Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comparing Grosbeaks & Taking a Poll

The photos of this male and female Grosbeak were taken last summer. I felt like posting them again as I'm anticipating their return soon to our log cabin. The Grosbeaks are one of my favorite birds which got me to thinking. (And also inspired from my blogger friend Wendy who loves to do Top 5 Polls!)

What are your Top 5 favorite birds? (I know it's hard, but you must have some preferences...) Mine are:

  1. Common Loon (no surprise here)
  2. Black-capped Chickadee
  3. Bald Eagle
  4. Blue Heron
  5. Common Redpoll (they won me over this winter by eating out of my hand!) tied with my Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Siskin Fun

Since the Pine Siskins have become my new best friend (shh! Don't tell my Loons!) - I thought we could have some Siskin fun this morning.

Siskin mooning me.....

Siskin eating me out of house and home....

Siskin being messy and dropping their food on the ground! (Can you see him focused on the seed falling down?)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Junco or vacuum?

On the way to fill the bird feeders, I spilled some thistle all over my door mat. On the way back I watched this Junco picking through it like a vacuum cleaner. He's a cute little fella, isn't he? :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Playing with my new camera lens

First off let me say I love my new Sigma Camera Lens. But it doesn't love me yet.... I did take it into the camera shop and embarrassingly it was user error! Sheesh! A kind professional photographer happened to be in the shop visiting and took pity on me as well as putting me on the right track. Hopefully. Anyways, here's a few practice shots....

Red-winged Blackbird playing peekaboo....

My new best friend - the Pine Siskin.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Other things going on in my yard

My backyard activity is starting to pick up. Bob the Mourning Dove's wife is laying on some eggs. Pretty soon we'll have little Bobs running around messing up my birdbath. Other things going on in my yard....

My Hyacinths have popped up!

My little angel statue made it through the winter...

And this sparrow is apparently building the biggest nest possible!

I'm headed up to our cabin today with my mother to celebrate her birthday. I hope I can capture some better Loon photos this weekend. Wish me luck! (My computer access will be sporadic but I will be back soon to check your blogs!!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I won't like Siskins

I keep saying it to myself. I won't like Siskins, I won't like Siskins! I try to remind myself what little pigs they are at the feeder! And how they bully the other birds! And they fight with each other! No, I won't like Siskins!

*Disclaimer: Shelley likes Siskins.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Polite Chickadee

Just a little crumb for me please!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Honking Geese

How many times can a geese honk and drive a cat crazy?

Marvin says "Too many! Let me outside!!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Turkey Vulture for Lynne

This Turkey Vulture is for Lynne at Hasty Brook who loves these birds as much as I love my Loons! (P.S. Lynne - I was driving down the road when I saw a group of about 20 of them. I pulled over and rolled down my window to take a shot, and they all flew away but this one!) I better perfect my birding stalking skills!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

They're back!

This morning I was not disappointed. The lighting wasn't good, the photo subject was far away, the new lens wasn't working correctly.....but it didn't matter. My loons are back! Watching the pair swim across the lake brought tears of joy to my eyes.

P.S. Some of you have asked about my Sigma Lens. I took it out for a test drive this morning and discovered something was seriously wrong. I contacted customer service so we'll see what happens. Needless to say I was VERY UPSET! But life goes on...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bird Things To Ponder

I am headed up to the log cabin tomorrow morning and here are the bird things I'm pondering:

  1. Have my loons returned? Did they miss me?
  2. Will the loons have another social hour like I witnessed above?
  3. Will there be a Wood Duck in my nest box? Or will I find another Red Winged Blackbird I have to evict?
  4. Will the Pileated Woodpecker ever give me more than 2 seconds to take a photo of him?
  5. Will the Chickadees keep eating out of my hand? Or will they decide they like my husband more? (They land on him within seconds of him standing out there!)
  6. Will I ever see an owl?
  7. Will a Rose breasted Grosbeak eat out of my hand so I can trump Dave at Dave's Birdwatching blog?
  8. Do the neighbors think I'm crazy as they see me talking to the birds? (I know the answer to that question!)
  9. Will I be able to master my new camera lens? Or will I drop it in the water when I'm kayaking this summer?
  10. And finally, will National Geographic ever call me?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Swan's beauty

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

~John Muir

Friday, April 10, 2009

Return of the Red Winged Blackbird

Here's a female Red-Winged Blackbird from last year that I initially wasn't able to identify. The males have already arrived up at our lake and have been singing their hearts out.

By the way, did you know that one Red-winged Blackbird male can have up to 15 different females making nests in his territory? Talk about a Don Juan....!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who did this?

I'm pretty sure this is a woodpecker's handiwork. I'm thinking it's probably from the Pileated Woodpecker. What do you think? I'll be going on a "stake out" with my new camera lens in hopes of capturing whichever bird did this.

P.S. I got a Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 lens. I'm so excited! Does anyone else have this lens and any tips for me?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How are your goldfinches looking?

"Geez Lady! Cut me a break!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bob's been busy

Guess what Bob the Mourning Dove has been up to?!

Bob's wife Mary is sitting on a nest in our roof gutters as we speak. They have been nesting here the past 3 years. I already have 20 mourning doves in my yard - what's another 2?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Red Squirrel

I don't have any birds for you today but how about my Red Squirrel? He eats enough bird seed to qualify as a bird! He's even become bold enough to run up to me as I'm filling the bird feeders. And yes, I'm guilty of feeding and encouraging him. Ah...the life of an animal lover.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hot tubbing Ducks!

Side Note: My husband put a small 3x3 foot pond in our backyard for our goldfish last summer. It's small! But a Blue Heron did manage to find it last summer and eat all our fish!

Me: Um, Hello Mr. Duck. Welcome to my backyard. You're kinda far from a lake.
Mr. Duck: I'm here for the hot tub!
Me: What hot tub??

Mrs. Duck: Yoo hoo honey, over here! The water is warm!
Me: That is too small for you two!

Mrs. Duck: That's what you think!

Mr. Duck: Uh, can we have a little privacy here?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009