

**sigh**

During the weekdays right now, all I see are feeders empty of seed when I get up in the morning. I fill them before I leave for work, get home well after dark, and see them empty again come morning.

The days can't get longer fast enough for me.


06 Mar 09 - 03:48 AM (#2582368)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Three long days at work mean I can take today off, it's bright and sunny, I can hear the birds from where I am at the front of the house but I only see them on my trips to the kitchen at the back of the house... and then it's usually just the feeder swinging...

LTS


06 Mar 09 - 06:36 AM (#2582437)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Ard macha - you need to ask Birdwatch Ireland, they have excellent monitoring resources, mainly volunteers.


06 Mar 09 - 07:45 AM (#2582480)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

On my way to work most days this week I've seen barn owls flying at two different locations, just after sunrise. Not the same owl either, too far apart and sometimes seen on the same trip.
This is not connected with my un-identified dusk bird call earlier, these are about 40 miles away from there!


06 Mar 09 - 01:54 PM (#2582757)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

At least 3 new species, including two that I've never ID'd in our yard before. One was a Brown Creeper, the others are Black Capped Chickadees. Wouldn't even have ID'd them if I hadn't taken lots of photos. We usually get the Carolina Chickadees.

One day last week, Bill heard a big Thump on the living room window and ran in to see if any of the feeder birds was hurt. No feeder birds were in sight -- only a very grumpy-looking sharp shinned hawk, sitting on a branch a few feet from the window.

Oh, and lots of American Robins, forgot to mention them in my earlier posts. Ditto House Finches.

American Crows
American Goldfinches
Black-Capped Chickadees
Blue Jays
Brown Creeper
Cardinals
Carolina Chickadees
Carolina Wrens
Downy Woodpeckers
English Sparrows
Hairy (and Hairy-ette) Woodpeckers
House Finches
Juncos
Mourning Doves
Northern Mockingbird
Pine Siskins (first time I've ever seen them here)
Red Bellied Woodpeckers
Robins
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, on the suet feeder
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Song Sparrows
Tufted Titmice
White Breasted Nuthatches
White Throated Sparrows


06 Mar 09 - 01:55 PM (#2582763)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

I've been away from this thread too long. It took me about 30 minutes to catch up, because I was taking side trips to see bbc's Bullock's Oriole, telling Bill about Maeve's wonderful clean-up job on her garden, showing him Joybell's hilarious post about Lenny, etc. Such a wonderful thread.


06 Mar 09 - 08:14 PM (#2582971)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Rita,

I'd never seen Pine Siskins here before either. I did a little reading and talked to the proprietor at the local Wild Bird Center. They apparently winter further south than usual when the food supply is low in their usual winter range. The bird guy said this was a bad year for conifer seeds in the north. According to the Cornell birding website, they may also stay and breed in what is usually their winter range if the food supply is good.


07 Mar 09 - 07:23 AM (#2583192)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Jim Martin, I have enquired with our local `bird- watchers`, and they tell me they have never seen one. [Canada Goose] in the vicinity,the photograph was proof as I had two witnesses present when I took the photo.
I will get in touch with our local wild-bird centre at Lough Neagh, that will be Monday as they are off at the week-end.


07 Mar 09 - 07:34 AM (#2583197)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Welcome back, Ferrara.

I've been otherwise occupied lately. I did want to note that we've been seeing many red-breasted nuthatches lately. We're seeing 4 at a time, with others in the locust trees and bushes. They are cheeky little birds. Still a multitude of chickadees here. I keep hoping to see kinglets, a common flocking companion, but no sign of them so far.

maeve


07 Mar 09 - 12:39 PM (#2583338)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

I'm real happy today. Gnu's birthday and I just heard and viewed a very large flock of Geese flying over.
Spring is in the air.
Adrien


07 Mar 09 - 03:02 PM (#2583406)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Yes, Adrien! Black capped chickadees singing their spring song for the 1st time this year, 10:16 AM our time. Spring spring, lovely spring!

maeve


07 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM (#2583504)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Two days ago, I saw a Blue Jay singing spring songs. AND, I was taken aback. I have never heard a BJ "chortle" like a raven. Never, not once in all my years, but I did. It was one of those "Oh My!" moments. Really cool.


08 Mar 09 - 04:09 AM (#2583706)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

A couple of bright days here means my tits have been making merry in the garden. The feeder is set to 'constant swing' as they stock up on high energy seeds for mating rituals and nest building. Hopefully there is enough buddleia missing (snow brought down a big branch) to discourage them from nesting in it - it's too exposed now and I need to cut down more of it.

The robin is still trilling away so I suspect he's not found a mate yet. If he's not careful, he's going to end up with the ugly one.

The blackbirds have gone quiet but I see the fat pecker (I had no luck with the balls, they kept melting in the sun and falling off the string. I compromised with a plastic tray of beef fat and sunflower seeds) is being frequented and the sparrows are being noisy in my bay tree.

Alas, other than passing geese on their way to the lake in the park half a mile away, and black headed gulls in their summer plumage there have been no sightings of any different species. The perils of living in an urban area.

So; a tally reveals I have observed to date in 2009:

Great Tits
Blue Tits
Coal Tits
Sparrow
Blackbird
Robin
Pigeon (Rock dove and racing varieties)
Wood Pigeon (the brown and grey variety)
Magpie
Crow
Black Headed Gull
Grey Backed Gull

So far, the kitties have not eaten any birds (that I know of) but they've developed a new 'watching post' - a planter that is on the garden table because it was in the way of the fencing I was erecting and I never put back. They look so cute in it but it's doing my fuschia no favours at all.

LTS


08 Mar 09 - 05:11 AM (#2583719)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

It's March and there are no new birds to add at home.

My "at home" list to date:
Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch
House Sparrow
Song Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Common Redpoll
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Yellow shafted)
Northern Flicker (Red shafted)
Bohemian Waxwing
European Starling
Hairy Woodpecker
Crow
Pine Grosbeak

Around Town list
add:
Bald Eagle
Great Gray Owl
Hawk Owl
Rock Dove
Mallard


08 Mar 09 - 03:57 PM (#2584042)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

With the apples knocked out of the tree by ice and wind, then covered with snow and ice, and with the presence and persistance of a Sharp Shinned Hawk, not much activity these days. Pigions, crows and gulls and not much more.


08 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM (#2584172)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

I've noticed hawks and crows flying around with nesting materials, but it seems a bit early for that for most birds around here. Guess I'll start leaving dryer out for them anyway.


08 Mar 09 - 06:39 PM (#2584179)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Maeve heard spring songs in Maine. So did I, in New Brunswick.

If you are seeing birds gathering nesting materials, spring is on the way.


08 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM (#2584293)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

It may be spring in Maine and NB, but we're a long way from spring here in N. British Columbia.

I went out today with my camera to look for early Robins or Red-winged Blackbirds returning to the frozen North. The only birds I saw were European Starlings and Crows. It felt so very cold at -12 C (10 F) with the 28km/h (17 mph)wind that I lost all sensation in my fingers and wondered if they would ever recover.


08 Mar 09 - 11:08 PM (#2584323)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Oh my, Ragdall!

Believe I'll plan on staying south.


08 Mar 09 - 11:55 PM (#2584349)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

I saw the first skunk roadkill tonight while returning from a Cindy Kallet house concert.

Having declared it "Spring" here in midcoast Maine, I must point out that our temps have been very low still. Today was as warm as 50F, but it was -6 F just a night or so ago, and the ring around the moon tonight suggests more snow and cold to come. The ice is still smashing bones, snow is still 3-4 feet deep against the house and 'most everywhere I look and yet... skunks and birds say spring is trickling in.

The window of opportunity for our annual Audubon Owl Count has just begun and will close in mid-April. I wonder whooo we'll hear and see on our nighttime excursion.

maeve


09 Mar 09 - 12:02 AM (#2584357)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: raredance

Last week a Cooper's hawk sat in a gray dogwood in my back yard for over 30 minutes in the morning. There were no little birds at the feeders all day.

Today, the common redpolls descended. Have had a few around since January, but today there must have been 75-100 in and around the yard pretty much displacing the 20-30 pine siskins that have been regulars. Could be getting ready to head back north.


09 Mar 09 - 08:27 AM (#2584557)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Jim Martin, I had phone call this morning from the Oxford Island Nature Reserve the caller told me it was a definite one-off sighting for Lurgan Park Lake, he has no record of any in his area the southern shore of Lough Neagh.
That is one time the camera came in handy.


09 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM (#2584650)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: bubblyrat

My favourite bird is the Striated Kara-Kara---However,I concede that a sighting in rural Buckinghamshire is,probably,unlikely.By way of compensation,however, I did espy an unusual birdie on the roof of my partner's garden shed in Marlow Bottom yesterday. "Look !" I exclaimed excitedly, " A hawk of some sort !"
    "It's a Wood Pigeon,you plonker!" she retorted.
"Wood Pigeons haven't got talons,long tails,and curved beaks",I riposted.
So she went and got her digi camera,and got off three good shots before it Foxtrotted Oscar, and then put them up on the computer screen.
         Even SHE had to admit that it was, in fact,a Goshawk.
Not really Karen's thing,birds.


13 Mar 09 - 03:49 PM (#2588215)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Flit, flee, fly


14 Mar 09 - 10:48 AM (#2588727)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

YES!!!!
Four Robins on the lawn this morning.
Adrien


14 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM (#2588820)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

On my way to pick up my son from a sleepover this morning, I saw a pasture with a large flock of cow egrets. I'm wondering if they are migrating from southwest as this is very far inland from their usual summer range in North Carolina.


