Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some Recent Bird Sightings

Well, after a couple of +90 degree days and some really fierce winds yesterday (with +50 mph gusts), our weather has returned to normal spring temps with much calmer breezes and a few intermittent rain showers today. The majority of our spring birds are back now and most of the warblers have moved on, as evidenced by my sightings last week in northern Minnesota.

I have a bunch of bird pictures on the compact flash card in my camera, so I figured tonight would be a good time to get them edited and in a blog post.

Here's a really bad picture of the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher I saw a few weeks ago when I was birding with my Sissy at Forestville State Park. This was a lifer for me. It was quite the sassy little bird and responded nicely to my birdJam.

On May 10th, I was really surprised to see a couple of Pine Siskins at one of my thistle seed tube feeders. These guys must be the stragglers on this migration. Last night at Master Naturalist class, one of my classmates told of seeing a Common Redpoll at his thistle seed feeder last Saturday. His description of the bird and also the fact that it was on his thistle feeder eating convinced me that he had certainly seen a Redpoll. I know we've had a cold and late spring, so I hope these little migrants make it back to the north country in time to start a new family.

I've had Baltimore Orioles in the backyard for a couple of weeks now, but during supper the other night, I looked out and spotted this Orchard Oriole who sat still long enough for me to take his picture. He is Bird #42 on my backyard list for 2009.

The suet log has been seeing almost non-stop woodpecker activity this week--from both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. Sometimes the Hairy's seem to forget that they have to access the log from the bottom of the cage while the Downy can just fly right through. This was a lucky shot--the Hairy's almost always chase the Downy's away as soon as they spot them trying to get to the suet log.

Last night at Master Naturalist class one of my classmates spotted this Eastern Kingbird. It was my FOY kingbird and I'm sorry I couldn't get a better focused picture of such a handsome bird.

Last week, this was the view of the beautiful blooming crabapple tree outside my dining room window. I really love this tree and I'm glad it's so close to the house because the birds really love it too. Needless to say, after the winds of the past couple days, all the lovely pink blossoms have blown away.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are such gorgeous birds anyway, but doesn't he look even more lovely with the green grass and crabapple blossoms in the background? Knowing we will have sights like this in May is what sustains us through the 6 months of a dark and cold Minnesota winter!

And, last but not least, here's an underappreciated Mourning Dove patiently waiting for the mistress of the household to "fill the darn birdfeeder, please!"

I hope you're all enjoying spring and the wonderful sights and sounds that go along with it!


Anonymous said...

Cool bird pics, even if a couple of them were a little blurry. I still have indigo buntings and of course the red-breasted grosbeaks and red breasted nuthatches. There is lots of activity at the suet, robins love the raisin stuff. They do a lot of acrobatics to get this treat. It is so much fun to watch all my feathered friends.


Mama Pea said...

Day temps of over 90 degrees? Could we have just a few degrees of that heat up here, please? Our birds are all still wearing insulated underwear . . . and, of course, gobbling up seed like it's November!

Gaelyn said...

What a great bunch of birds. Love your window view, even the stained glass.

Jayne said...

Heck, we still had Pine Siskins down here even a couple of weeks ago! They've really been slow about heading northward.

Lucky you and your Orchard Oriole! I think I'd faint if I could even glimpse one, any oriole, migrating through here. :c)

Your crabapple is glorious Ruthie!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
You still have red-breasted nuthatches? I never had any this winter, but saw a few up at Sandstone last weekend. My robins eat the grape jelly I put out for the orioles.

Hi Mama Pea,
You can have any of our 90 degree days that you want! It just doesn't seem fair that there can be that much of temperature difference in the same state does it?

Thanks Gaelyn. Besides looking pretty, the stained glass suncatchers help keep some of the birdies from hitting the windows too.

Thanks for the migration update Jayne--now I won't be surprised if I still spot more siskins at my feeders.
Some of my other crabapples and the regular apple trees are still blooming--it's a really pretty time of year right now.

Wisconsin Birder said...

Your blog post looks kind of like mine! RBGrosbeaks, Orioles, etc. I've had tons of Siskins still hanging around too. Isn't spring great!?

Red said...

#42 in backyard already? Wow... and the year isn't even half over. You just might hit 100 :)

Your Grosbeak pic is so gorgeous. It definitely explains how you can make it through the winters. You ought to print it large and put it up in the living room or above the computer to help you out next winter.

troutbirder said...

Gorgeous crabapple and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Now there is a combination. I wish they would reopen that darn bridge at Forestville. What a pain.

dAwN said...

Thanks for the spring greetings!
I love your morning dove..hee looks like it just might pop off that feeder.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Wisconsin Birder,
I agree -- spring is definitely great!

Hi Red,
My record so far is 57 birds on my backyard list. I would be happy to get 60 this year!

Thanks Troutbirder. You know I didn't realize till we were in Forestville a couple weeks ago that they had closed that bridge! I agree, it's a pain.

Thanks Dawn. Those mourning doves are hilarious to watch trying to eat from that little seed catcher tray.