Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Very Special Visitors

I awoke to the most glorious sunshine today, which was most welcome after all the rain we had yesterday!

It was enough to make me throw a jacket right over my bathrobe and head on out for a morning walkabout with my coffee. 

Isn't that just the most wonderful way to start a day?


I started to feed the birds but had to run right back in for my camera. The morning was just so glorious I had to attempt to capture it in photos. 


Almost immediately I spotted this lovely fat robin in the dogwood. 


I caught the robin in flight and spotted some straw hanging from it's mouth. 


Of course that means they are building another nest nearby - yay, more baby robins! 


I spotted the nest in the shrub pine by the tall steps leading to the deck. We'll have a great spot to watch the babies from the deck above, hopefully without disturbing them. 


I have a lot of evergreen trees and shrubs on my property and I've seen the robins flitting in and out of a few of them lately. I caught one sweet mama robin sitting in her nest at the back of the house, near the veggie garden. She used that nest last year as well - I have to be cautious not to disturb her too much as I'm in and out of the veggie garden. 


I hated to do it, but I had to relocate my feeders for the time being, because of all the work happening on the deck. A couple of shepherds hooks jammed into the ground below and the birds found the feeders within a very short time. 


I spied this red winged blackbird on the flat feeder this morning - they have stuck around since I first spotted them back in February....a most welcome sight!


Over the weekend, while I was working in the garden, my daughter called me around to the side of the house to see something. 


A pileated woodpecker was pecking away on a tree in the neighbors' yard. 

They are so magnificent, such beautiful birds! They are large and rather impressive, one of the most glorious birds of the forest. 

My daughter ran inside for the camera to try and capture this amazing bird in photos. 

Pileated Woodpecker
I don't spot them often enough and they are such a treat to behold. I was very grateful to my daughter for coming to get me - she knew I would want to see this glorious creature!


When you see an oblong hole in a tree rather than a round hole, chances are there has been a pileated woodpecker working on that hole. 

My daughter did the best she could with our current zoom lens, but unfortunately it's tough to get a good shot of wildlife with that lens. 


We have to give all the credit to the pups for spotting him....they stood there looking at him for quite some time, probably trying to figure out how they could get at that large critter in the tree!

While we were out there looking at the woodpecker we spotted another most welcome visitor. 


I have just started seeing cardinals on my property within the last week and I couldn't be more pleased! They are one of the most beautiful birds and their sweet song is an absolutely lovely musical backdrop when I am working in the garden. 

Later that evening while we were eating dinner I spotted him again....


This was while we still had the feeders up on the deck. I hate that I had to move them now, right after this beautiful bird has finally found his way to my feeders!


Aren't they just so handsome with their black masks?


The photos were taken through the dining room window so the quality is not wonderful....but the bird sure is!
 

This morning, after coming back inside with the camera and preparing for work, I was so happy to spot the sunshine pouring in through the dining room windows. 


It was making little puddles all over the house, lighting up everything in it's path. 

Alas, it was time to get ready for work. 

But I had one last surprise.....

Northern Flicker
I spotted a beautiful Northern Flicker outside my bathroom window while I was getting ready for work. He was in the grass, using that long sharp beak to pull bugs out for his breakfast. 

I truly hope he was eating the grubs of those darned Japanese Beetles!

I'm so thrilled with all the special visitors I had around my house the past few days, and  I sure hope they stick around. There's nothing like seeing all these different varieties of birds around my mountain top home, and it pleases me to no end to live among them. 

Via
The hummingbirds will be next. The feeder is filled and ready for whenever they arrive, which should be very shortly!

I am truly blessed. 

41 comments:

  1. Where do you purchase your birdseed? This is my first year in a long time to have feeders out again. I have 2 Niger Thistle socks and 2 bird feeders. I mix sunflower seeds and Safflower seeds for the Doves, Cardinals, Finches, and Wrens and peanuts for the Blue Jays. The birds you have in your area are beautiful!

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    1. Hi Deborah - thanks for visiting! Isn't it so much fun to see the different birds stop by your feeders? I purchase my seed in my local Ace Hardware....or in Lowe's when I'm off the mountain. I use a lot of black oil sunflower, and then I mix in a little safflower here and there. The flat feeder gets sunflower, safflower, and peanuts in the shell. And occasionally stale bread. I also put out suet in cages, which attracts the woodpeckers. I don't have much luck with the thistle seed for the finches, I'm not sure why! But I've seen the finches recently eating the sunflower seed....perhaps it's time to try again with the thistle seed and see what happens. The longer the feeders are out, the more birds you'll attract, of course. And if they are situated on the edge of the woods you will get different birds than if the feeders are out in the open. Try putting out a hummingbird feeder with sugar water and see what happens - they are so amazing to watch!