15 Mar 09 - 08:14 AM (#2589244)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

We watched 4 red-breasted nuthatches at the suet feeder yesterday, with several more bustling around in the trees. A single Canada goose flew over early this morning.

maeve


15 Mar 09 - 11:49 AM (#2589361)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

20 (...30...maybe more) gulls were riding a thermal over our house an hour ago. It's 60 F with blue sky and sunshine. We couldn't tell whether they were all herring gulls; too high in the sky. First they would circlr on the warm air until they were high enough, then shoot off in a northerly direction. The calls were mostly the occasional "we're here" variety, but I did here a few "food here!" calls as well. They may have been heading over to the neighbor's pastures to hunt earthworms.

What a beautiful morning!

maeve


15 Mar 09 - 01:17 PM (#2589408)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

"... single Canada Goose..." RECON!!!!


15 Mar 09 - 01:24 PM (#2589417)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

The sharp-shinned hawk was back in the yard this morning, as well. Last time it enjoyed a mourning dove for breakfast.

Yes, gnu- bet the sneaky geese will try to infiltrate by dark of night.

maeve


16 Mar 09 - 01:23 PM (#2590204)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Yes, the Spring birds are back and the robins' breasts are mating season red.


17 Mar 09 - 03:33 AM (#2590767)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Add a starling to my list - he was investigating the wall outside our front window. Never see them in the back garden, only the front. I suppose scavenging is more successful where people drop litter from the chip shops down the road.

LTS


17 Mar 09 - 06:41 AM (#2590844)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Mum's robin was back in the apple tree yesterday, but the apples below te tree are still covered with a thich layer of ice/snow.

I put a slice of bread spread with chicken fat on the tree and a couple of dozen grapes under the tree. Dunno if he touched any of it. It's he MIA for weeks so I thought the Sharp Shinned Hawk may have gotten it. Nice surprise for us.


17 Mar 09 - 07:19 AM (#2590864)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Great news, gnu. Welcome home, robin.

maeve


17 Mar 09 - 08:49 AM (#2590921)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Had a buzzard fly over being mobbed by seven crows on Saturday. He evaded them with remakably little effort and seemed little bothered. Later in the day saw a crow fleeing from a heron, perhaps word had got around!


17 Mar 09 - 10:23 PM (#2591485)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,EBarnacle on a friend's machine

Mobs of sparrows were on mating flights this afternoon! Spring is definitely here.


18 Mar 09 - 07:48 AM (#2591644)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Robinssss!!! And they are chasing each other around!


18 Mar 09 - 08:01 AM (#2591656)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Robin talking a blue streak this morning. I reckon he's fairly certain spring is here.

maeve


18 Mar 09 - 11:16 AM (#2591783)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Clifton53

The first red-winged blackbird in my yard today, never see them in the yard, there are always some down on the bayfront though. And yes the robin's breast are flaming orange. The robins didn't visit my yard in a flock like they did last year however, the crabapples were picked very clean this winter.


18 Mar 09 - 09:01 PM (#2592223)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

Add 3 species to my count.

1. Didn't even think about posting here -- or adding them to my count -- when I saw the first starlings of the year. I just cussed them and banged on the window to scare them off the suet feeder. One of life's least useful activities, they fly back within 60 seconds.

2. I heard Canada geese last week, next morning I heard them again and saw two flying over.

3. Today I heard and saw a red shouldered hawk in the back yard. A juvenile I think. Yelling its head off in the treetops, and the jays were yelling insults in return.

There's been a pair of hairy woodpeckers at the suet and even checking out our back porch. There was a big flock of American robins today. I got an almost good photo 2 weeks ago of the ruby crowned kinglet flashing its red crest. I say "almost" because there was a bit of something in the way here and there, but it's neat anyway.

Carolina wrens and mourning doves compete to nest on our back porch. This year the wrens are really early and they've picked out a new nesting spot, it's an old plastic hamster cage. They fly in through the little opening in the top. Fun to watch them. Not a very safe nesting spot though, we think. I asked Bill to take down the doves' nest until the wrens get one litter raised. Hope he will.

Rita


18 Mar 09 - 11:33 PM (#2592293)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

More sick house finches. Didn't see the pox lesions, but suspect that is what is happening. Two females, too tired and sick to fly away when I approach the feeders to fill them. I hate the thought of not feeding, but think I may have to stop for awhile to not contribute to the spread of the virus.

Mr. Wren singing out his heart this morning advertising a nest ready for occupancy on the carport.

Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and Robins all vieing for the attention of the ladies. One (just one), male goldfinch that is nearly completely molted spied today.


19 Mar 09 - 01:37 PM (#2592725)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

Yes, it's hard to know what to do when there's an epidemic illness. House finches seem especially prone to problems. We rescued one once, and two rehabilitators didn't want to take her because they were having epidemics in their house finch populations. sigh....


19 Mar 09 - 08:43 PM (#2593027)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Here is a link to an article of interest on CNN.com about threatened bird species. Not real detailed, but a decent brief overview of problems with declining bird populations.

I think it points to the value of creating habitat in your yard to go with the feeders.


21 Mar 09 - 04:46 AM (#2593894)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

My tits are on a feeding frenzy. Filled the feeder last Saturday... had to fill it again on Thursday.

The Great tits are especially active, two big males seem to be vying for the attention of a female by demonstrating how many seeds they can provide. The Blues are obviously nesting nearby, they come for twigs and leaf litter. The Coals are a bit shyer.. I don't see them so much these days, but they are still around. Perhaps he's having trouble finding a mate.

The blackbird couple are back again, I make this the 5th year running... of course, they may not be the original couple, but the son/daughter of that pair. Still, they're doing a good job of de-bugging my garden, although the cats have done that pretty well by digging up my polyanthus/primroses. Little bastards.

Right, I'm away to the shops now for more tit food.

LTS


21 Mar 09 - 07:14 AM (#2593937)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: manitas_at_work

Actually, it's LTS at home....

Just been shopping for bird seed.

Who the heck thought that fruit flavoured dried meal worms would be a sensible foodstuff... why fruit flavoured?!!!

LTS


21 Mar 09 - 12:38 PM (#2594053)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST

That way the vegetarians and the carnivores get to be happy.

Saw a few cardinals today in several locations. They were to crimson that they looked like something else.


21 Mar 09 - 06:44 PM (#2594221)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,EBarnacle on a friend's computer

Abobe Guest was yours truly


22 Mar 09 - 08:17 AM (#2594460)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

A big wild tom turkey strolled through the front yard a short time ago.
He sampled a few sunflower seeds from beneath one of the feeders, then wandered across the quiet Sunday morning road, passing the edge of the field, and away into the trees by the brook that feeds into the Sheepscot River.


maeve


22 Mar 09 - 07:37 PM (#2594907)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Arkie

The first Purple Martins of the season arrived this afternoon. The air is filled with their songs as they circle overhead and check out their housing all clean and awaiting them. Big day for me.


23 Mar 09 - 09:02 AM (#2595246)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Friday 20th March 2009
One Swallow was on the Bog Road, Doora Ennis this morning (8.30).
This is the first for this Spring and one of the earliest ever recorded in the county.


23 Mar 09 - 09:11 AM (#2595254)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: olddude

I have a palliated woodpecker in my old dead tree out back every morning he is out there wacking away at the tree. I can get right up close to him ... beautiful bird


23 Mar 09 - 06:10 PM (#2595647)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Palliated wood pecker eh? I'd see the doc about that if I were you!

LTS


23 Mar 09 - 07:55 PM (#2595742)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,guest_olddude

Liz
LOL yea can't type either


24 Mar 09 - 09:43 AM (#2596073)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work

The crows are starting to nest now... they were gathering twigs from the tree outside the house yesterday. Hope they don't pick our chimney again... (it was allegedly capped several years ago), the noise of their cawing, echoing down the chimney breast is incredibly loud and scary!

Almost as bad as my neighbour's 'call to prayer' alarm clock which now (as the sun appears earlier) goes off at 4.30am.

LTS


24 Mar 09 - 03:56 PM (#2596382)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: black walnut

Robins! We saw robins! (Toronto, Canada).

~b.w.


27 Mar 09 - 10:09 PM (#2598989)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Bee-dubya-ell

I live about twenty miles from the nearest substantial body of water, so I'd never expect to see an osprey (fish hawk) in my neighborhood, but one seems to have taken up residence nearby. I've seen it twice now in almost the same spot. The first time it was in an overgrown pasture, alternately hovering a few feet off the ground and then diving into the low brush, apparently attacking some prey animal. I thought it was probably a kite of some sort, but its wings were too long and narrow to match any kite species in my Peterson's Guide. The closest match to its wing profile was an osprey, but they aren't supposed to live this far from water and they're supposed to eat fish from lakes and rivers, not snakes and rodents from cow pastures. Then today, I saw it again. It was flying overhead within a half-mile of where I had seen it before and, this time, there was no mistaking it. I've seen plenty of ospreys in flight and recognized it immediately.


28 Mar 09 - 09:14 AM (#2599186)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Cowbird on the platform feeder this morning.

Most of the bird species around here are year round residents, and we are off the beaten path of the migratory flyways. I always think of how exciting it would be to anticipate the return of lots of different species in spring.


28 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM (#2599192)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Jim Martin that is very early for a Swallow in Ireland up here in the north-east I have been recording first Swallow sightings for the past 30 years and April 4th is my earliest sighting, the average days are between the 10th and 15th of April.


28 Mar 09 - 09:42 PM (#2599564)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Walking to the station Friday morning - a beautiful crisp, rosy fingered dawn - there was a hawk hovering over the bus stop. Beautiful way to start the day.

LTS


29 Mar 09 - 05:20 AM (#2599658)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

"Very early for a Swallow in Ireland" is it ever too early for a swallow in Ireland?, sometimes the pubs stay open all night.


