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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fresh Snow 2°C

 9:00 a.m. - a deer rests on the hillside
 
Perhaps you can also see the smaller mammal in the foreground.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Our First Snowfall


and a surprise visit from a small flock of Waxwings. Temp. -12°C

Bohemian Waxwing in a Saskatoon Bush

It was such a pleasure to observe these beautiful birds on this sunny winter's day.
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wintry Morning

 A dusting of snow, 0°C

Immature Bald Eagle in a Spruce tree

Friday, October 25, 2013

Frosty

 Juniper

How does such a little bird make such a big noise!  That's what drew our attention immediately upon setting out on our walk in the woods on this frosty morning.

We searched the sky and surrounding trees to locate the sound and finally found our bird at the top of a spruce tree.  The nuthatch called incessantly, first in one direction, then in the other direction.

A pleasant surprise.

(I haven't seen the Red-breasted Nuthatch since the White-breasted Nuthatch arrived here a year ago and decided to stay.)     






Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Birds Dining on Sunflower Seeds

Foggy Morning

Sunny Afternoon

The other day I liberated from the garden a drooping sunflower that was full with seeds and attached it to one of the bird feeders.  The chickadees seem to be enjoying it very much.

Yesterday's Sightings:

1 Varied Thrush poking around on a log
1 White-Breasted Nuthatch on a tree nearby

I was surprised to see the thrush as I thought she/he would have flown south by now.  The nuthatch is very territorial, and I watched to see what the little bird had in mind.  The nuthatch flew straight at the thrush obviously trying to drive the bigger bird off.  This tactic had little effect on the thrush, and he simply hopped into an opening under the log.

1 Ruffed Grouse
Chickadees   
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flocking Together

on a rainy August day
the crows sit and wait


For the past week, the crows have begun to flock together as they prepare to leave for more southern climes.  If their boisterous and interesting vocalizations are anything to go by, they are catching up on all the gossip and news of the summer.
  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sparrows

I think this is a White-throated Sparrow because of the yellow lores.

Zonotrichia albicollis 



Photos were taken at 8:30 a.m.  This is usually a good time to observe the birds, and it's also lovely to be outside in the freshness of the early morning.  The smaller birds can be seen hopping about in the bushes looking for food or else in the branches of the birch trees and saskatoon bushes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lookout

Calliope guards her flowers....

 checking this way,

that way,

then gone!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Western Tanager

Piranga ludoviciana

Male Western Tanager perched in a spruce tree
(note reddish wash on head)

In the breeding season the male's head is a vivid red, but he will lose this red colouring later on as winter approaches.

The Western Tanager is the only species of tanager that breeds in British Columbia.  Their breeding range extends almost to 60° North in the Northwest Territories.  This is the first Western Tanager I've seen all summer.


I heard him singing in a tree close to the open patio door.  Other than the bees, butterflies and occasional hummingbird, nothing moved in the sweltering heat of a slow afternoon.  He didn't move either, just sat in a bit of shade and sang the same song over and over, for what seemed a very long time.
  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hummingbird

A hummingbird drinks nectar from a larkspur blossom

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Odd Sight

It's unusual to see the Merlins on the ground.  But, when I went outside after supper today, there were two, maybe three, young falcons near the roadway.  They looked very much out of place.  I'm so used to looking up to observe them flying or perched in the treetops, and  I was quite surprised by this strange behaviour.  Once they noticed me they immediately flew off.





Friday, July 19, 2013

Merlin

Falco columbarius
8:30 a.m. this morning....
 
A young Merlin is perched in a Spruce tree



A second Merlin is perched in the same tree on a lower branch

The young falcons are gaining experience flying, and they're also learning to hunt.  Lately it has become very noisy here.  At various times of the day and during the evening hours especially, the merlins' incessant high-pitched calls often make us stop what we're doing and go see what's happening outside. 
         

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pileated Woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus





On several occasions recently, I've observed the young Pileated Woodpeckers in a spruce tree at the back of the house.  They cling there preening or investigating crevices in the bark and wait to be fed.

    

Friday, June 21, 2013

Young Crows

Yesterday at 7:15 a.m. -
waiting for breakfast....

not edible

learning patience

sharing...not likely

a little sibling rivalry

perhaps a dandelion stalk

ah, real food