Thursday, May 12, 2016
May has been a really busy and somewhat stressful month so far. I think a "Stuff" post will be in order pretty soon.
In the meantime, here are some of my favorite bird visitors, though I can honestly say I love them all EXCEPT the Evil English Sparrows.
We have a Grosbeak family that has been coming to the feeders and to the pond. Here is a male eating Cherry Suet, while a juvenile male is at the feeder next to the suet. We have seen the female at the feeder as well. The other day a juvenile female was bathing in a rain puddle next to the pond. I wonder if they are a family.
I am always so excited when the Orioles stop at the feeders. Here a male is eating oranges that I place in a suet feeder. We have seen the male and female come together. Recently there have been juveniles visiting as well. I saw a juvenile at a puddle by the pond. It is usually pretty difficult for me to get pics of the Orioles. They are usually fraidie cats and fly off with the least little noise. This family visits frequently and don't seem so afraid. I like to think they are the same pair that have been coming every year and have become comfortable with us. I don't put a syrup feeder out for them because they don't seem to use it, but they love the oranges. Later they will eat from the Hummer Feeders.
We are blessed with Blue Birds again this year. I have two of these houses in our area, plus a few cedar houses. The Blues seem to prefer these round boxes. We had a pair lay eggs in the other house...then abandoned it leaving the eggs unattended. After two weeks I emptied and cleaned the box. then I noticed a pair with two babies coming to the feeders. They usually come to the feeders about a week after leaving the nest. Also they are hanging around the OTHER round house and now the mother is sitting on another brood. Can't figure out what is going on because I never say the parents in that box before. Anyway, the father is sitting on a branch of a dead tree we debranched but let stay to promote the woodpecker population that hunt for bugs there. His two babies are sitting on one of our poles I like to refer to as our totems.
We have the usual variety of birds visit the feeders. We have Cat Birds nesting in the Honey Suckle next to the house. Cowbirds, Titmouse, Nut Hatch, Chickadee and others I might have forgotten to mention here all visit. I make an effort to attract the Wood Peckers that I love so much and put out bread for my beloved Crow. Three visit all the time. I don't know why I love them so much, but I do. Of course we have visits from Hawk and I love them too. I haven't seen any Hummingbirds yet.
In 2014 we relined our pond. We planned to re-landscape it so that there would be a minimal amount upkeep which really means weeding. The first year was pretty much the relining effort and a new privacy fence on that side of the yard. Since our back yard is about 250 feet long and Terry and I did it ourselves it was slow going. Last year most of our summer consisted of cloudy days...it was depressing and we didn't get that much work done in the back. We did enclose the back porch and believe me THAT was an accomplishment. However, I feel really confident that this will be a great summer with perfect weather and we will get the replanting done. I am off to a great start already.
Last year I added a little channel area to the pond. I planted some grasses there. Last week I got a picture (top left) of the fish using that area to spawn. Before I took the picture there were about 4 times as many fish, but I scared them out of the picture. The frogs have been singing their throats off and you can see they too are giving us billions and billions of babies (top right). You can see them along the entire pond area. I think the pond is about 20 x 30. Our water lily are doing well. We planted 7 more this year. I can see them sprouting, but have not yet reached the top of the water. See those ducks? No, I'm not going to tell you we have ducks. Well, I guess we do, but they are of the plastic variety. Terry bought 3 at a garage sale and they have been floating with the flow of the water created by the filter system. I must admit that I like them.
I never tire of bird watching.