2018-07-08: Birds and a bunny

Last weekend, I had decided that I was going to carry on with bird posts for the month of July.  I was excited because a robin’s nest was discovered in the yard, and while I didn’t see the babies, mama robin was still in the nest.  I had wonderful thoughts of finding a suitable spot to photograph them, while not getting too close and intruding on their space.  Then on Wednesday morning, as I was leaving with Spencer for our morning walk, I noticed that the nest was off kilter (it was built on top of a hose reel attached to our well pump house).  When I walked a bit closer, I saw that the nest was destroyed, and there were 3 baby robins dead on the ground.

I don’t have any proof, but I believe it was a cat that lives down the road and is allowed to roam outside that did the damage.  There were puncture marks in one of the chicks, but otherwise they were untouched, which leads me to believe that whatever attacked the nest was not in need of food.  Even if a wild cat, fox or other animal was disturbed when they were at the nest, if they were hungry, I would expect them to come back and collect the chicks.  Instead, I ended up having to clean the sad mess up.  I’m not going to share any images from that sighting; no one else needs to see that.

That took the wind out of my sails a bit for bird photos.  I’ve actually decided to not have a formal topic for July, and I’ll just post what I am inspired to share on a Sunday.  Today though, I do have a few bird images from around the yard and neighbourhood.  Who knows what next week will bring.

Before I get to the birds though, there is a bunny I’ve been seeing around the neighbourhood.  It’s not the best image, but I don’t think I am wrong in my assumption that it is a descendant of the bunny that was in the area the winter of 2016/2017.  I’ve linked below to one of the posts that featured the original bunny in the neighbourhood.  In talking with neighbours, there are a couple of these little hybrids hopping around.

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The original bunny

I have been quite excited to see hermit thrushes while out on walks a few times this summer.  Mostly, I just hear them calling from deep in the bushes, but I’ve seen them on different walks hopping around on the road, sitting on fence posts, or up on the power lines like this one.  The link below has some more information about the hermit thrush, as well as a sample of the pretty song they sing.

Hermit Thrush

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The hermit thrush paused here for a brief moment, but only showed off the backside before flying off deep into the bushes.

In addition to the hummingbirds that are going crazy in the yard, I have loads of purple finches and pine siskins (as well as the occasional hairy woodpecker, some juncos and a red-breasted nuthatch family).  I’m grateful there haven’t been any bears in my immediate vicinity, so I have been able to keep the sunflower seeds out for the birds.  I have two large squirrel proof feeders (ha-ha!) that I am filling up every other day at the moment.  I’ve included links to the All About Birds pages for both the birds if you are looking for more information on the species, or want to listen to the lovely songs that I get to listen to while taking my lunch break outside, or while puttering around watering the flowers.

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A group of pine siskins dining on sunflower seeds.

Pine Siskin

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Female purple finch
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Male purple finch

 

Purple Finch

I hope you have enjoyed my selections for the week.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

2016-04-17: What I’ve seen this week

It’s been a great week for birds around the neighbourhood, especially yesterday, when I managed to capture photos of 5 different species in one morning walk (plus 3 different bunnies).

Wishing everyone a wonderful week 🙂

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I actually saw a pair of flickers yesterday, and while they conveniently perched together in a tree, I didn’t manage to get any shots of the two together worth sharing, as they were so high up, and I didn’t have to big lens. This one was working hard tapping at this dead tree; I heard it long before I saw it.
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A hairy woodpecker pauses from pecking between the tree branches early yesterday morning.
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A sure sign of spring are the robins singing from the treetops every morning. I caught this one searching for worms on the roadside.
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Earlier this week, I saw frantic activity below a large pine tree; I snapped loads of photos just so I could try to identify the birds. This was the best that I managed, but I include it here as it was a new species for me, a white winged crossbill.
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The juncos are back in town, but generally don’t visit the feeder; they are part of the clean up crew that keeps that area beneath the feeder tidy (thanks guys!).
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The pileated woodpecker was tapping away at the top of this pole, making quite the racket.
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One of the 3 bunnies I saw yesterday; this one was right next to my driveway at the end of our walk. Luckily, Spencer only barks at them about 1 in 10 times that he sees them. Mostly he just patiently waits for me to finish taking a photograph.
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I’ve been hearing the ruffed grouse drumming for some time now, but this was the first time I’ve seen one this year. This beauty hung around under the bird feeder, cleaning up fallen sunflower seeds.
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I was happy I was able to quietly sneak outside and get a few photos (I was hiding behind the garden hose reel so I didn’t disturb the grouse browsing).
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Sunflower seed success.

2016-04-03: What I’ve seen this week

It’s been a very quiet week here for photos.  We’ve been having some lovely, and unseasonably warm weather (20C in the afternoons!) which has really changed the dynamics with the backyard birds.  The redpoll groups had been waning over the last couple weeks, but I’ve not seen any for days, so I assume they’ve finally headed back north.

The snow is all gone (hurrah!), and one creature that hasn’t caught up to that are the neighbourhood  bunnies.  They are very conspicuous in their white coats at the moment…making it easy for me to spot them while out on early morning walks.  I’ve seen bunnies a few times this week; I assume it’s always the same one since it’s in the same area each day.

That’s all I have for today, enjoy your week everyone 🙂

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