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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 14, 11 at 17:06

Starting a new, shorter thread as spring brings out more mobile features.

This thread is intended to give people a place to post photos and/or talk about birds, critters, wildlife, fish, whatever - topics you might not want to start a whole thread on, but are still garden-related. You can see the range of possible topics in the previous threads:

Birds and other mobile features in the garden

Birds and other mobile features in the garden #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2009

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #3

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #4

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #5

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #6

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #1

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #3
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All winter I've been seeing only one Downy Woodpecker at a time except for a very very few days when one downy chases another one away. Not a very social species.

But it's spring now and time for woodpeckers to think about procreation. A few days ago this extraordinarily pretty (to my eyes anyway) female downy appeared on the wisteria.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A male downy apparently agreed because a little while later there were two downies, male on the right and female on the left, eating suet together.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And so there will probably be new baby downies later on to grace the wisteria.

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 14, 11 at 17:28

Turkey Update (for those turkey fans out there):

The hens have mostly disappeared, probably gone into the woods to nest and lay eggs. The toms are still around and I hear hopeful gobbling every day but there don't seem to be any receptive hens available to heed the call. I see one young hen every day who may have been too young to breed this year, and today I saw two adolescent toms (jakes?) who seemed very nervous while the mature toms were gobbling on the other side of the yard.

Now I wait for the hens to come back with poults in tow.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Your on poult watch, and I'm on duckling watch. I haven't seen Mrs. Mallard in our pond for a while, but Mr. Mallard still stops by every day.

When I was out taking my weekly garden photos today, a bunch of our comets and kois were near the surface, so I was able to get a photo. Here was a school of about 25 fish. We have about 100 kois and comets in the pond.

Kois and Comets


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 18, 11 at 20:37

Very nice photo, pixie_lou - I love the reflection of the trees with fish almost swimming through them, upside down.

I kept ornamental goldfish years ago; very pleasant to watch.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

A nice pair of Downies, Claire. Pixie - I still have pond envy - lovely shot composure.

Spring beyond the kitchen sink is springing. Goldfinches almost 100% color and lilac buds gaining weight.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 21, 11 at 11:42

Jane: Goldfinches here are also finally in full bloom.

I looked out this morning and saw a different critter grazing with the squirrels:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A woodchuck! Looks kind of scrawny; must have been a hard winter for it, too.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Hopefully the woodchuck will gorge itself on birdseed and leave my plants alone. I don't usually have a problem with them - I guess they don't like my plants. My neighbor, on the other hand, keeps many potted plants on tables in his yard.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 23, 11 at 16:23

Ah well, the woodchuck found something besides birdseed to eat. I noticed yesterday that some scillas by the pine in the backyard had been beheaded. I just glanced out the window and saw the monster in the middle of other scillas in the front yard. So far it just seems to be biting the flowers off and leaving the foliage so the bulbs should be able to mature.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It saw me watching and then went back to eating, only running away when I opened the door and stomped out onto the porch. I thought scillas were "pest resistant", but maybe it's like the deer - it depends on how hungry they are. I wonder if woodchucks eat alfalfa pellets...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

On a more positive note, yesterday a Carolina Wren was posing on a shepherd's hook in front of a rose just leafing out. I like the complementary colors.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Judging by the woodchuck's expression, I'd say he's a tad sensitive, lol. Maybe he just likes the taste of 'blue'.

Sometimes the camera gets lucky. Yesterday I saw this little gal and I could hear her singing, "I feel Pretty, Oh,so Pretty from West Side Story. Look at those cheeks.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

new to spotting birds in the garden .. couldnt figure out what bird this is. There is a red tuft on the head and black spot The picture is not very sharp ..


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

tnkrer - My guess would be a Northern Flicker. I get lots of them in my yard wandering around. Never seen one at my feeders though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Flicker


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Thanks pixie_lou ..
It looks like yellow shafted northern flicker. So that's the woodpecker making all the drilling sounds ..

Thanks for the cornell site .. I should be able to name a few more birds now :)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 25, 11 at 17:42

Very pretty little finch, Jane, and the Northern Flicker is a great looking bird, tnkrer.

Blue Jays are more common birds, but I still love to see them - particularly strolling through the daffodils.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Two male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks swung by the other day checking out the diner. Today, at noon, they decided the fare was acceptable. Been years since I've seen them here. They're partial to BOSS and must have been hungry to perch on a rather small feeder.