29 Mar 09 - 07:54 AM (#2599723)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

"Ard Macha" - can only go by this (see entry for 20th March):

http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/scarce-rare-bird-sightings/march-2009-2.html


29 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM (#2599930)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

This morning I had to dispose of a yellow-rumped warbler killed by one of the cats and left on my carport, and kill a badly injured female cardinal that had been mauled. Since I don't know who owns any of these 5 cats, and have not met most of my nieghbors, I'm sending a letter to everyone on the street, asking that cats be kept in, and notifying them I will call animal control to trap the animals if that doesn't happen. I invited cat owners to come by or call if they want to talk face-to-face.

I am probably about to be labeled the b*tch of the neighborhood.


29 Mar 09 - 03:32 PM (#2599968)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Not doubting your word Jim, I had to get this nonsense in before some other smart-ass, the photos were brilliant, good spotting.


29 Mar 09 - 08:43 PM (#2600128)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Celtaddict

Not in my yard (will update later) but during lunch at a friend's on Friday (midcoastal Maine a couple of miles inland), a barred owl flew right to the window then sat under a tree watching us; no crows mobbing at the time. Then when I left, there was a pileated woodpecker working an aging birch.


01 Apr 09 - 10:51 AM (#2602224)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie


01 Apr 09 - 10:52 AM (#2602225)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Woops on the last post.

Two species to add for March.

Cowbird
Chipping Sparrow


01 Apr 09 - 11:11 AM (#2602241)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Pine siskins and purple finches visited us yesterday, and about 4o Canada geese flew over the house early this morning. The birds that are accustomed to flitting through the pine grove near the house will find homes and cover in the pines on the other side of the brook where red-eyed veeries and many kinds of warblers nest. We have gradually cleared away the nearby pines, with the notable exception of 4 huge old white pines, to increase sun exposure and make space for the young apple orchard.

My Truelove cleaned out the bird houses along the fence bordering our largest veggie garden, and added a few different houses in other locations yesterday. Bluebirds and swallows are due back anytime now. I've also been putting out orange halves for orioles & tanagers, who especially enjoy them. It's still chilly, but the feathered ones are a-moving toward us. It's nearly time to fill the hummer feeders; maybe in a couple of weeks the male Rubythroats should be here, hungry after a long migration. We try to start offering specialty food a couple of weeks before the early arrivals show up.

maeve


07 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM (#2606910)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Add chaffinch to my list... he was going over what was once the lawn, looking for seeds and creepies that I might have undearthed when I was dibbing about with the garden fork.

And the green linnet came back earlier this week... had a lovely conversation with him whilst he showed me his lemon yellow wings.

LTS


07 Apr 09 - 10:35 PM (#2607049)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

I expect my hummers on may 10 same as the last 20 years I've been watchin.


07 Apr 09 - 11:17 PM (#2607062)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Picked some Pussy Willows today. Reminded me of Gordon Lightfoot's song "Pussy Willows Cattails".
Adrien


07 Apr 09 - 11:18 PM (#2607064)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Nothing to do with Birds except it is part of spring I guess.


08 Apr 09 - 07:48 AM (#2607209)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS pretending to work

So anyone know where I can get hold of a guide book to New Zealandish birds?

Only ones I remember from last time there (23 years ago) were very English looking sparrows.

LTS


09 Apr 09 - 05:12 AM (#2607867)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

As regular as clockwork, spotted my first Swallows this morning, always between the 7th and the 12th of April, and as usual it was wet and windy. North-east Ireland.


09 Apr 09 - 07:09 AM (#2607910)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Still waiting for mine (swallows), should be any day now here in W.Clare.


09 Apr 09 - 01:50 PM (#2608167)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Jim being well over 200 miles south your Swallows should have arrived on that strong southern gale, I have kept a record for close on 30 years and always between the dates mentioned they always oblige, they are the super birds.


13 Apr 09 - 04:39 AM (#2610035)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Roger the Skiffler

Mudcatters in West London will have been familiar with the flocks of ring-necked parakeets that have been plaguing gardens and soft- fruit growers, particularly in the Richmond on Thames area, for years. Obviously escapees from an aviary, or, local legend has it, from a Shepperton or Teddington film set after the filming of a Tarzan picture/African Queen/Sanders of the river (depending on whose urban myth you choose to believe!). When I workd in Egham, Surrey they had already spread there and into the surrounding bits of Windsor Great Park such as Virginia Water and Savill garden as well as Royal Holloway college grounds. We've always had the odd one over here (Ascot) but the last couple of weeks we've had a small flock or about half a dozen, they're certainly spreading, despite this recent cold winter.
Personally, I'm looking forwrad to the arrival or those wonderfully acrobatic Red Kites. They have been successfully spreading out from their reintroduction site in the Chilterns, are a familiar sight to travellers on the M40 round Stokenchurch, have spread north into Bucks (my late mother-in-law had seen them near Winslow)and south, certainly as far as Maidenhead and Bisham. One of our neighbours claims already to have seen one locally so we'll keep an eye out.

RtS


13 Apr 09 - 06:15 AM (#2610060)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

I've seen red kites in Leighton Buzzard, Beds - and that was over 8 years ago!


13 Apr 09 - 02:31 PM (#2610307)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Liz when I want a bird guide from another country I go to amazon.com or to chapters.ca to order the book to be shipped to my local store.

Click here


15 Apr 09 - 04:41 PM (#2611923)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,LTS in New Zealand

Been here less than 24 hours and so far notched up sparrows, blackbird and starling. The native birds I've seen so far are a pukeko (long legged moorhen type bird), black swan, a Welcome swallow and a Tui! There was a brown thing that looked like it might have been a barwit, but it's in the field behind the house so probably something else... There was a glimpse of oyster catchers (bit different to the English ones) but only fleeting, there's a possible sighting of a fantail - a bit like a long tailed tit - yet to confirm.

LTS


15 Apr 09 - 11:04 PM (#2612165)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

As today is Tax Day, the vultures and buzzards were out in force in this area.


15 Apr 09 - 11:34 PM (#2612181)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

I am pulling the birdfeeders until the cat issue is dealt with. 5 neighborhood cats, all with collars on, are killing or maiming an average of three birds per day now.   They have gotten more savy and skillful. One result is the goldfinches and house finches are starting to avoid the feeders.

This would be easier if I disliked cats. I don't. I think cats are one of the neatest, best, sort-of domesticated animals on earth. However, I also love the birds.


16 Apr 09 - 04:41 AM (#2612253)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Confirmed the fantail sighting with a better one this lunchtime> Also saw the local falcon< many magpies (Australian import)< a pair of silvereyes and a kingfisher>

LTS


16 Apr 09 - 09:38 PM (#2612831)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Legall, cats are not domesticated animals. They may be our pets but they live with us by choice and are rarely trained beyond using the litter box and tolerating others. [That does not mean I do not like them, it means that I understand the limits of the relationship.]


17 Apr 09 - 06:16 AM (#2612981)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Some photos on Flick now, look for Liz the Squeak.

Sighted today - the barwit may be a bittern... got another book with better pictures to confirm.

Had a moment this morning with the tui and some fantails. The fantails fly like a paper bag in a wind tunnel. Mynas are suicidal and will sit in the road until the last second as a vehicle approaches. Australasian harriers eat roadkill possum in the same fashion, we almost took one off the road today. Pukeko are even more stupid than pigeons, we slowed for one to cross the road, only to have it dither around in front of us, cross to one side then immediately turn around and cross back!

The duck I identified as the shelduck, beautiful striking white head on a boring brown body.

I'm getting to like this birdwatching lark. My sister isn't too happy though, there was a fantail in the house this morning which apparently is a terrible omen foretelling a death, so she's a bit twitchy.

Now I know it's not a bird, but there's a pair of mantids living under the porch. I've named the fatter one Pearl (after Les Barker's poem) so of course, the thinner one, is Tony - after the Admiral, who is of course, married to Pearl. They're fascinating to watch.

More later.

LTS


17 Apr 09 - 04:00 PM (#2613359)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

The barwit/bittern is actually an Australian spur winged plover. I watched them mob an Australasian harrier. I was doing some yoga this morning at the back of the house which overlooks the paddock, from where I could see myna, sparrows, a fan tailed dove (former occupant of dovecote in house across the paddock that couldn't be found when the previous owners moved), the plover, the harrier, blackbirds, starling and a gull. I could hear parakeets and a tui cackling away somewhere behind me... a bit different from my usual yoga accompaniments!

LTS


21 Apr 09 - 10:00 AM (#2615586)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: bobad

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/apr/19/canada-geese-put-one-over-on-american-eagle/

Canada geese put one over on American eagle
By Bryan Brasher (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sunday, April 19, 2009

BEAVER DAM, Miss. -- With mating season in full swing for Canada geese, people have no doubt seen the tall, majestic-looking birds nesting on the ground all over the Mid-South.

But Mike Boyd can show you something you probably haven't seen when it comes to geese.

Canada geese have claimed squatters' rights to this eagle's nest at Beaver Dam Lake near Tunica, Miss.

On the edge of his property at historic Beaver Dam Lake, just outside of Tunica, Boyd can point to a pair of Canada geese sitting in an eagle's nest more than 80 feet off the ground.

The geese didn't wait for the eagles to leave and then claim an abandoned nest. They actually fought off the eagles and have forcefully occupied their home for two weeks despite their constant protests.

"At certain times, you can go out there and see the eagle sitting on the limb above the nest looking down at the geese," Boyd said. "Believe me, that eagle is not happy."

Susan Winston of Helena, Ark., also noticed the home-wrecking Canada geese, along with her friends, Jane Woodie and Patty Smith.

