Daffy & Birds

Until the other day, the only daffodils that I saw in the flower beds were the dark yellow variety.  Then these with lighter petal appeared.

160419a

Hiding, almost out of sight, I found these.

160419b

Oh, yes!  Aren’t they beauties?  There’s still another variety, but it usually appears later than the rest.  Okay by me.  That stretches out the beauty.

For the Birds

As I sat at the breakfast table this morning, I finally saw him.  I’d been hearing his song for the last week or so, which meant he was close, but not visible.  The bright red of the cardinal sitting on the garden fence caught my eye.  I was glad to see him.

As the cardinal left, a robin landed on the lawn near our window.  He would do his bob, bob, bobbing along routine, then stop, cock his head to one side and get a little closer to the ground.  Then he’d pop back up, bob, bob, stop, tilt head, peck at the grass and come up with something to eat.  I watched, enjoying the show until he flew off on another errand.

These are good days.

I Believe in Spring

RedWingedBB

Yesterday, as I was enjoying a [seasonally] warm day, I heard what I consider one of the first sounds of spring.  The red-winged black bird’s trill.

It looks like we may be in for an early spring this year.  I can handle that.

You may look for robins, but I’m watching for the turkey vultures.  Okay, I’m looking for robins too.

A Fanciful Tale

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room.  There, I found myself once again looking at a framed picture on the wall.  It shows a split-rail fence with iris and larkspur growing beside it.  On the end of the second rail down, an American gold finch sits eyeing the world around him.  I’ve always enjoyed that scene.

As I sat there, my thoughts strayed.  I began to put myself into the picture.  As I did, appearances began to change . . .

MeadowFenceB

In my mind I was walking along a little-used trail.  At the edge of a meadow, a large rock beneath an oak tree provided a seat to rest my feet as I drank some water.

It was one of those Michigan-perfect days.  Blue skies and a warm gentle breeze set the scene.  Behind me, I could hear a woodpecker at work.  Near my feet, ants went about their urgent business.  How relaxing.

Then, I heard a flutter of wings as a finch found shelter on the near end of the second rail down of the fence.  There she sat not moving, nearly hidden in the shadow.  All was quiet.

I looked up and saw the kestrel as he flew over, his sharp eyes searching for the next meal.  After a short while noises began to return, and the finch flew off on her way.

That’s when they called my name and I stepped out of the dream and back into reality.

Did you ever?

I was following Sylvia to the body shop.  Our mission was to have the stone pecks in our windshields repaired.  When we got to the paved road (insert Jeff Foxworthy joke here), we turned right and drove almost two miles.  That’s when we saw the roadkill on the center line.  A hungry feathered friend was enjoying a meal.

Northern Goshawk - courtesy of Audubon.org

Northern Goshawk – courtesy of Audubon.org

 

We don’t often see a goshawk.  For that reason, it’s always very special to me.  This one flapped her wings a bit as Sylvia’s Jeep passed.  She was still there when I approached in my car.  She only looked up as I slowly passed with wonder-filled eyes.

Today, the high temp is forecast at 60 F.  It’s almost there now.  Winter?  As the cliché says, “So far, so good.”

Red Tail

I recently shared my experience of seeing a red-tail hawk split in two.  Actually it was a pair.  I had been seeing red tail activity for some time when that happened.  Since then, I’ve seen the pair in close proximity to each other on several occasions.  The day after sighting the “split,” I saw the male fly while the female remained on the power pole.

151007f

Look between her toes.  What is that?

151007g

Looks like lunch to me.  What do you think?

I didn’t like having branches in the way so I moved to the front door.  The next day, I captured this image.

151008e

When I tried to capture a second, sharper image, she flew away.  I was left with an empty frame.  Some days seem to be like that.

Who R U?

High in the birch tree sat a bird.  It was not one of the normal cast of characters.  With my unaided eye, I could not identify the species.  Seven power binoculars didn’t help.  The camera, however, did.  I had to process the images a bit.

151007e

I believe this is an American Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk).

151007d

The swallow-like tail shows better in this shot.  When it flew, it looked a lot like a swallow, but larger.

It is obviously a member of the falcon family, but which?  Can anyone help with the identification?  Sharkey?

Standing Guard

Phoebe watches over our garden

Phoebe watches over our garden

For the last several years, Phoebe comes to stay with us.  We must grow nice bugs for her to eat.  You’ll usually see a pair (sometimes two), Sitting on the posts or fence around our garden.

She sits still as a statue and then swoops down, grabs a snack and returns to watch for another.  There are times when she has to land in order to dig out one from among the grass in the lawn.  On the garden side, it’s usually much easier.

I enjoy watching these beauties as they help us by controlling the bug population.  Being fly catchers, they are also very agile on the wing.

This, of course, begs the question, “If Phoebe Bird married Brad Beebee, would she be Phoebe Beebee?”

My Wake-Up Call

EasternPhoebeALewis

I heard the sound as I awoke this morning.  Was it a bird call or something else?  I put on my specs and went to the window.  There she was sitting on the satellite TV antenna.  She gave that call again.  Okay, it’s the fly catcher that’s serenading me.

As I watched, she launched and caught a bug and then another before returning to her perch.  She did this a few more times before moving to another location.

If I look out toward the garden I’m quite apt to see her or her mate sitting on a fence post standing guard over our veggies.  I’m always happy to see them or their cousins.  Good friends to have.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Wanted: Caption

I was cruising Facebook today when I saw this picture:

How would you caption this pic?

How would you caption this pic?

As there was no caption, I’m hoping you can help.

Welcome Visitors

All these guys and gals stopped by to visit on the same morning.

I always experience joy when I see him

I always experience joy when I see him

Maybe it’s in his name, American Gold [Finch].  Yah, that works for me.

A cheery cherry guy

A cheery cherry guy

I didn’t get a picture of the red-tailed hawk.  That’s one that is not a poser.

Breakfast bugs are freshly dug

Breakfast bugs are freshly dug

She takes care of a lot of bugs.  She also digs up the lawn, but I don’t care.  Just so she doesn’t try to nest under my garage again.

That’s the least amount of white I’ve seen on a skunk.  Would she be welcome at your house?

Turkey in the Grass

As I sat at desk, I glimpsed movement from the corner of my eye.  Birds.  Large birds walking on the edge of the lawn.  Are they turkeys?

It’s not unusual to spot turkeys in this neighborhood.  But five of them?  That’s a first.

With camera in hand, I found a better location to observe the avian action.  The young birds explored the border between lawn and willow thicket.

They turned back toward the road.  Just before reaching the ditch, they entered the tall grass as they sought cover among the willows.

Playing "Follow the Leader"

Playing “Follow the Leader”

I love this neighborhood, flower, fauna and folk.