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Wow, great photos all! The gold finches certainly look brighter. Amazing amount of koi, pixie lou. I guess you are not too bothered by the woodchuck, Claire. Do you vegetable garden at all? Love that Carolina Wren Claire. We have one that showed up again this spring and it is one of my favorites. I would sure love to see one of those Rose Breasted Grosbeaks in the garden. Do you have any idea what attracts them, Jane?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

PM - When my diner served only black oiled sunflower seed, the RBGs were frequent visitors. Now I put out the Ocean State Job Lot special - a seed mixture which contains sunflower seeds. One of the RBGs did nip a bit on the suet. They came two consecutive days, so we'll see if they truly like the neighborhood and food. If the lady RBGs were here, I missed them. Did see a male hummer yesterday - 1st!
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Congrats on the hummer!! Yay! Hope to see hummer photos soon too. I think the RBG should recognize your garden as a good neighborhood when they see it, Jane, if they're smart. :-)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 27, 11 at 12:24

Great photos of the R-b Grosbeaks, Jane. I've never seen any here (or anywhere). I use the OSJL seed mix too, although they've raised the price recently. It's still a good deal, almost every bird and critter seems to like it, and the 40 lb bags last a little while. Not as long now with the grackles en masse but still a while.

Congratulations on the hummer! I'm curious as to whether he stays or is in transit.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 28, 11 at 10:40

PM2: I don't vegetable garden so the woodchuck isn't as big a threat for me, and the plants I do grow don't seem to be that tasty.

Of course, I also have a very ferocious deterrent that has just returned to the garden. The lawn dragon migration season is upon us! Woodchucks beware!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 28, 11 at 16:59

And then maybe I've just been lucky and the free-ranging neighborhood dogs have been scaring woodchucks away..... Well, the next door neighbors' dog is on a cross-country trip with the next door neighbors, and the guard dog up the street is getting old and arthritic and hasn't been making his rounds lately.

Woodchuck was back today munching on something in the middle of the bed. I took some photographs to document where it was and then went out to chase it away.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

THE MUNCHEE IS ONE OF MY 2 PHLOX DAVIDS! The one I moved there last year. This is getting serious. Maybe I can convince the turkeys that woodchucks are enemies and they need to attack them ...

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Gee Claire, your helpers are all letting you down. Dogs on vacation and evidently sleeping dragons.(g) I thought that looked like phlox. We had a woodchuck visiting daily one year, that was the worst year. He was eating everything in my vegetable garden and some of my perennials too. Very brazen too. So happy when he never came back the next year. I hope your neighbor's dog returns soon. Have a friend with a dog you can borrow?


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 29, 11 at 11:59

I have Phlox maculata like weeds around here and I wouldn't even notice if the woodchuck ate a third of them. But the Phlox paniculatas! That hurts. I put in a lot of new tall ones last year and also some dwarf paniculatas I found locally in the late fall. The woodchuck is afraid of me (it doesn't know I'm a sucker for furry creatures) so I'll keep running out and waving my arms when I see it.

This morning on the paper retrieval route I saw a catbird on the suet, first this year.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I figured if the catbirds are here then orioles can't be far behind so I put out the jelly/jam feeder. A little while later I saw orioles - also at the suet, ignoring the grape jam. At least they're here.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Now if orioles are here the hummingbirds must be close by. The PJM rhododendrons in the supermarket parking lot a little over a mile away are in full bloom, and my first Mary Fleming rhodie has just opened. Gotta be hummers somewhere.

Claire


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RE RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 29, 11 at 16:32

Yes! I got buzzed by a male ruby throat when I was outside, standing near the hummingbird feeder. No camera with me so no photos yet. I haven't seen him again so he may not be a keeper either.

Female grackles are finally here and the males are promenading around all puffed up. And I've been hearing all sorts of strange crow sounds with what looks like fledgling crows being urged to fly just a little farther, to the next tree or even three trees more.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 29, 11 at 20:08

I moved the suet feeder to another location so the catbird and orioles could explore the jam/jelly feeder without being disturbed by grackles (grackles love suet but don't seem interested in fruit). Sure enough the orioles got the idea. So did the catbird but I didn't get a good pic.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Catbirds and orioles and hummers, oh my! A good day, and I think I saw a Brown Thrasher too, but only a glimpse.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

I've pointed the pair of catbirds here toward Massachusetts. The jelly feeder is just too much temptation. Wasn't it orange marmalade last year? I don't get any orioles, ever. Anyway, I'm sending the catbirds

No pair of orioles, but, I do have a full house of Goldfinches.