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  2. Hi Sweetie Pooh! Oh, how wonderful it is at your lovely home. So much wildlife and birds! Oh, the birds! The woodpecker is amazing! My daughter tells me we have these large ones around here but I've not seen one yet. I've heard them pecking but never can find them. I know I got the wrong kind of bird seed last year and need to get the kind with the sunflower seeds. You're very knowledgeable, although you're just a young thing, about what to feed all of the birds! I know all is well in your world.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Your home is a bit north of mine, Shelia, I believe...yes, you should definitely have the same birds as I do! You will be absolutely amazed when you finally see that big pileated woodpecker - they are about a foot long, just huge and gorgeous!! And bless your little heart for calling me a young thing - I could just hug you!! xo

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  3. You are so lucky to have all those beautiful birds. Wish I could figure out where to put a feeder. How do you handle all the bird seed that falls on the ground. Mine made a mound when I had my feeder. Glad I am not the only one that goes out in her housecoat with a jacket!! Not sure what my neighbors think of me!! Nancy

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  4. You are so lucky to have all those beautiful birds. Wish I could figure out where to put a feeder. How do you handle all the bird seed that falls on the ground. Mine made a mound when I had my feeder. Glad I am not the only one that goes out in her housecoat with a jacket!! Not sure what my neighbors think of me!! Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy - some of the bird seed gets picked up by the ground feeding birds but some does make a mess. It's a trade off, for sure! I have to deal with the mess because I want all these lovely birds at my home!

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  5. So many colorful friends. We have a lot of beauties in our yard, too, but I never grab my camera quick enough!

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    1. You probably get even more lovely birds being much further south of me and by the ocean!

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  6. A great shot of the woodpecker! I used to see them at the house I rented. I haven't been able to get a decent shot of the birds lately. As soon as they hear the patio door, they scatter. I've never seen a Northern flicker. How pretty!
    Brenda

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    1. I bet you'll get some good shots of the birds once you are sitting and relaxing out there - they will get used to you being around.

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  7. I absolutely love my bird visitors! We get several kinds of woodpeckers, but I've never seen a pileated one. I'm hopeful though, since a friend in a neighboring town spotted one. I keep looking for robins' nests - no luck so far, but I'm sure they are around. I constantly have Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal visiting - I can't help grabbing the camera every time!

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    1. Aren't we so lucky, Amy? Look in evergreen pine type shrubs for robins nests...that's what they like at my house!

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  8. That woodpecker is amazing! I actually saw one in a video that was posted on a blog recently to demonstrate the GoPro. I know we have a woodpecker in our yard, but I haven't gotten a look at him yet.

    You have so many different kinds of birds on your property. I think they like it there :).

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    1. I don't blame them....I like it here, too! :)

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  9. We have a cardinal (male & female), and a big FAT robin hanging around our yard. I have my hummingbird feeders up but not a single hummer. Sure hope they find me. Love seeing your yard come into season. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I put my second hummer feeder up this morning by the kitchen window - shouldn't be long now!!

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  10. How lovely to be able to see and photograph so many beautiful birds in your garden! Whenever I try to capture birds with my camera they always seem to fly away just at the moment I click! Btw, I have been reading Out in the Garden by Dean Riddle after seeing your review a while ago. What an interesting and inspiring book it is. Thank you! Enjoy the spring and all it brings.
    Helen xox

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    1. Oh, Helen, I'm so glad you like Dean's book - I read it again this spring and I was just as moved as the very first time I read it!!

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  11. Hi, I was interested in trying the potato bags. Could you tell me the size you recommend or is the 30 gallon all that's available for potatoes? I looked on their website, but didn't see any more options. I hope you are having a great day.Thanks in advance.

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    1. That company only had the 30 gallon ones with the photo of the potato, Phylis, but they do have other grow bags that are smaller. Potatoes need some room, though...so perhaps the 30 gallon is the way to go!

