Friday, December 19, 2008

A big post...

Happy Friday to everyone! We hope all you birders out there had a great week! It has been a very wintery mix over here in Portland, OR. Temps anywhere from the low teens to the lower 30's and very snowy. It's been a treacherous drive into work a couple of days, and today, Michelle and I both decided not to go in after she fell on the slick sidewalk. She's fine, but it just wasn't worth the risk (or the bruises). So we stayed home.

So, here are some pics from the week and we will post more this weekend. We are supposed to get a very large storm coming in tomorrow morning. They (the "professionals") say lots and lots of snow and high winds followed by a fairly severe ice storm. Assuming that's true, I believe that Michelle and I will have plenty of time to bird watch this weekend. We can hope anyway. Have a great weekend, everyone and stay safe and warm where ever you find yourself.

We have been getting 3 Yellow-Rumped Warblers coming through the yard this week. Notice in the 3 pics below, that a few of his feathers seem to be blue? Interesting.

They all have been the Audubon's race (as opposed to the Myrtle variety. The Mrtle will have a white throat instead of the yellow one. That's one of the easiest and quickest field marking that we look for) but these 3 all have very distinctive markings and are easy to tell apart. Maybe we will name them?

This Yellow-Rumped is the most striking of the 3 that we have seen this season. That's why he is the only one pictured (that, and I haven't been able to snap photos of the other guys).

A Dark-Eyed Junco trying to stay warm. He fluffed out and hunkered down in the pear tree for a while and then resumed searching for the goodies that we spread out this morning.

This female Anna's Hummingbird also fluffed out and tried to stay warm.

She was watching me closely but didn't fly away for about 20 minutes.

Here is her male counterpart. He was all over the yard today. Eating out of all 3 remaining feeders we have hanging up (we took the others down because they kept freezing so quickly).

In between his feedings, he unceremoniously tried to chase off Juncos, Sparrows and a Steller's jay. He does not like when other birds are in "his" yard.

Such a gorgeous little guy, though.

The Juncos were a lot more active since the winter weather blew into town last week. They are EVERYWHERE! That is not a complaint in any way, shape or form. Just a mere observation. We love to have them in the yard!

If I stand still long enough, they will get very close to me. This little guy got within just a couple of feet.

Because these Juncos were so close, I had to take these photos without looking at the camera. I was just pointing in their general direction and hoping for the best. A couple of the pics turned out, but rest assured, many did not.

This Junco was having a little conversation with another Junco across the yard. They sat and chatted for about 10 minutes and then met by the back fence for a bite to eat. I think it was too windy because I could not understand a single word they were saying.

This little hanging "ball o' nuts" is a favorite for many of the birds we have in the yard. Chickadees, Nuthatches, Juncos, Jays and Sparrows all have been seen on it. We bought 2 of them from the Backyard Bird Shop near our home. They seem to be a big hit!

We always enjoy a visit from the Red-Breasted Nuthatch.

There were 3 of them trading spots on this suet cage. We make our own suet and we are never going back to the store-bought variety.

These are one of my (Seth's) favorite birds.

Never, and I mean never, get in a staring contest with a Golden-Crowned Sparrow. Let me assure you, he will win.

An immature Golden-Crowned Sparrow. We have a bramble pile in the very back of the yard by our shed and it is full of Sparrows of all types.

A Northern Flicker checking out the view from one of the nesting boxes in the yard.

One of the many Song Sparrows that come from the aforementioned bramble pile.

This one (same Song as above) is the one that reminds us of an old, miserly gentleman. Perhaps a distinguished professor at an Ivy-League college. We don't know why, he just does.

This Song Sparrow is one of the younger ones (at least he looks youthful). We imagine that he is more of a punk or scallywag who is trying to shake up the system, which the professor above does not approve of. We might have too much time on our hands...who knows?

Take care all and good birding!

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NW Nature Nut said...

Great variety! I am jealous. Due to my work schedule I haven't seen the yard during daylight since Tuesday morning. Sigh. Tomorrow I'll get an hour or so, then there is the WHOLE DAY Sunday. Yea! I hope I see an YR Warbler too.

jan m said...

What a nice "collection" of birds you have! It seems that your yard is the perfect habitat for many. Thanks for sharing your photos.