Thursday, June 19, 2008

Backyard Birds

Come the middle of March, the migratory birds start arriving from their respective wintering grounds. This year the first ones back were the redwing blackbirds on March 21st. The killdeer arrived three days later followed by the robins. March 21 is very late for the migratory birds as we usually see the first ones around March 6 -12, but it was an extremely cold spring this year and the snow didn't melt until the end of the month. It was no wonder they were so late in arriving.

We have had a lot of rain lately, which has formed a few almost permanent puddles on our laneway. This killdeer comes every morning for a drink and a preening session. He's cleaning his chest here which explains his awkward look. I took his picture through the glass which is why the smoky effect of the picture.

We have mourning doves everywhere, and they are here year round. We affectionately call them tanks because of the way they move when they are on the ground. I love the way they coo in the early morning and late evening. They nest all through our evergreens. (Picture also through the window).

A cedar waxwing. These guys typically manage to elude us. We hear their soft "tseee" call all day, but rarely see them. I think because we have had such overcast skies the past few days, they are out in the open a little more. We see them in the late evenings (at dusk), but taking pictures of them just doesn't work -- even on the 300mm zoom, as it is too shadowy by then. I got these shots around 4:30 with the 200mm zoom. I was thrilled to say the least! They have such an interesting look to them. Our gooseberry bushes are loaded with fruit right now, but it will be a race to see who gets to them first. Last year the waxwings won! We didn't get a single berry, the stinkers!!

Notice the bright red on the wing and the bright yellow tip on his tail. Flashy in a discreet sort of way!

This little gaffer is a baby grackle (I think). He was a fledgling that unfortunately got left behind. Nature is perfect, but it can also be cruel. Sadly, he did not make it. He now resides under the rhubarb plants in our garden. He was a fiesty little soul. (Sorry, about the blurry head. He kept bobbing it around).

We have a ruby throated hummingbird that comes around for a visit regularly too, but he's a little camera shy. One of these days though, I will get him on camera, as well as some of our other backyard visitors.

1 comment:

  1. Really great pictures! The cedar waxwing is gorgeous.

    We have discovered more blue jays in our yard. We thought there were only two, but a few days ago we saw five. There are at least two cardinal families (with at least three juveniles) and ds1 recently spotted a Mrs. red-bellied woodpecker to go along with the Mr. that's been here for a while (I've yet to be quick enough to get a glimpse of her though). I've been trying to get a picture of the blue heron that's been visiting our pond, but I can't sneak up close enough and then the camera isn't fast enough to get a good pic when its flying away.


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