Saturday, January 01, 2011

it's true

i should have seen this coming. i've always been a nature lover, and i love looking at all the plants and animals, and snapping shots where i can with my camera. many of my recent post have included bird shots, including one completely devoted to waterfowl. i have a growing stack of reference books for flora and fauna of BC, but i have more than one bird book, and i seem to be referencing them constantly of late. finally this morning, i spent far longer than i should have staring out the window at my suet feeder and birdhouse, watching all the birds who have come to visit. and then i knew: i've officially become a bird watcher.

mob scene

i put up this suet feeder at the beginning of the week, but hadn't noticed much action on it. this morning though, as i sat here in front of the computer, i heard a flurry of cheeps and whistles outside and looked up to see a growing mob of juncos darting through the two fruit trees. a large group of them descended on the feeder.

flicker on flickr

soon some larger birds began to move in, including a couple of larger northern flickers (does anyone else have my problem, in that i keep spelling "flicker", "flickr"? too much time over there, i suppose). i love to watch these guys swoop in, a flurry of bright red-orange and white on the undersides of their wings and tails.

thrush on the suet

of course there was my friend the varied thrush, plus a few of his friends. there was a quick siting of a stellar's jay, although i'm glad that one didn't stay too long as they disrupt all the other birds and generally make a noisy nuisance of themselves, despite their pretty plumage.

chestnut-backed chickadee

and the chickadees flitted about throughout the whole mess, barely stopping to get their picture snapped, moving from tree, to feeder, to birdhouse and back again.

i went out for a forest walk this afternoon, and walking along the road to the trailhead i heard a distinct "thunk, thunk" above. there clinging to a douglas fir trunk was pileated woodpecker, working steadily on the thick bark. i watched him for a few minutes with a smile. in the woods, i felt like my ears and eyes perked even more than usual at the rustles and whistles, signalling the winter wrens and other larger birds moving through the brush. yup, i can't help it, i've totally gone to the birds.

hope your new year started off with some sunshine as ours did. a chilly day outside again, but felt like a nice fresh start.


kate said...

We spent time down at the beach today, soaking up the glorious sunshine.

My son and I saw what we think was a peregrine falcon (certainly a large bird of prey) at salmon point the other day. There were some crows harassing it in a tall tree and just as we were walking near the tree the bird flew off across the campground to a different tree. Quite a sight to see it flying overhead.

Love all your birds! My mum has a feeder and she spends hours watching the birds at it. Seems to be a very good area for it.

Tara said...

Not a bad title, at all, to have attached to oneself. I love your bird photos. Before my sons were born, I was a bit of a birder too. I would drag my husband to some local events, binoculars around my neck. With babies, I found I had less time to just go outside and watch. as they get older, I'm finding more time to watch with the boys at my side. Happy birding!

Rachel said...

I like that you call yourself a birder watcher rather than a birder. The latter are a very unique, and quite odd, group of people! ;) For a couple summers I worked in the Appalachian Mountains doing a variety of projects from deer and small mammals to vegetation to birds. For birds, I mist-netted along a migration route and did spot-mapping surveys for oven birds. Both of these projects fueled my love of birds. I have such fond memories of that work.

Beautiful images and I love flickers...we have several around our house though they test my patience when they peck insistently on our metal pipe during breeding season.

Happy New Year!

lynda Howells said...

I watch birds to but mine are no where near as beautiful as yours my friendxx I live in a flat and so it is not possible to put up birdfeeder but l live opposite a wood and can see the birds from my windows and on gorgeous walks.
Happy New Yearxlynda

a blog about the little things said...

Oh, this is wonderful! I found your blog through everyeskimo - so happy I did!
I live in Ontario, so have similar birds - but with variations. Your chickadee has rusty brown spots - so sweet! Mine do not. Your Juncos seem to be more gray & I don't think I've ever seen a Varied Thrush.
Northern Flickers are one of my fav birds, ever.
I am in bird heaven looking at these photos! :)