Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow Birds

It snowed just a dusting last night. Not enough to really even fully cover the ground. It looked like someone had forgotten to give the confectioner sugar duster a few more shakes over the brownies! 

But as I sat was my breakfast at the kitchen table  and was about to start my quiet time this morning, I noticed that there was quite the flurry of activity happening in my back yard!

In fact my backyard had become the "hot spot" for all the local birds! Sometimes having a pool in winter is beneficial. In this case because it was apparently one of the few spots around here that birds could get water that wasn't frozen and was accessible from a birds abilities. 

I quickly grabbed my camera to capture this beautiful morning moment! They startled when I tried to go stand outside so instead I took all these pictures from a few open windows along the back of our house, which while still cold, was much less so than completely standing outside!

 In the picture above one took flight right as my shutter released. Look at that twirl!

I love the little skid marks they left, it was funny to watch them slide a bit when they would land on the frozen water. There is about an inch of ice on the cover and then some water beneath is, so they would stand right on the ice and lean down to drink from the edges were it wasn't frozen.

  They were all over! I lost count of the Robin's when I reached 50! Seriously! I didn't take pictures of our yard because it was at a far angle from the window but they were swarming the grass, the trees, the pool and the skies! There was also a very pretty bright Blue Jay who I couldn't grab a shot of as well as a bright Red Cardinal who also eluded my lens along with at least 4 other breeds, none of which I could identify as I'm not much of a bird expert. But I did catch some Robins, female Red Cardinals and some Cedar or Bohemian Waxwings (I'm not sure which they were) in the trees! The Waxwings were my favorite!

It started to flurry again while I was snapping shots!

 I think the little grayish bird their may be a Tufted Titmouse. 

Above and below are the Waxwings. Can you spot all 4 in the picture above? And all 5 in the picture below? (Hint: look in the top right corner area)

Looking back through these pictures to edit them and writing this post has me thinking a lot about my Grandfather. He loved birds. I remember one year when I was much younger he got a clock that chirped a different bird every hour. He always had a few yellow Canary's too. We loved getting to feed them and cover them with a towel at night. (Although they could get pretty annoying with their singing during the day!) And he had at least 4 bird feeders hung around his front porch so he could always watch them through my grandparents big front bay window. He'd sit there and point out what kinds were at the feeders: wrens, finches, cardinals, orioles (he lived in Maryland) and so on. It makes me sad to remember him because he's gone now, but it was a special moment to have remembering him. He would have really enjoyed observing with me this morning and listening to their music. He probably would have been sketching them. 

Well, I will leave you with this little photo action story! A Female Cardinal seemed rather timid about getting to the water. She was cute to watch and finally did brave going down the "slope" of the pool cover.

 Getting closer...
 Investigating the distance...
 I see you with that big black box thing!
 Made it! (See the slide marks that diagonal down behind her) It was so cute to watch the whole action of it.
And time for a drink!

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