See you two robins, and raise one crow.
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

I've never heard of a jam feeder. Might be something I want to try - though I doubt I'd feed the birds all of my homemade jams. I'd pick up something at Christmas Tree Shops. Do squirrels get into those?

I remember seeing Baltimore Orioles all the time when I was a little girl. I saw a few last summer while vacationing in Maine. We have tons of bird activity in our back yard, but I've yet to see an oriole.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 2, 11 at 17:20

pixie_lou: No homemade jam for my birds, they happily eat supermarket house brand jam. Grape, apricot, peach, raspberry, etc., whatever's on sale. Strawberry isn't very popular though.

I haven't had much problem with squirrels but you might get wasps and bees and other flying insects. At the end of the season (after the orioles are gone) I've been leaving the jam feeder up for the bald-faced hornets that seem pretty desperate by then. Neat looking hornets and not at all aggressive. They just want their last bit of food before winter comes.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Lots and lots of wildlife visiting the pond lately. Mr. Heron stopped by to visit the pond yesterday. If you look close, he has a cat fish in his mouth.

Heron

Since Mr. Heron came to call, I was a little mad at this comet for hanging out in such shallow water so near the shore. As you can see, we must have lots of good things to eat in the pond - since this guy is so chubby.

Comet

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have both come to call. But I haven't seen and little ducklings yet.

Mr. Mallard

Mrs Mallard

Lastly, we saw a baby/juvenile snapping turtle trying to get into the pond. He was hanging out by the gate - crawled in thru the outflow pipe. My daughter and I caught him and kept him in a bucket on out patio for a day, then released him into the brook out back. I don't want any more snappers living in the pond - since adult snappers eat fish. Koi and Comet are an expensive diet!

Snappy

Snappy in a Bucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 3, 11 at 11:23

Nice pond photos! That little snapper is cute, as are almost all babies (well maybe not baby slugs). Big snapping turtles are kind of intimidating, a critter to treat with respect. Last year we had a few small snappers in the yard even though the nearest pond is down at the bottom of the hill across the street. I chased one of them back across the street and tried to aim it toward the water. It must have climbed uphill after hatching. Maybe not the brightest turtles in the pond.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Mr. Heron came to visit again today. He got another catfish. He actually let me get pretty close before he flew away. And I got this great shot of him taking off!

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 8, 11 at 18:06

Very nice heron shot, pixie_lou, with the reflection underneath.

I've been impatiently watching my wisteria flower buds, waiting for them to open. Today I noticed the buds were beginning to elongate and droop as if they were getting serious about this blooming business. The sun was on them this afternoon and I decided to get a photograph.

Just after I took this shot the wisteria started shaking. My first thought was the squirrels are after the buds again (they eat them) and I was ready to run out and scare them off.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

But it was a Blue Jay instead, and the buds are safe for now. The jay only stayed there a few seconds. Blue Jays and wisteria look good together.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 9, 11 at 10:45

Looking down this morning I noticed a copper butterfly on a dandelion. Not everyone thinks dandelions are a curse.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 13, 11 at 17:21

This morning I saw my very first grosbeak, ever, in my whole life. A bird flashed by with a black back and white patches and then obligingly landed on the nyjer feeder. He waited until I got my camera out and then flew off. I hope he stays around and wasn't scared off by the paparazzi.

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Orioles and catbirds are here every day eating jam. Apricot jam seems to be a favorite (it's also a favorite of a crow that flew off a few minutes ago with a plastic cup filled with jam - maybe bringing it to a nest).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

At least one turkey tom has been displaying again for a few weeks. I wonder if some of the hens lost their broods to weather or predators and are ready to start again. He's rather magnificent back lit by the afternoon sun.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Claire - gorgeous butterfly photo and gorgeous turkey photo!

The Bullfrogs have arrived in the pond.

Photobucket


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 13, 11 at 20:56

Thanks, pixie_lou. That is a very content looking frog that is just where it wants to be. Warm water, a little sun, an admirer with a camera.....

