Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lazy Man's Birding from the Aerie
April 29, 2013

Monday was a gray, overcast, misting, mizzling kind of day punctuated with short spurts of real rain. Not a nice day to be outside at all. The temperature never got much above 50 degrees either. After putting the bird feeders out I retreated to the comfort of the living room and decided to compile a list of all the species I saw or heard throughout the day. Turned out to be 23 of them.

  1. American Goldfinch (Maybe two dozen males and as many females. The bright yellow matches the daffodils.)
  2. Chipping Sparrow (Small, energetic, nearly impossible to see in grass getting close to cutting length. Thank goodness they also spent time in the clear spaces.)
  3. Morning Dove (He was pitching woo. She wasn't catching.)
  4. Brown-headed Cowbird (Three or four in a group hung around all morning.)
  5. Purple Finch (Another abundant group. Males were as Roger Tory Peterson described them: "Dipped in raspberry juice.")
  6. House Finch (Slightly less colorful than the Purple.)
  7. Flicker (Hammering away at a dead snag as it proclaimed its territory.)
  8. Red-winged Blackbird (Up from the neighbors' ponds looking for some free seed.)
  9. Blue Jay (Bullies. Also tried to intimidate by using faux hawk whistles.)
  10. Eastern Towhee (Yes! Yes! I know! I'll drink my tea! Now shut up!)
  11. American Robin (Patrolling the lawn for worms and other food stuffs.)
  12. Dark-eyed Junco (Why are the snow birds still here? Do they know something?)
  13. Red-breasted Nuthatch (In-and-out like a flash! With just a tiny furtive look to the left and right before they grab a seed and GO!)
  14. Black-capped Chickadee (Friendly little chaps--until I went out to bring the feeders in. Then they got confused/angry.)
  15. Tufted Titmouse (My what big eyes you have!)
  16. Wild Turkey (?) (I heard one early in the day that seemed to be about 50 yards from the deck and on my land. It is hunting season, however and it could have been someone calling although that's unlikely.)
  17. White-throated Sparrow (Two males with their distinctive white bib and yellow pince-nez patch scratching for stuff under the feeders.)
  18. White-breasted Nuthatch (Climbing head first down the trees and telephone pole; rotating 45 degrees this way and that as they move. A sudden flutter of the wings as the back is arched and the tail and head go up tell me at least one of the three is a female.)
  19. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Female, darn it.)
  20. Eastern Phoebe (Nesting on the window ledge, it came out to search for bugs but couldn't find any of them flying so it was hitting them on the ground like a miniature hawk.)
  21. Osprey (!) (I think this is the first we've ever seen from the Aerie.)
  22. Downy Woodpecker (Came searching for seeds, bugs, anything it could get.)
  23. Common Grackle (A dapper, sleek looking male with a bright yellow eye and a glossy deep plum-purple head and his elegant Mrs.)
A few of these were firsts for this year. I'm still waiting on the warblers to come through and the local Indigo Bunting to show up. He should be here any day now as the aspen leaves are getting larger than a cottontail's ears. Perfect for him to hide amidst. If the weather stays above freezing, I'll be hanging the hummingbird feeders in a day or two.


Brigid said...

A fairly mild winter meant a lot of the Canadian geese in the area didn't migrate. We'll probably see a BUNCH of young ones coming back next year.

Rev. Paul said...

Your list is longer than mine: snow geese, seagulls, and ravens. The chickadees (the only songbird we've heard lately) were smart enough to stay in bed, it seems.

Ruth said...

I've still got Junco's here too.....and someone not to far from me still has a Redpoll or two hitting their feeders!

We had TWO Osprey swoop overhead Sunday, so COOL!