The trio is passionate about photographing nature and wildlife -- and Winston said this scene is one of the most fascinating things they've ever captured on film.

"We visit this eagle's nest frequently this time of year in hopes of seeing the birds and their growing family," Winston said. "We have photographed the eagles mating, bringing food to the nest, feeding their young, and we've watched as the eaglets prepared for their first flight."

But this nesting season, the show has been different.

"This year has really yielded disappointment," Winston said. "But then, we've also been amazed at the bizarre events we have documented each visit. We never expected to see geese just take over the nest."

Canada geese usually nest on the ground in tall grass near the water's edge, often on small points or islands.

People also construct specialized nesting platforms for the geese -- but not 80 feet off the ground. The platforms are usually built out of floating logs and anchored on the water's surface in a place that will be suitable for mating pairs.

The female goose chooses the nesting location and builds the nest, lining it with her own feathers for warmth. The male goose stands guard, chasing off intruders.

In this case, the intruder has been the very eagle that constructed the nest.

"I've never seen anything like it," Boyd said. "I've talked with a lot of people, and they've never seen anything like it either."

Boyd said he has labored under the mistaken impression for years that bald eagles are the tougher of the two species.

"I thought a bald eagle would just absolutely throttle a Canada goose," Boyd said. "But that eagle has come back over and over again trying to reclaim its nest, and the geese won't give it up."

Actually, the bald eagle was denounced as a coward by Benjamin Franklin more than 200 years ago. Franklin favored the turkey over an eagle as the American symbol for that very reason.

Turns out, maybe the Canada goose deserved some consideration as our American symbol as well.


21 Apr 09 - 10:01 AM (#2615587)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Saw my first hummer this weekend.


21 Apr 09 - 09:37 PM (#2616060)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

When Lady Hillary and I came out of our volunteer jobs this noon at our local rummage sale, we saw a female Northern Harrier about 100 feet from our car.


22 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM (#2616532)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

White goose yesterday, not identified yet. Other birds seen were stuffed and in the museum...

LTS


24 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM (#2617958)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

Two more birds this week:

Chipping sparrow - a flock were foraging in the front yard grass.

Female rufous-sided towhee - Bill and I watched her for a long time, but all we saw for the first 3 or 4 minutes was the dead leaves flying as she scratched fiercely for bugs under the azaleas. Very neat when she finally showed herself.

This is 29 species this year, I think. Maybe I'm paying more attention than usual?


24 Apr 09 - 04:48 PM (#2618081)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

So the white goose was just goosus domesticus, the chickens in the park are domestic chickens gone feral and the sparrows are ubiquitous.

So my tally for this trip, from this property:

Pukeko
Spur winged plover
Australasian harrier
Fan tailed dove
Sparrow
Fantail
Waxeye
Two tui
Starling
Blackbird
Welcome swallow
Indian Myna

Quite a selection from one small caravan park!

LTS


24 Apr 09 - 05:00 PM (#2618088)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Well, I finally called Animal Control and they are going to bring out box traps for me to set to catch the cats. I really hate to do this, but I still don't know to whom any of these cats belong. All but one have collars, but I don't think I see any tags on them.

The thing that bothers me, is that if the cats do not have tags with owner information on them, they are very likely to end up being put down. I really hate that.


25 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM (#2618651)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Of course. Take a pic of each cat... it might help if the idiots do come round looking for Fluffy.


25 Apr 09 - 03:39 PM (#2618656)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Ferrara

Wow Janie what a dilemma. What's the legal situation? I think here, a cat can run legally loose if it has a rabies tag.

Saw the first catbirds of the season today. Doesn't mean they weren't here earlier. They usually nest pretty early. They like to decorate the nest with strips of plastic.


25 Apr 09 - 04:28 PM (#2618684)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

I forgot the heron that flies over most mornings.... he's little with a white face and quite cute.

LTS


02 May 09 - 04:36 PM (#2623249)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Saw three common grackles in the yard three mornings ago. Haven't seen them since.

Questions re: humming birds and feeders that I wonder if some one can answer. At the old place, I had lots of hummers because I had lots of flowers that attracted them, but I've never put up a hummingbird feeder before. Here, I am just starting to garden and don't have anything planted, much less in bloom to attract them. I saw one hummer a week or so ago checking out some bright fucshia azaleas, but apparently azaleas are not big nectar plants. It zoomed in, then zoomed away and I haven't seen another hummer since. Last weekend I bought and set up a hummingbird feeder. From the level of the liquid, it does not appear it has been visited by any hummers, at least not yet.

Here are my questions: 1. Do I need to empty, clean and refill the feeder at regular intervals, since it is not being drained? If so, what interval? 2. Any advice on location to increase the chance of attracting hummers? Right now, the feeder is suspended from a pole that is shaded and immediately adjacent to the open, exterior side of my carport, on the which I use as a covered patio. This is on the north side of the house.

Continuing saga on the cat situation. I live one block from the county line in a town that is mostly in the neighboring county. An officer with Orange Co. Animal Control left me a voice mail a day or so ago saying I would have to contact the local Police Dept, which I did. They have put my name on a waiting list to have them set box traps. I did learn that people are supposed to keep their animals in their own yards, and I can trap any animal I want on my own property. I'll price Havahart traps tomorrow to see if I ought to go ahead and buy my own traps.


02 May 09 - 05:45 PM (#2623275)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

The grackles made liars of me. They're back. Saw my first catbird of the season at the birdbath a few minutes ago.


02 May 09 - 07:06 PM (#2623305)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Janie, regarding your hummer questions:
1. Do I need to empty, clean and refill the feeder at regular intervals...?
Yes. The interval depends on how hot the syrup gets; I'd say every three or so days you should clean it with hot water (if you use soap or bleach rinse, rinse, rinse) and refill with fresh syrup. You may know- use 4 parts boiling water to 1 part regular granulated white sugar, never honey, and no need for dye. A bit of red ribbon or a fake flower taped on will be enough to draw the hummers.

2. Any advice on location...? You location sounds pretty good. If you can cluster some potted flowers nearby that is helpful.

Birds & Blooms magazine and website have a section devoted to hummers; here's a link:

www.birdsandblooms.com

maeve


02 May 09 - 08:07 PM (#2623326)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Thanks, maeve, I'll check out the website and clean out the feeder.

Does the sugar water have enough nutrients in it to meet the needs of hummers? (as opposed to commercial packets of powdered "hummingbird nectar") Would raw sugar be better than refined sugar?


03 May 09 - 07:19 PM (#2623701)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: RangerSteve

At my birdfeeder there was a goldfinch the other day. A pair of bluebirds in the back yard. Some mourning doves and a pair of cardinals in the front yard.


09 May 09 - 06:06 AM (#2627592)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

The One-to-four-parts white sugar-nectar we put out is what is recommended by Audubon and others who know hummers well. It may be possible to play with the sugar used, but nutritionists keep insisting there is no real difference in nutrition between the various forms of sugar. Where hummers are concerned however, honey is dangerous and nectar made from it can and has killed the little darlings.

The hummingbirds also eat real flower nectar, juices from fruits, and many tiny insects. The value of human-provided sugar water seems to be as an immediate energy source rather than their sole or even primary source of nutrition. Commercial mixtures I have tried in the past were simply powdered sugar with dyes added.

For myself, I use the sugar nectar to support and attract hummers, but plant hummer friendly plants with abandon to provide real food and habitat options.

maeve


09 May 09 - 06:17 AM (#2627600)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

I meant to post this earlier-

A generous person in Maine has been sending out new wood nesting boxes designed for flickers and kestrels. We are fortunate enough to have been given some, and will get them mounted asap. In return we promised to maintain them and send back written and photographic reports concerning any birds nesting there. Both species are under stress in the USA, so I hope we can offer some meaningful observations.

We've seen bluebirds, American goldfinches, Rose breasted grosbeak, siskins, heard warblers, wood thrushes, and many sparrows, and again watched a sharp-shinned hawk diving at chortling chickadees in a large beautybush.

maeve


09 May 09 - 09:38 AM (#2627663)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

still no hummers, but I am going through two blocks of suet a week now among the woodpeckers, nuthatches and catbirds. I also think the squirrels may be partaking.

No species to add for April other what I already mentioned.


09 May 09 - 01:06 PM (#2627765)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Sooz

Saw and heard a nightingale at Whisby Nature Park last week (Lincoln UK)
A bit special.
Arrived home to find that a straying dog had killed the widgeon on the pond. Shame - he was beautiful and had been there a long time.


09 May 09 - 04:59 PM (#2627890)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Hummers... there is an elderly lady in SE New Brunswick that has hundreds of hummers coming to her feeders near the Tantramar Marshes. She uses 3:1 (never that store bought crap with the dye in it) and she uses 2:1 (and stronger!) near season end as the young ones build strength.

4:1 is good... unless you want to lure hummers from you neighbours. >;-)


09 May 09 - 07:43 PM (#2627981)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Talked to the guy at the Wild Bird Center store this afternoon. I think I just need to take maeve's advice and tie a nice red ribbon on the pole. The feeder itself is not red, just the little holes to access the sugar water.    I had bought the feeder mixture when I bought the feeder and it has red dye in it, but the container itself is light green glass and the red is dull. Maybe also a few pots of red impatience or begonias around it also will help.

Or, I could just go get a pastic red feeder and see what happens. Would rather use what I already unwisely bought, though.

