Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkins, Birds and the GOBC

Michelle and I carved pumpkins this weekend. We went to a pumpkin patch 2 weeks ago and selected only the finest of the orange, round orbs. After trying to decide how to carve them, Michelle came up with a wonderful idea to make her pumpkin from only things that we have grown in the yard and the garden (pic below). I thought that was a terrific idea! Then that led me to my idea which, although not as cool as hers, still allowed me to do the 2 things that I love most...spend time with Michelle and birding!

Well, the Great October Bird Count is almost over :( It has been a wild ride! There is only 4 days left and it's been a little slow. Sunday was a gorgeous day but INCREDIBLY windy! Not too many birds were braving the gale force winds. We are still hearing a couple of new birds but they have yet to show their little feathered butts! I guess we shall see...

Here is Michelle's pumpkin!
Hair: Grape leaves
Eyes: Sunflowers
Nose: Agapanthus seed
Mouth: Anaheim pepper
Ears: Scarlet Runner Bean seeds
Earrings: Fuchsia Tree flowers
Flowers above the ear...we think are Coreopsis. All of this came from the yard and I think it's the best pumpkin I have ever seen! Talk about recycling!

Here is my pumpkin. I thought I'd see if the backyard crew would like to have a holiday feeder. It turns out that they like it quite a bit! It probably wont last more than a day or two but it will be fun while it lasts.

Here is a Song Sparrow that apparently is from the Eastern part of the state. We noticed him right away because of his stance, behavior and markings. We have 5 or 6 Song Sparrows that visit everyday and this guy was definitely different. We actually thought that this was a Lincoln's Sparrow at first. But, after posting on OBOL and Flickr and getting some great advice from some experienced and knowledgeable birders, we now know that this is a Song Sparrow but not from these parts. Still kind of exciting to have an out-of-town visitor!

Lots of House Finches in the yard lately.

Look at the mammoth House Finch in the back! He was flying around the yard last night and he was twice the size of the other House Finches. We thought that it might be some other species but he had all the markings of a House Finch. Albeit a large House Finch, but still a House Finch.

Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels! Suet thieves is what they should be called!

Now here we have a squirrel that knows it's place. We set the table for him and he comes to dine! No stealing suet. Not eating sunflower seeds. This corn is for him (and the Jays) and he knows it.

We always love a visit from the Downy!

Lots of Lesser Goldfinches, American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins in the yard now.

Oh, and Juncos, too!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


NW Nature Nut said...

Love the bird feeder pumpkin! Maybe the next GBC of October we will have extra points for carved pumpkins!

Rambling Woods said...

Oh..I LOVE the pumpkins..How clever. I like the different birds you are showing...And that large one is a house finch? What was his momma feeding him...wow...I think my Oct Bird Count is going to stay at around 20 unless the snow brings in some other species. But I am going to keep track in Nov too as long as I am doing PWF....another Michelle..

me ann my camera said...

You have a wonderful, lengthy October bird list!!! And I love the idea of a pumpkin bird feeder, very creative and a great subject for a photo shoot when the birds arrive to feed there. Your other pumpkin is great too. Lovely birds pics. The dark, slightly curved stripes on a Song Sparrow's breast always remind me of watermelons for some reason.

Beverly said...

What fun! The pumpkin feeder was a great idea...tell us; did the squirrels eat it? Somehow the flesh of the pumpkin sounds like something they'd eat.

I wonder if that Baby Huey-sparrow is really the same bird as the rest. Darnit...I'm not good enough to say. But, it doesn't really make sense that it's the same...unless (like some birds) the young ARE bigger than the adults?

I'm still waiting for most of the birds to come back. I remember last year, I had lots of finches and juncos too... [sigh]

OH...my FeederWatch stuff arrived! I'm READY! :)


Sandy said...

ahhh great pumpkins and a great idea to use things from the yard. I really like the feeder!

Enjoyed seeing your birds and your squirrel...

I'm glad we haven't gotten any wind yet, usually we are dealing with Santa Ana's, but for some reason they miss us.

Beverly said...

I asked my online-pal BosqueBill what he thought your big baby might be. He said, and I quote: "The photo almost seems to show some feather molt on the big one, perhaps it will turn into a swan instead of an ugly finchling."

Too funny... but he also thought perhaps the bill is a maybe a little heavy even for a HOFI.

Anyway, what about a young Cassin's Finch? They're a little bigger than House Finches. Or perhaps a Brown-headed Cowbird? Oh my...I do hope not!

But heck...you said twice the size of the other finches there... WOW What about a female Red-winged Blackbird...baby?

Heck...I dunno...but wouldn't it be unusual for the young finch to be twice as big as it's parents?

April said...

Delightful post! I love yours and Michelle's pumpkins - very ingenious. I like the squirrel sitting on his very own chair ready for a feast. Congratulations on a successful backyard bird count - it's nice that the little song sparrow came by. My count is still 10, but I've had a good time participating.

Mary said...

I love the pumpkin feeder! What a great idea. Your squirrels are cute! I just bought one of those corn "sitting" feeders....don't have it up yet.