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  13. It has been cold, dark, rainy and dreary here again for several days in a row. I feel like such a slug! Please send some of that glorious sunshine my way! I love watching the birds, too...they are so beautiful and amazing. We have one woodpecker that keeps coming to our feeder, but it's a different variety than yours (which is SO cool looking!). Ours is the ladderback one with the red "cap" on his head. We have a ton of cardinals here. They're especially beautiful in the winter against the bare trees - especially the males, with their vivid red color.

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    1. There's no sunshine outside my window right now, Melanie, just clouds, clouds, clouds!! We do need the rain, though....there's a 'no burn' mandate in effect here at the moment, has been for ages with this incredibly dry spring we're having. You are so lucky to have a bunch of cardinals!! I'm happy at least one found me...and I hope he sticks around and has a family real quick!

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  14. I saw my first pileated woodpecker earlier this year. They are truly magnificent!!
    Our Goldfinch are really out and about right now. So many!! I keep my bird books handy this time of year as so many migrations are taking place. I have heard the Orioles, but haven't seen one yet this year. It is a bit soon for Hummers here, but they will be here soon!! I can't wait for the trill of the wrens. My journal last year said the first one we heard was May 3. They should be on their way! Oh, and the Cardinals.... you know when a cardinal is in your yard it is someone from your life who has passed coming to visit. I talk to them all the time when they are at the feeders or in the trees. Yep, I am the crazy lady who talks to the birds. It is amazing what those talks can do for one's soul!! :-)

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    1. You just reminded me that I haven't seen my bird book since I moved a year ago!! I must look for it - where could I have put it?? Oh, Orioles are just gorgeous - I've never had one, sadly, even though I tried the whole orange and jelly feeder thing in the past. That's interesting about the cardinals...I must tell my mom. Her brother in law just passed away...perhaps that's him, coming by to say hello.

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  15. Special, indeed, Debbie! I've only had a flicker once that I know of, but robins and cardinals are plentiful in my area (cardinal is our state bird, a year-round visitor). Though I don't feed the birds in summer (just the hummers), I would have one special, squirrel proof sunflower seed feeder for the cardinals in winter. Occasionally we see the pileated woodpeckers, usually across the street on the trees on the riverbank. How fun it'll be watching the robin and its nest with fledglings!

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    1. My yard is full of robins - I see about ten of them out in the mornings pulling big fat worms out of the ground! You're fortunate to have plenty of cardinals - I do love that bird!

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  16. We have a robin that built her nest right on our front porch,not only that two other small birds built there nest behind some trellis that I have on the front porch. First time ever. I don't mind one, but not three. I told Hubby next year to close off the top of the trellis so they cannot build behind it. HA! HA!

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    1. Oh, but it's so precious to see the babies be born and the mama feeding them....and then when they take flight it's so sad!!

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  17. We have pileated woodpeckers around our forest too, and I'll never forget the first time I saw a pair of them. Such great looking birds! They many times use the same nest for multiple years, so yours may be there next year too! Great photo by the way!

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    1. I hope they stick around - they are just so awe inspiring!

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  18. Those birds are so lovely! I miss seeing cardinals. We had them in Hawaii, but I have not seen them in Eastern Washington and I miss them. I too will go for a walk, coffee cup in hand and robe thrown on over my jammies, first thing in the morning. I love seeing what is blooming or coming up this time of the year and listening to the birds sing. :) It's a very special and magical time of the day. :)

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    1. It is, and definitely the best way to start the day. On a note of peace and tranquility, with the beauty of nature all around.

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  19. Those birds are so lovely! I miss seeing cardinals. We had them in Hawaii, but I have not seen them in Eastern Washington and I miss them. I too will go for a walk, coffee cup in hand and robe thrown on over my jammies, first thing in the morning. I love seeing what is blooming or coming up this time of the year and listening to the birds sing. :) It's a very special and magical time of the day. :)

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  20. All the birds were exciting. I have never seen a Northern Flicker. Very unique markings. And I do love to wander about my yard. It is a wonderful start to a day.

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    1. It's the first thing I do in the mornings and the first thing I do when I get home from work, Barbara! As if much will have grown while I'm gone for the day....ha ha....but I still do it!

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  21. Seems like all the birds came to visit at once! Living near the forest makes for beautiful mornings! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. It sure does, Karen - the most beautiful!

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  22. Beautiful bird photos, and how lucky that you know where the robin nest can be seen! We have northern flickers here too, but I haven't seen a red-winged blackbird in quite a while.

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    1. I'm keeping an eye on that Robin's nest, and can't wait to see the babies!!

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