Found out that 3 of the 5 cats that are the worst offenders belong to the woman next door. A 4th cat, that occasionally seem also belongs to her, but mostly stays inside. The rest of the cats are outdoor cats. Spoke with her at length today. She was out in the yard marking the lines for an electronic invisible fence for her dogs. She is going to go ahead and get collars for the cats also, and see if that will keep them in her yard, and out of mine. Told me to let her know if I continued to have a problem. I think she actually doesn't get it (she is also the one with the dogs tethered 24-7 that bark non-stop at night.) But at least she was cordial about it, and at least verbalized that she considers my concerns legitimate. We'll see.


10 May 09 - 06:59 AM (#2628179)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

A Baltimore Oriole visited the hummer feeders late yesterday afternoon. I've put out fresh sweet grapefruit halves, and will add oranges when we have some on hand.

Janie, your present feeder will be fine. Hummers are clever enough to remember where food is found. That bit of red ribbon serves to attract their attention. After that, the little buzzbirds will remember food is there.

maeve


11 May 09 - 05:53 AM (#2628829)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Roger the Skiffler

Cuckoos are supposed to be declining, but I heard one persistently in the Swinley Forest last week.
RtS


11 May 09 - 07:39 AM (#2628891)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

I hadn't heard a cuckoo for the last two years but there was one sounding out at the Upton upon Severn festival last week.

Spotted something odd on the way home crossing the bridge over the Wyre at Hamble also last week, an all white wading bird about 2/3 to 3/4 the size of a normal grey heron. A lost egret?


11 May 09 - 07:51 AM (#2628900)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Ruby Throat Hummer stopped by late yesterday afternoon. Dropped to 4c last night. Hope he is alright.
Adrien


11 May 09 - 09:21 AM (#2628959)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Thanks to a link from gnu, here's a useful hummer info site, including a place to report rubythroat arrivals, and this page in particular has useful lists of hummer plants: Hummer food plants


Our first male RT arrived on the 9th, when TL heard it. We confirmed this morning with a close look at a male RT sitting in one of the blooming pears.

maeve


11 May 09 - 09:57 AM (#2628980)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Thanks Maeve. I just reported my sighting and have added Gnu link to my favorite.
Adrien


11 May 09 - 10:04 AM (#2628988)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Donuel

Those little Hummers make a heroic non stop flight all the way across the Gulf of MExico and arrive life threatenly thin and out of breath when the hit Florida and US coast.


11 May 09 - 11:45 AM (#2629037)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Little Hawk

I met this bird the other day. I don't know what kind of bird he was, but he told me something quite interesting. He said that he saw Raptor last week...and Raptor didn't see him! That's extraordinary. Furthermore, he claims that his brother once saw Raptor and Raptor didn't see him either!

I can hardly countenance the notion that it could have happened twice, but there you are... ;-)


16 May 09 - 04:37 PM (#2633524)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Although I have seeing Great Blue Herons elsewhere for several weeks, saw one flying over here at home today.

The local nickname for them is "Ol' Cranky."



Still no hummers dispite the red ribbon. I read that they have tracks they follow. Think I'll move the feeder to a different location tomorrow.


20 May 09 - 07:39 AM (#2636427)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Downstream toward the coast, bald eagles are gathering for the alewife run through the newly-built stone fish ladder.

There is no indication that this year's barn swallows will return to our front door nest. Perhaps if I put some white chicken feathers along the edge of last year's nest...

maeve


20 May 09 - 07:58 AM (#2636443)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,mayomick

Don't forget to keep an eye out for nightingales if you're down in Cornwall .


20 May 09 - 03:26 PM (#2636819)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Speaking of Cornwall...

Poem 190 of 230: BIRDWATCHERS' BUDE - WINTER 2001/2

Behind the Tourist Centre,
    Between canal and river,
On the marshy drained flood-plane
    (Not now visited by train),
In among willow and reed,
    Eking out some winter feed:
Treecreepers, bobbing robins,
    Chirpy blue-tits, grey-herons,
The screams of water-rail,
    And snipe sharp on their trail.
Plus, out along limestone down,
    Soaring seabirds can be found.

From http://walkaboutsverse.sitegoz.com (e-scroll)
Or http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-book)


21 May 09 - 09:15 AM (#2637531)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: SINSULL

A soaring sea bird crapped on my car this morning. Damn!


21 May 09 - 10:09 AM (#2637595)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

I recall a trad. rhyme about that, Sinsull...

Little birdie flying high
Dropped a message out of the sky;
"Oh!" said the farmer, wiping his eye,
"It's a jolly good thing my cows don't fly."


21 May 09 - 03:01 PM (#2637824)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: s&r

Flood plain. No hyphen. Note spelling.

Pleased to help

Stu


21 May 09 - 03:56 PM (#2637871)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Back to the purpose of this delightful thread:

This spring we appear to have two mated pairs of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, two male Baltimore Orioles negotiating for nesting territory, and several pairs of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, along with the usual suspects.

maeve


21 May 09 - 05:01 PM (#2637941)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

(Sorry Maeve but, briefly, thanks for the spelling, Stu...and I think I'll join them - floodplain.) The first time I went out - with keen relatives - on a trip dedicated to birdwatching, I spotted a kingfisher, no less. However, even though we waited quite a while, it didn't dive.


22 May 09 - 02:49 PM (#2638702)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

Haven't checked this thread for a while, a few things to share.

Saw my first swifts early on May morning during the festivities here in Oxford, the band on the steps of the Bodlean library had just played Sumer is Icumen In, when over went a swift, a moment to treasure. Normally I see them in the last few days of April, but they're always here by Mayday. The other night around 40 or so were high up above our house flying round in a tight circle screaming away, sounds like they're having the time of their lives. Always been my favourite bird, having grown up sharing a house with a family of noisy swifts, who used to dart down the alley between us and the neighbours, occasionally they'd fly in the upstairs windows and we'd have to let them out.

Those of an ornithological disposition may already know that Oxford is home to one of the most studied colonies of birds, the swifts in the tower of the natural history museum. There's a live webcam here, though they're considerably less interesting to watch on the nest!


My first cuckoo of the year (and only so far) flew over our back gate the other day, singing as it went. A pretty bird, you know. there must be a song in that.. ;-)

Today I arrived home to be greeted by the sight of a family of great tits (please no puns) in our back garden. The young ones were very approachable, obviously haven't learned to distrust humans yet!


23 May 09 - 09:53 AM (#2639256)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Last night I dreamed miniscule wild Budgies were nesting in the house. I kept finding tiny, tiny little colorful birds perched inside of bowls, on top of picture frames etc. I was absolutely charmed.


23 May 09 - 12:28 PM (#2639342)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I knew it would be an early spring. First sighting of Hummingbirds in Mum's backyard. Last year, they weren't sighted until May 24.


23 May 09 - 10:23 PM (#2639664)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Jealous.   The hummers don't like my new place yet. I still have not coaxed them in.




Boy, are the birds going through the suet.   Feeding young ones, I suppose. Some species that didn't touch the suet all winter are going after it with a vengance now.

Watched a young housefinch visit the birdbath for what appears to have been it's first experience.


24 May 09 - 02:35 AM (#2639730)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

My tits multiplied this year, and now my pittisporum is covered in great tits. They're actively fighting the blue tits for the fat pecker because they're feeding at least 3, possibly 5 young. How do you count a green/black/yellow bird that won't sit still for more than .5 of a second, in a tree that has green and yellow foliage, with a dark green/black tree behind it?

Still, they're taking the greenfly off my roses for which I'm very grateful as it means no pesticides again this year. And something (I suspect the blackbirds) got the caterpillars that totally stripped my late flowering rose (still had a flower on it in January) so that has greened up again nicely. It may even flower again. Now if only they'd do the same with the snails that are eating my lettuces.

LTS


24 May 09 - 05:39 PM (#2640039)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

I found the nest at last!! It's very well hidden in the evergreen bay tree, I only noticed it because I looked up at the right spot.

LTS


24 May 09 - 05:48 PM (#2640046)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Mulberries are ripe and drawing lots of birds. Just watched a real dust-up between a robin and a red-bellied woodpecker over who had dibs on one particularly loaded branch.


29 May 09 - 09:48 AM (#2643581)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

List for May to date: (Midcoast Maine, small farm) 70+ species

Black-capped Chickadee (nesting)
Tufted Titmouse (nesting)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (nesting)
Common Nuthatch (nesting)
Brown Creeper (nesting)
Pine Siskins (nesting)
Downy Woodpecker (nesting)
Hairy Woodpecker (nesting)
Piliated Woodpecker (nesting)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (and we just installed 3 nestboxes!)
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Coopers Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tail Hawk
(just put up 1 Kestrel nestbox)
Bald Eagle
Osprey (nesting)
Turkey Buzzard
Common Yellow-throat Warbler (nesting)
Magnolia Warbler
More warblers (that I haven't identified)
Red-eyed Veery (nesting)
Wood Thrush (nesting closer to the house than usual)
American Robin (nesting)
one other thrush heard- yet to be identified; Hermit?
Eastern Bluebirds
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (2 mated pairs nesting)
House Finch
Pine Finch
Purple Finch (nesting)
American Goldfinches (nesting)
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Saw-whet Owl
Tree Swallow (nesting)
Barn Swallow (none at the front door nest this year)
White-throated Sparrow (nesting)
Song Sparrow (nesting)
Chipping Sparrow (nesting)
Field Sparrow (nesting)
Fox Sparrow (nesting)
Slate-colored Junco
Eastern Kingbird (nesting)
Eastern Phoebe (nesting)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (nesting)
Baltimore Oriole (2 mated pairs nesting)
Northern Cardinal (mated pair nesting)
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Northern Mockingbird
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Great Blue Heron
Black-billed Cuckoo (nesting)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
Red-wing Blackbird (nesting)
American Crow (nesting)
Raven (nesting)
Mallard Duck (mated pair, nesting at neighbor's pond)
Canada Goose
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey (nesting)
Herring Gull
Common Loon
American Woodcock
Scarlet Tanager (nesting)
Blue Jay (nesting)
House Wren (nesting)
Carolina Wren
Rubythroat Hummingbird (several mated pairs nesting)
Cedar Waxwings

We hear and see many other birds in our mixed-wood forest and in the swamp and river areas, but are still learning to identify them.

maeve


30 May 09 - 12:37 AM (#2644020)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

I forgot to mention that for the past month our resident vireos are back in their house for their first family of the year.