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Yes! So glad you got to see a RBG, Claire, and I'm glad that the grape jelly is gone. Apricot rings of haute couture with the Oriole. The Tom looks dressed to the nines - not one tail feather missing -excellent. The pond pictures just make my envy worse, TYVM!, however, I did see a baby toad dashing across a newly planted patch of grass today as I watered, so at least I have a pond frog cousin.(even if that is incorrect, let me dream)

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Bambi came to visit this morning. And brought a couple friends. As soon as they saw me, they tried to hide behind my pile of branches for chipping, and then ran off to the brook. (As you can see, this is the area behind the pond that I'm still clearing out and trying to turn into real gardens.)

Deer 1

Deer 2

The crappy quality of these photos has made me decide that I'm asking DH for a new camera for my birthday next month. This one was a state of the art Digital camera that I bought in - get this - 2001!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 18, 11 at 11:23

Oh, you definitely deserve a new camera, pixie_lou! The newer digital cameras would remove any stitch of privacy those deer are clinging to.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Thanks for sharing your Spring sightings...Jane, Claire and Pixie Lou. Enjoyed all the photos you took time to share. I saw something that I have never seen before in the backyard woods this past week...got a good look at it so I went in search online. It is a Fisher cat.
Anyone know anything about them?
Susan


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 20, 11 at 20:26

Susan: I don't know much about the fisher cat except what I've googled and a casual mention a few weeks ago. Maybe others have some first-hand experience with this weasel relative.

One of my neighbors insisted he'd heard a fisher cat calling in the woods at night and he blamed the animal for the loss of some of his cats. He also said that the body of one had been found in the road nearby. This Mass Wildlife site says the fisher cats are becoming more common in Massachusetts and warns people to protect pets and poultry.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

I don't have any interesting bird photos but I do have this..I think this is so funny because the cup is not very big but we will see what happens.

Photobucket

Lisa


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RE RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 20, 11 at 20:54

That is delightful, Lisa! Do you know what the bird is that laid them? And will it tolerate you tending your seedlings? You may just have to abandon your garden (or transplant the nest).

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Hi Claire,

The eggs are Robins eggs. The seedlings are on a utility shelf against the back of the house.

I have all the cups sitting in a boot tray on the utility shelf (makes for easier watering) so I will just leave the ones surrounding the nest so it does not tip over..

I'll post more pics when the eggs hatch.

Lisa


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

claire, can i hire you to set up all the things those beautiful birds want- so we can have them here?I have no time to do this but what a thrill it would be to have them visit. I can't tell you how much i enjoy those photos. To see the plumage close up...WOW. we have lots of cardinals and robins and sparrows and chickadees. period. and hawks in the woods behind the house.

p.s. in the midst of all this beauty, how can ANYone love blue jays? they are so BAD; no moral compass :-(
best,
mindy


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 21, 11 at 16:31

Mindy: Blue Jays have a softer side - a few years ago I saw this one taking a bath. You've got to admit it's cute, and clean!. Moral compasses are overrated.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Claire - love the blue jay bath pictures. A bird bath is on my list of wants, but now that I've pruned so many weeds by the pond, I see many birds wandering over and dipping their toes!

We have a big snapping turtle who lives in the pond. From what I've read, snappers stay at the bottom and come up for air 4 times a day. I saw him swimming around today. And he stayed at the surface long enough for me to walk to the house, get my camera, and get back to the pond!

Turtle


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

With their moral compasses set to 'respectable', this male Eastern Towhee and female Cardinal shared a birch rest in the rain this afternoon. This is only the second time I've seen a Towhee.

Restraining my comments about a bird's moral compass,lol. Good line, Mindy.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 23, 11 at 17:48

Pixie_lou: I saw that pic and wanted to scream at the goldfish to GET OUT OF THERE NOW BEFORE YOU'RE LUNCH!!

Jane: Nice catch of two lovely birds. Cardinals and towhees are two of the rare bird species (to my human eyes anyway) where both the males and the females are beautiful, although in different styles.

I don't see towhees too often but they're usually here, just in the background. This was a female towhee from last year. Different coloring but still special.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

claire, didn't want you to miss this- baby hummers in nest!!
best,
mindy

http://www.finegardening.com/item/19757/reader-photos-more-baby-hummingbirds#comments

Here is a link that might be useful: Fine Gardening photo of the day baby hummers!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 31, 11 at 21:05

Thanks, mindy! Those are adorable photos, particularly the babies gaping and the majestic mother on the nest.

