AND THEY ARE EARLY! The robins are here… the new ones, not the ones that have been here all winter. How can I tell them apart? Well, for starters, when I went out to feed the cats, the world SOUNDED different. There was a different intensity to the birdly sounds – and an increase in the Robin sounds in particular. Then, while doing the breakfast dishes, I noticed the activity around the birdbath. The temperature was slowly moving up from freezing and the other birdbath had a ring of ice in it. This birdbath has a de-icer in it. See that shiny thing with a rock on it? See the white cord that comes back 40 feet to the house? All around the back yard were robins, bunches of robins, and they were thirsty. They took turns, one at a time while the others dug under the winter leaf debris to see what might be crawling out there. In the one shot, you can see the tall green stuff back behind St Francis… those are daffodils and they will be blooming in a couple of weeks. There are a few dozen buds on that bunch – King Alfred’s, the earliest yellows to bloom here.
As I loaded the robins into the computer, I noticed a couple other recent shots I had not bothered with but from within the last week or so. I have been blessed with having a family of pileated woodpeckers live here, but it us hard to get a shot of them… they are so easily spooked. I include the badly out of focus shot just so you can see that red head and the size of the bird.
The activity had been at its usual high out front at the Red-bud Restaurant. I might mention my yard is on the annual Christmas Bird Count list of places to watch. Maybe because of the 18 feeders I usually keep going? I have 6 male cardinals (that I generally see together at one time at the feeders) but never seem to be able to get more than 3 in a picture frame at a time – and then the shot is pretty boring anyway – but I assume there are most likely 6 females, too. I know where a few of the nests are and am glad the cats don’t seem the least bit interested as their nests are pretty low to the ground, but in dense foliage. Anyway, I thought I would share this shot of a papa bird in our last snow. I know it is not a good shot.
Maybe it will be warm enough for me to go out and wash a couple windows today, ya think? I am not sure how many males you can find in this shot in the back yard…
I have not bothered to take pictures of them, but I have also had several red-breasted nuthatches that have been running up and down the redbud all winter. They are friendly little fellows and not easily spooked by people, but the goldfinches fly as soon as I go out with my camera and scare everyone else up into the air also… and to be honest, it has been too cold to just stand out there with the camera and wait. And, well, you can see how dirty my windows are (Thanks Hurricane Sandy!) But, maybe now that is seems to be warming up I will give it another try. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a bit of birdwatching with me and news that spring must not be too far away now that the robins are back.