30 May 09 - 11:32 AM (#2644197)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Two osprey pairs gliding and chirping overhead this morning as I hung dripping laundry outside.

maeve


30 May 09 - 06:28 PM (#2644464)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Liz the Squeak

Saw the martins screaming overhead on Thursday and I'm pretty sure I saw an owl of some sort fly over at dusk... it was round headed and silent so I knew it wasn't a late pigeon but couldn't begin to tell which particular owl...

My baby great tits are still bouncing around and fighting the blue tits off the feeders, but they look about ready to fly the nest - they've been fledged for a couple of weeks now by the look of them.

The blue tit is looking more and more bedraggled as the week goes on. Poor sod.

LTS


31 May 09 - 04:39 PM (#2645116)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

The birdbath is full of a family of titmice. I notice that the titmice tend to prefer to bathe in late afternoon when the water is warmer. Robins seem to favor a cold morning plunge.


31 May 09 - 06:42 PM (#2645192)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Glory sakes alive! I was just out looking at the humming bird feeder, contemplating giving up and replacing it with another seed feeder when one of the little creatures flew up and started sipping.

I be happy.


31 May 09 - 08:55 PM (#2645252)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Happy wings in the air for Janie!

Now all you have to do is keep the feeder clean and full. :) That, and enjoy the delights of the hummers all season.

m


31 May 09 - 09:04 PM (#2645256)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Which reminds me; we've been enjoying the air dance of one of the male hummers lately. He flies in the "U" rather than the "J" pattern, clicking all the while. Sky writing in miniature.

m


01 Jun 09 - 07:49 AM (#2645457)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Woken up at 5:00 this morning by a flock of well over 100 starlings (you try counting them!) tramping up and down on the roof. Looked like a scene from a Hitchcock movie when I opened the curtains.

I'm stumped by the small brown bird syndrome here as there are too many birds that look the same but with dissimilar calls!


03 Jun 09 - 12:06 AM (#2647100)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Was out at our club's open house on Saturday and spotted my first Black crowned Night Heron of the season while canoeing.


03 Jun 09 - 04:06 AM (#2647143)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

Saw a pair of buzzards circling overhead the other day- there's plenty of them around in the countryside outside Oxford but this was the first time I've seen them over our house.

Mind you, reading about ospreys and hummingbirds I can't help feeling a bit jealous!


03 Jun 09 - 08:07 AM (#2647264)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Yesterday and this morning: Yellow-shafted flicker, Black-and-white warbler,Pine warbler, Black-billed cuckoo, Barred owl, Cedar waxwings.
We keep looking for the Bohemian waxwings, but haven't caught sight of any yet.

The Black-billed cuckoo is one of the few birds that eats gypsy moth caterpillars, for which I am grateful.

maeve


03 Jun 09 - 11:15 AM (#2647422)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Spotted Goldfinches,Bullfinches,and a pair of Chiff Chaffs,these birds are getting scarce, spotting them in our local park is a bonus.
Three families of Grey Lag Geese, they are numerous on the lake now, five years ago there wasn`t one to be seen, why are they no longer migrating?. All of this in norrh-east Ireland.


03 Jun 09 - 01:39 PM (#2647533)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

The vireo family continues apace--to the point where one of the parents looks and acts very tired. After dropping off a round of food, only a note or two gets sung and then off for the next round of catch it and feed 'em.


03 Jun 09 - 05:57 PM (#2647723)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Alan Day

Great fun watching my setters trying to catch Mum and Dad and Baby Wagtails who have recently hatched out. They have it down to a fine art letting my setters get to within a couple of feet then moving on another three feet and the game goes on for hours. The Starling nest I made to replace the one covered by new facia boards have got two babies about to fly. This is the third year, The Crows have produced three babies that flutter their wings saying "Mummy Feed Me ". No sign yet of the Great Woodpecker babies ,we had two last year.A Kingfisher swoops regularly down the stream at the bottom of the garden. Sadly one day one hit our patio door knocking itself out. I gently picked it up and it came to just as I reached the stream and off it flew.giving a little squawk as it went.
A lovely time of the year.
Al


03 Jun 09 - 09:35 PM (#2647860)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

I don't get it. I have a


03 Jun 09 - 09:36 PM (#2647861)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

o.k. i'LL CONTINUE.


03 Jun 09 - 10:03 PM (#2647872)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Let's try again.
That's better. Very strange. The last two post I made as soon as I would hit the enter tap it would post it. I'm going to hit it again to start a new paragraph and see it the same thing happens. Here we go.
I guess it is fine now.
As i was saying. I have two visitors by the name of "Catbirds". You know, the ones that make all sorts of sounds but their most notable is the "Meewee"(sp.) one. Their other trait is that they like to stay hidden as much as possible in the underbrush. Right? Well these two are at my back patio drinking from the fountain and when I go outside they just look at me as it to say "Go back in side your disturbing us". Very strange indeed.
Adrien


04 Jun 09 - 05:30 AM (#2648001)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Now Adrien; you know cats will make themselves at home anywhere they go! Hee hee, catbirds are fun. Have you figured out where their nest is?

maeve


04 Jun 09 - 06:13 AM (#2648018)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Beer

Have been looking but no luck as yet.


08 Jun 09 - 06:26 AM (#2651178)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Further to my above post - sorry I don't recall the programme, but I did see, on TV over the weekend, some kind of finch being fed from a hand, in a similar way to how robbins have been tamed.


08 Jun 09 - 09:46 AM (#2651291)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

New birds (to us) nesting here this year include Kingbird, Eastern Wood Peewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Palm Warbler, and Black and White Warbler. Delightful!A very large Bobolink was singing and flying around this morning.

maeve


08 Jun 09 - 04:28 PM (#2651593)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I have a bunch of blackbirds and robins that fly between Mum's house and the garage to get from the driveway to her backyard and back. They have left a stream of droppings on the driveway. Seems like they are doing it on purpose. Seriously, over a dozen a day. Odd, but true.


09 Jun 09 - 05:59 AM (#2652048)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

...Little birdie, flying high,
Dropped a message out of the sky;
"Ooh", said the farmer, wiping his eye,
"It's a jolly good thing my cows don't fly." (trad., I think).

I hope to watch ringed plovers for a while, one day...


10 Jun 09 - 01:06 AM (#2652890)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

One of our vireos has fledged--almost successfully--he landed in the bushes the other two are still birdhouse bound.

Last weekend, Lady Hillary and I were in Rochester, NY and saw a white rumped sandpiper several times. Lake Ontario is well out of the area defined in Peterson's Guide but this was a positive sighting by two people from several angles and fairly short distance.


10 Jun 09 - 02:57 AM (#2652923)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Helen

sitting at kitchen window this morning on a winters day
11 rosellas
6 tui
Australian harriers
piwakawakas--fantails
blackbirds
thrushes
sparrows
mynas
white-eyes
chaffinches
greenfinches
yellowhammers
spurwinged plovers
shag
kingfishers
magpies before i chased them away
pheasants
quails
kereru- woodpidgeon
goldfinches
starlings


10 Jun 09 - 04:23 PM (#2653431)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: RangerSteve

Yesterday, I had a goldfinch, a bluebird, two cardinals and a red-headed woodpecker at my birdfeeder all at the same time. Today, I have a starling out there. I wish I could keep him away. He sits there, picking out the seeds he doesn't want and throwing them on the ground.


16 Jun 09 - 08:51 AM (#2657636)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

While loading firewood onto the farm truck a couple of hours away from home, we watched 2 adult and 4 juvenile ravens soaring and wheeling in the blue sky overhead; the youngsters calling in that demanding, hilarious scream of theirs. As we drove back down the narrow dirt-to-tarmac road a family of mama duck and seven brown ducklings scuttled across the road to a pond. Further down the highway, we encouraged a young (12" carapace) snapping turtle to forgo her planned trip into traffic.

A newly-fledged tree sparrow entertained us yesterday evening, sampling all sorts of bits and pieces in front of our kitchen door, then begging when his mother brought one insect at a time. The birds are our insecticide.

Lovely spring!

maeve


16 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM (#2657783)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Vireo parents are housekeeping. We observed several fecal sacs being carried out--diaper duty.


17 Jun 09 - 02:35 AM (#2658323)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Listened to a Barred Owl right outside my family room window tonight for quite some time. It has moved off now. don't know if it is the same one or not, but can still hear it/them from sounds like 2-4 blocks away.


17 Jun 09 - 12:33 PM (#2658647)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

It's vewwy quiet out there. The vireo family seems to have moved out into the wide, scary world.


17 Jun 09 - 10:59 PM (#2659094)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle


25 Jun 09 - 02:20 PM (#2664549)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

New vireos have moved in we are now serenaded consistently.

At the Clearwater Revival, I saw a bluebird for the first time in the wild. The usual crowd of goldfinches, etc were also there.


04 Jul 09 - 12:44 PM (#2671494)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Saw an interesting phenom last night. As we were driving past an unmown field, I saw a lot of "ghostly" glows flickering over the field. They appeared sort of bluish white and were flickering on and off. After going back for a second look we realized that they were fireflies in higher densities than we had even noticed before.

Very eerie and very beautiful.

Could phenomena like this have led to "ghost" sightings?


