Saturday, November 24, 2012
Fifteen seconds before this shot
there was a cheerful crowd of birds noshing at the seeds, courtesy of Heather, and the leftover turkey bits, courtesy of Boud. Then that bigbeaked chickadee gave the warning and they all flew for cover as I opened the door.
Sandy has carried many species way off their normal tracks this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a few unusual species showing up on the patio.
Already the juncoes arrived weeks ahead of schedule, probably blown north ahead of their plans, since they landed here two days before Sandy. Many species were trapped behind the storm and needed to set down anywhere to find food after being blown hither and yon in the skies.
This morning's haul of birds at the feeder, at the seeds, flying off with sunflower seeds and cracking them on the nearest branch, then chucking the shells down for me to sweep up, and nibbling on the leftover turkey net and chunk of fat,great for insulating little birds in this bitter wind with snow in it, anyway today's haul included the following participants:
Juncoes, several,varying colors and ages
Carolina wren, probably one bred and born on this patio,and I hope they'll nest again next year
Cardinal, Mister only, Missis usually waits to see if he keels over from the food before deciding to try it Chickadees, too hard to count, they move like little rockets, and they're always the first adopters of new food
Mourning dove, one advance scout shuffling around the deck checking the pickings
Tufted titmice, or titmouses, pair arguing as usual
Sparrows, various, including red breasted house finches
This was the breakfast crowd, all jostling at once, even shoving the squirrel out of the line. I wonder if we'll get woodpeckers and nuthatches and tree creepers this year. They have so much Sandy-downed timber to forage in that they might not need to come closer to houses.
They like the insects you find in rotted wood, a good argument for not keeping woodlots too neat and tidy.
However, the tendency of unpruned trees to get top heavy and crash down on your house in autumn gales is a very good argument for spending the money to keep them pruned and open. My little cherry survived because it had windows opened in its foliage ahead of the winds.