Claire


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The Great Pacific TV show

p.s. any of you bird people out there, what a fantastic show we saw last night- a few chapters or all-I'm not sure- called The Great Pacific, on HD Theater channel.Lots of bird coverage; i think the yellow bird of paradise from new guinea- was the craziest thing, one of, that i've ever seen.Mating dance> Claps its wings like hands; pushes up a frothy feathery cloak of red wispiness. I'm STILL laughing about it!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

We have had a busy day for wildlife here. I was out by the pond trying to photograph the damsel flies, and I ended up scaring a baby heron. Unfortuneately I didn't get a picture of the baby heron, but I did get some great damsel fly shots.

Another Damsel Fly

Damsel Fly


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Turtles

Today was definitely the day of the turtle. I now know that we have at least 4 female snapping turtles who live in the pond. I woke up this morning, and saw this gal right smack dab in the middle on the back yard, trying to lay eggs. (After she was gone, I checked for eggs - there were none).

Laying Eggs

A little while later I saw another snapper out on the outflow gate - but she jumped in before I could get out there with the camera. Fortuneately I went out there anyway to see if I could find her eggs. No luck with the eggs, but I found this gal stuck behind the gate, yet too big to get thru the outflow pipe. I will admit I was a bit scared putting my hand in there to open the gate.

Stuck

When we got home from dd's art class, I saw this gal walking across the yard. She went for a walk thru my veggie garden!

Amongst the Pac Choi and Lettuce

I was able to follow her back to the pond, where she went in amongst the field daisies!

Heading Back to the Pond


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 1, 11 at 20:36

You live in a mine field, pixie_lou! Do you wear steel-toed gardening clogs just in case you have a close encounter of the turtle kind?

It's great to see the snapper pics, but damsel flies are a lot less heart-palpitating.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

i know everyone who posts here knows their birds far better than I, but when i saw the 'female cardinal' attribution (next to the towhee) i showed it to My Love and we both said- that doesn't look right'. so i pulled up google photos and some of them do look like that. jane, do you think it's a juvenile (lighter color and smaller size)?

anyway, thought you'd enjoy this google image photo.I was quite surprised by it.
best,
mindy

Here is a link that might be useful: amazing cardinal pair kissing/feeding!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

More turtles today. When I woke up this morning, I found one on our patio. She spend over and hour there, checking out all the potted plants.

First Ms. Snappy was checking out the amarylis plants.

Turtlee and Amarylis

Then she decided to come check out the porch stairs.

Turtle at the stairs

Lastly she went to check out the gerbera daisy, stevia and nasturtiums.

Turtle with other flowers

We actually had a second turtle in the grass down beyond the vegetable garden. But how mundane!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 7, 11 at 20:58

Mindy: That cardinal could be a juvenile, but the bill is red which supposedly means it's fairly mature. The really young ones have dark bills which then turn orange then orange-red (according to the Birds of North America website). The female cardinals here are variable - some of them khaki-toned and some olive-green.

Pixie_lou: Those turtles are beginning to look cute! Ms Snappy looks like she's having fun exploring around. I wouldn't try to pat her though.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Claire - I am beginning to feel affectionate to all my turtles. I have to keep reminding myself that they aren't cute and cuddly - I have to be careful or else they'll snap my arm off.

We chose not to treat our pond for mosquitos this year. And we are paying the price with tons of mosquitos in the yard. However, I have definitely noticed an increase in dragon flies and damsel flies. Still no bats in the bat house though.

This guy was hanging out on the window screen.

dragonfly


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 9, 11 at 20:47

You have nice mobile features pixie_lou. Lately I've been seeing flocks (do insects fly in flocks? or what do you call a bunch of flying bugs?) of what I guess are dragon flies or damsel flies. They'll suddenly appear and zoom around back and forth in no particular order then disappear. I don't have a pond but I do have a lot of birdbaths. These bugs stay in the air though.

I haven't had a camera nearby when this happens and I doubt if I could capture them in midair. I need one to land on a screen and sit for a while. They seem very substantial, not wispy diaphanous insects. Come to think of it, I saw a hummingbird moth yesterday so maybe that's what they are, but I've always seen the hummingbird moths as solitary events (one at a time). I'll have to pay more attention.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

This male Common Whitetail dragonfly spent hours on the deck railing yesterday. Alone, not in a fetch of dragonflies, he appeared to be trying/drying his wings in a series of mini take-offs and landings. Perhaps he recently hatched!

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 12, 11 at 17:38

What a beautiful insect! Looks like a biplane. Fetch is a good word for the group.

Claire


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