09 Jul 09 - 03:12 PM (#2675930)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Beer's nesting catbird has a cousin over here. He's dancing around and singing like the glory of heaven and keeps a stern eye on me working out in the vegetable garden. Seems to be interested in a robing's nest that emptied out a couple of weeks ago when the red red robins went bob bob bobbing along.

Joining me in the garden were an Eastern Phoebe and a shy yet friendly Wood Pewee, each catching insects within an arm's reach. The other day Truelove watched a phoebe catch a moth quite near him, so he snatched up another moth and tossed it in the air. He was rewarded by the very close swoop and snap of the phoebe as it caught the second moth as well.

Yesterday evening we were gazing out the kitchen door, wondering who would be coming in for an evening meal. To our delight and surprise a female Baltimore Oriole appeared on the shepherd's crook feeder stand, then fluttered down to...not the hummingbird feeder, but the suet cage!

Shortly before that three male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks visited the sunflower feeder for quite a while. At least one was feeding his brown-striped fledgling. Hummers are active again, though still secretive, and the Downy and Hairy woodpeckers bring their young in for meals, as do the Purple Finches.

maeve


30 Jul 09 - 11:25 AM (#2690334)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: katlaughing

Send in the rogaine? (This is really neat. There's more about it at the link: Chi-chi-chi

Bald-headed, pink-faced songbird discovered
By Jennifer Viegas

A bald-headed songbird with a pink, nearly featherless face and distinctive calls has just been found in a rugged region of Laos, according to scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Melbourne who made the discovery.

Aside from its unique characteristics, the avian is noteworthy because it is the only known bald songbird in Asia.


30 Jul 09 - 10:57 PM (#2690800)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

The grackles turned into such pigs that I stopped filling the suet feeders. I'll start up again after they head south this fall.

Just this past week, the squirrels finally figured out how to hang upside down from the hook, keeping their weight off the perches of two spring-loaded "Droll Yankee" "squirrel proof" feeders.

One of them lost his tail to one of the cats when he dropped down off of it to the ground.


03 Aug 09 - 09:08 PM (#2693200)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Actually, I just remembered that the suet/peanut nuggets I purchased previously were generously laced with hot pepper, and the last two bags I bought are not.

At last the hummers are coming regularly to the hummingbird feeder, instead of just the very occasional visit. The cardinals, titmice, chickadees, etc., have fledged their last brood of the season. I think I notice that without the pressure of a new nest full of chicks about to come along the parents are somewhat more tolerant of the last fledglings staying around in the territory, and don't go after them so agressively.

Although I was buried in goldfinches through the winter and early spring, they have been only occasional visitors to the feeders since mid-June. I'm assuming that is because of the food supply available in the fields, meadows, and perennial gardens in the area.

I have at least one pair of downy woodpeckers who live here year round. I'd like to attract more woodpeckers to get after the red oak borers. I occasionally see a maile red-bellied woodpecker, though he most in evidence when the mulberry was fruiting.


04 Aug 09 - 04:27 AM (#2693338)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Rochester Golf Club in New York State, have the answer to the Canada Goose invasion of their beloved course, shoot `em, their is a long list of volunteers willing to take on this dangerous task.
Only in the USA, the answer to every problem is the gun.


04 Aug 09 - 04:48 AM (#2693347)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: scouse

I normally feed me Turtle Doves every day on me balcony. In winter the most I had was 17 now it's about 6 to 8,however recently a Wood Pigeon has come to join the party and yesterday he or she brought the young one along. It was great.One or two have become quite tame and allow me to walk outside while they sit on my table.. Quite lovely to watch.
I've seen...("On me Balcony.")
Blackbird,
Song Thrush,
Blue Tits,
Rose Ringed Parakeet.(Escapees and now living in the park across the way)Hanging peanuts out for them in winter is great fun watching their antics...
Jay
Jackdaws,
Greenfinch
Robins

As Aye,

Phil


04 Aug 09 - 07:14 AM (#2693409)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Here in Midcoast Maine, my ongoing favorite for its song and elusive habits is the wood thrush. There are several this summer. They haunt the woods and edges of the pine grove, their song echoing over the farm gardens in the late afternoon and evening. The rubythroat hummingbirds have raised their young'uns, and buzz to the monarda patches blooming in scarlet, rose, plum, and crimson.

***********************************
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 04:27 AM
"Only in the USA, the answer to every problem is the gun."

ard mhacha- With respect, if you look into the issue of unwanted goose populations in the USA and similar population issues worldwide, you will find many situations with many solutions. I have used several of the alternative methods described in the pages of the third link listed below.

Both gun use/ownership and the handling of excessive populations of wildlife are complex issues and will be better served by cordial discussion in appropriate threads. If I can help with a clearer understanding of American lives and cultures you are welcome to contact me via PM.

I found this article

Legal information (state of NY)

Methods for dealing with excessive goose populations

Regards,

maeve


04 Aug 09 - 02:25 PM (#2693672)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

American goldfinches are mating and building nests. Such a lovely, fluttering mating dance in the air!

maeve


04 Aug 09 - 03:10 PM (#2693693)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I was watering Mum's flowers around 7AM and would not have even seen them if they hadn't called out. I assume they called out to me so I wouldn't miss seeing 4 loons flying directly overhead. Now, what they were doing flying over here?... I haven't a clue! I was taken aback.

I remarked, out loud, "Holy fuck! Can you imagine that!?" Out of Mum's kitchen window came, "Holy what? Are you talking to God? If I can hear you, as deaf as I am, so can the neighbours."


05 Aug 09 - 03:12 PM (#2694301)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Resident populations of Canada Geese are a problem throughout the US. Quite a few people have received a dinner as part of local population control issues.


15 Aug 09 - 11:45 AM (#2700915)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

EBarnacle,I think the people of the US are the problem.


15 Aug 09 - 12:25 PM (#2700945)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Yer an ard man, yee are. Geese are nasty and vile creatures that can inflict serious pain and injury. Not to mention that they can shit twice their weight daily.


16 Aug 09 - 05:35 AM (#2701460)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

Gnu remember the neighbours are listening.


16 Aug 09 - 07:01 AM (#2701482)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: freda underhill

This afternoon I wandered around Sydney harbour, by the Botanic gardens, with Sandra (from Sydney, yes, THAT Sandra) and amongst the cacophany of birds calling were a flock of sulphur crested cockatoos, diving and swooping up and around the treetops!

aaahhh...


16 Aug 09 - 07:12 AM (#2701486)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: freda underhill

..and when I came home, in the back yard, there was a flock of king parrots up in the huge gum tree. They were female, because they had green heads..



..but now it's dark, and the birds are quiet!


16 Aug 09 - 09:08 AM (#2701517)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: scouse

Where in deep shit over here in the Netherlands at the moment!! We have Trichomonas gallinae going around, we've been told to stop giving them Food and Water and clean everything. Luckily none of my lot seem sick at the moment but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.
As Aye,
Phil


16 Aug 09 - 09:50 AM (#2701542)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Freda... beautiful!

The Hummimgbirds are in full training maneuvers here. They've only been at the feeders regularly for a few weeks and they are very flighty. Sadly, Mum won't get much time with them this year. I assume the males will fly south anytime in the next twos weeks, the females and young within two weeks of the males.


17 Aug 09 - 08:02 PM (#2702673)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Say what?

It is play. Not a fight. They "play."

Anyone else watch such behaviour or similar?


17 Aug 09 - 09:52 PM (#2702739)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

I've watched ravens play, gnu. Diving, then suddenly rolling, sometimes seeming to glide belly up- it's a wonderful ballet of the air. I love to watch them, and I love their remarkable vocabulary of calls and talky sounds.

Barn and tree swallows play Drop and Catch the White Feathers over and over again with no discernible goal except the game itself and the practice of flight maneuvers. We keep a couple of white feathers handy for that purpose.

Finally, cedar waxwings spend time apparently playing with flower petals, or berries. They pass them up and down long lines of waxwings perched on branches. The berries they eat, eventually, but the petals? Petals all seem to end up floating to the ground when the game is over.

Eagles are amazing, I agree.

maeve


12 Sep 09 - 09:48 AM (#2722238)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

A pair of Black-and-White Warblers have stopped by for some rest and refreshment on their way south for the winter. They are tired enough to not be very skittish and allowed me to get amazingly close to the birdbath.


20 Sep 09 - 03:49 PM (#2727535)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

A flock of a dozen or more bluebirds are making a rest stop of our gardens and orchard. Males, females, and young are all flying from cherry trees to utility lines and back, swooping down to the grass, and eating the blue arrow-wood berries in the hedgerow. The adults hace examined several nest boxes. Joining in the air dance are several unfamiliar warblers, a buzzard, nuthatches, chickadees, sapsuckers, a phoebe, and an ovenbird.

The little phoebe thinks he owns the orchard.
maeve


21 Sep 09 - 07:10 AM (#2727907)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: scouse

Bugger!! I thought we'd got rid of it during my holiday but Trichomonas gallinae has returned in the east of the Netherlands.Over here on the west coast I hope we'll be Ok but ya never know!!
As Aye,
Phil.


21 Sep 09 - 07:30 AM (#2727912)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: GUEST,Black Belt Caterpillar Wrestler

Had a scrabbling at the bedroom window one morning last week, got out of bed and slowly cracked open the blinds to find the local kestrel looking in at me from 18" away.


10 Nov 09 - 02:43 PM (#2763622)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ard mhacha

An amazing video of a Swallow, some bird brain, seeing is believing,http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&feature=email&v=3GQGKdl9B9E


10 Nov 09 - 03:13 PM (#2763645)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Very cool!





Expecting the juncos to appear just any day now. Took down all the feeders and cleaned and sanitized them this weekend, and have added a log suet feeder with perches, which should be easier for the Bluebirds to access than the perchless wire suet cake feeders.


10 Nov 09 - 07:09 PM (#2763800)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

Wow, classical operant conditioning in a "natural" environment.


11 Nov 09 - 10:45 AM (#2764143)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: scouse

The Parrots have returned and are eating me out of house and home!!!Peanuts,Peanuts plus they seem to love the "Fat." balls I hang on the Balcony.
As Aye,
Phil.


11 Nov 09 - 02:38 PM (#2764284)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

One little junco has just turned up under a feeder. I was almost right on the money!


11 Nov 09 - 10:59 PM (#2764539)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

I have regular visits from Northern Flickers, Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Pine Siskins, House Sparrows, House Finches, a male Downy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatches and had a guest appearance from a Brown Creeper, Oct. 27th.


12 Nov 09 - 09:28 AM (#2764735)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

"Somebody's knocking on the door..." Never mind, it's the Hairy Woodpeckers finding insects and the nuthatches' store of seeds hidden in the siding and roof.

Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, Black-capped Chickadees, Great Horned Owl, Downy Woodpeckers, Brown Creepers, Barred Owl, Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, various kinds of sparrows, American Crows, Ravens, American Goldfinches, a multitude of migrating warblers, and a flock of migrating unidentified birds whose calls in flight sounded like little horns, "Toot, tooot, tooot..."


12 Nov 09 - 10:19 AM (#2764771)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Charley Noble

Here's a link to an active Hummingbird Cam, with a newly hatched young one: Click here for website

Caution: web cams can become addictive!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


12 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM (#2765007)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Charley Noble

Oh, the other fascinating "cam" features this year's class of 20 whooping cranes being guided by ultra-light aircraft in their migration from Wisconsin to Florida: click here for website

This year's migration is way behind schedule (they're currently in Illinois) and folks are beginning to worry about winter weather. They may need to ship them south by FedEx,

Charley Noble


12 Nov 09 - 05:55 PM (#2765091)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

That hummer's wedcam is way cool, Charlie.

The rain and wind and cooler temps have the birds hitting the feeders as if it is January and a snowstorm is coming.

Guess they also need to aclimate.


In my next life I am going to live on a major migratory flyway. (either that, or be a migratory bird.)


12 Nov 09 - 08:57 PM (#2765160)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Charley Noble

Janie-

My wife managed to capture a screen-shot of the newly hatched hummingbird being fed. That was the high point of her week (my wife's!).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


03 Dec 09 - 10:53 AM (#2779577)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Bald eagles
Ravens
Black-capped chickadees
Hairy and Downy woodpeckers
Rose-breasted and common nuthatches
American crows
American goldfinches
Barred owls
Great Horned owls
Brown creepers
Slate-sided juncos
Piliated woodpeckers
several migrating warblers and sparrows
Canada geese
wild turkeys
unidentified ducks migrating
others I'm too sleepy to remember.

This time of year our outside work causes waves of little birds to shift and swirl from one clump of bird food plants to another; almost like in Spring.

maeve


03 Dec 09 - 01:27 PM (#2779769)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: EBarnacle

This past weekend, Lady Hillary and I were headed to Port Jervis, NY and spotted a bald eagle where we had never seen one before--just into Sussex county, NJ but nowhere near the Delaware River.


03 Dec 09 - 08:49 PM (#2780146)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

So far this fall i am not seeing nearly the number of birds at the feeders as I usually do by now. My sister, over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, has noticed the same thing.

We are almost 7 weeks past the average 1st frost date, and all either of us have seen is an occasional light dustings in low lying areas. (My parents, who live outside of Charleston, WV, still have not had a hard frost.) Roses and impatiens are still blooming here, most unusual for early December.

Many common species of birds that live here year round are migratory in the northern part of their range, and so we get higher populations in winter of birds like Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, Chickadees, tufted titmice, etc. Numberous Dark-eyed Juncos usually winter here and leave in spring. I have only seen a handful of juncos and the populations of the year round species do not seem to have increased as is usual by now. I'm guessing that warmer conditions across the Eastern USA are resulting in the birds either not migrating as far south, delaying the time of winter migration, or the birds are extending their year-round range further north.


03 Dec 09 - 08:52 PM (#2780147)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Oh - forgot the reason I opened this thread to post to begin with!

A sharp-shinned hawk has taken to perching on a power line not 20 feet from my back porch, and is not at all bothered by my comings and goings so I have been getting the opportunity to observe it at close range for extended periods.

Such sleek and handsome little hawks!


04 Dec 09 - 05:46 AM (#2780325)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Sharpies are wonderful birds, Janie. We enjoy watching the local Sharpie trying to snatch chickadees; all of whom easily evade capture and laugh as they do.

maeve


11 Dec 09 - 08:11 AM (#2786036)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

I stuck a small suction-cup window feeder onto the window nearest the computer about a month ago. No birds visited it until the first snow hit. Chickadees were first of course, but since dawn this morning the American Goldfinches have been feeding nonstop on black oil sunflower seeds.

I just realized that most of the songs I write have birds in them.

maeve


11 Dec 09 - 01:26 PM (#2786249)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Last two winters, we have had a large flock of (good lord, I can't remember the name.... maeve?) feed on the apples in Mum's tree. The tree is left unpruned to be ornamental and to provide winter birdfeed.

A Sharpie uses it similarly and I have a fair bit of video, one at about 12' away... gruesome, but it's nature.


11 Dec 09 - 01:33 PM (#2786258)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Cedar waxwings, gnu? It's a great bird tree.

maeve


11 Dec 09 - 01:34 PM (#2786261)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

Cedar Waxwings! Had to look it up.


11 Dec 09 - 01:41 PM (#2786268)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

Interestingly, the goldfinches disappeared again shortly after sunrise.

and 400...Birds of a feather...

maeve


11 Dec 09 - 02:05 PM (#2786292)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

It is indeed, m.... last wto years, it has also winter fed a turdus non-migratorius stunnedus.

(American Robin here in mid-winter. Kinda hard pickin worms and bugs with 4' of snow on the ground.)


11 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM (#2786293)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: gnu

I also diced up meat and fat and made sure it got it.


12 Dec 09 - 10:41 AM (#2786884)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: maeve

A flock of 50+ Canada geese flew over our farm early this morning. There were quite a lot of them clustered st the head of the > formation.

Chickadees and the little finches continue to visit the little window feeder. The flutters at the feeder remind me there is life out there still, frozen world and cold notwithstanding.

maeve


12 Dec 09 - 03:58 PM (#2787057)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

A female pheasant has started to come to my feeder with contains oil seeds.
The sparrows are messy and spill seed to the deck beneath the feeder, where she joins a little red squirrel waiting for seeds to drop.

The usual black caps and nuthatches.


12 Dec 09 - 06:02 PM (#2787132)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: scouse

Wind is at last NE or east and I seen quite a few flocks of geese flying SW in the past week or so. Just got really cold over here in "Cloggieland." at last.
As Aye

Phil.


12 Dec 09 - 07:27 PM (#2787169)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Migrating geese long gone, but a few stay throughout the winter, at water outfalls. (Alberta).


12 Dec 09 - 08:19 PM (#2787187)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Bit by bit, more dark-eyed juncos and white-throated throated sparrows are showing up.

Still not seeing as many birds of any species as by this time last year.

I'd really like to lure the red-bellied woodpeckers, but haven't seen a peanut feeder yet that I think would keep the squirrels out for long.


13 Dec 09 - 04:52 AM (#2787281)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: WalkaboutsVerse

In Cornwall, England...

Poem 190 of 230: BIRDWATCHERS' BUDE - WINTER 2001/2

Behind the Tourist Centre,
    Between canal and river,
On the marshy drained floodplain
    (Not now visited by train),
In among willow and reed,
    Eking out some winter feed:
Treecreepers, bobbing robins,
    Chirpy blue-tits, grey-herons,
The screams of water-rail,
    And snipe sharp on their trail.
Plus, out along limestone down,
    Soaring seabirds can be found.

From http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-book)
Or http://walkaboutsverse.sitegoz.com (e-scroll)
(C) David Franks 2003


20 Dec 09 - 04:10 PM (#2793032)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

Song sparrow in my yard for the first time that I have seen. They are in this area, I just haven't seen one in my yard before.

Getting close to time to tally our counts for the year.


01 Jan 10 - 11:40 PM (#2801196)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

So, how many species did you see this past year from your yard? (I won't know the answer for myself until I'm home again and have access to my own computer.

And when is Raptor gonna come in from kayaking and start the 2010 thread?


02 Jan 10 - 02:25 PM (#2801692)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Post your totals here for 09

I only had 55 but it was a busy year.


03 Jan 10 - 01:52 PM (#2802294)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Numbers People!


03 Jan 10 - 08:44 PM (#2802585)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Janie

OK. Home from WV. I had 42 species seen from my yard in 2009.   30 of them are either year round or winter here.   The rest very sparcely distributed over the course of spring and summer.

Wish I lived on a major flyway.

And so far this fall and winter I have had far few birds of any kind than I had las fall and winter.


04 Jan 10 - 05:19 AM (#2802802)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: ragdall

I saw 36 species in my yard in 2009:

House Sparrow
House Finch
Purple Finch
Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Wilson's Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Rufus Hummingbird
Calliope hummingbird
Bohemian Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing
Evening Grosbeak
American Robin
Varied Thrush
European Starling
Common Crow
Northern Flicker
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Shrike
Merlin

rags


04 Jan 10 - 07:36 AM (#2802871)
Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2009
From: Raptor

Rufus Hummingbird
Calliope hummingbird nice