This week was full of snow and freezing temperatures. Other than shoveling snow, I tried to spend most of my time indoors. On my snow day from work, I staked out by the window for about twenty minutes and managed to capture pictures of several different species of birds.
And please excuse the dirty windows…. The Tufted Titmouse is one of the more common species that comes to the feeders all year round.
Black capped Carolina Chickadees are another common species. I see them all year round, and they are so cute and small. They will typically grab a seed, fly to a nearby tree branch, and then peck at it and eat it. I also recently read that they will sometimes stash seed during the warmer months. (Thanks to a reader, I’ve corrected what type of Chickadee lives here. I think I assumed it was a black capped Chickadee because that’s what I grew up with. Thanks Megatron!)
Here a Downy Woodpecker and an Eastern Towhee are sharing the ledge. The Downy gets a bit anxious though, and usually scares off other birds while it’s feeding. The Eastern Towhee visits seasonally, and in the Spring will spend hours “fighting” his reflection in glass (windows) or the side mirrors on the car.
The Carolina Wren is another small and cute bird that stays here just about all year. Last year, one made a nest in a plastic bin we had sitting out on the lower deck (in shade by the house). There were three or four little babies that hatched and then fledged pretty quickly.
I have noticed quite a few bluebirds at times- sometimes there will be as many as six or seven together. I’m very glad to see them. We do get European Starlings quite a bit too, which are known for disrupting and tossing out nesting bluebirds. I try to shoo them away as frequently as I can.
The Robin. Some birds seem more acutely aware of what’s going on behind the glass- and the Robin is one who seems to be able to see me. If I make any movement, he’ll fly away. If he sees me, he won’t come near the feeder. This is contrast to the chickadees and titmice who seem completely oblivious.
And finally, the most exciting watch of the day was this Yellow Rumped Warbler. I had to search my field guide thoroughly to find the name of this bird. I saw one a few days previously, and then saw a few more on the snow day. I took lots of pictures.
And here you can see how it got its name. Now that I’ve identified it, I wonder if I’ll see it again.
Today (Sunday) was actually quite nice, at 52 degrees Fahrenheit, I managed to get out and check up on my hydrangeas. Some of the buds may be dead from cold, but I’ll just have to watch them and wait and see this summer. I also checked the Camellia to see if the flowers were damaged. The ones that were open have frostbite, but the buds that haven’t opened yet may be Okay with just some minor burns. While I was out, I did notice lots of footprints in the snow.
I was surprised to see some rabbit footprints in the snow. I was just thinking the other day that it had been several months since I’d seen a rabbit in the garden. I had supposed they may have been eaten due to increased cat and hawk activity.
I think bird footprints are adorable.
I thought these prints were amusing too- cat prints going up and down the hill. Even with the warm temperatures, there’s still quite a bit of snow, and I consider it dangerous to trek down into the lower garden. To break from the dreary weather, we managed to get out this weekend and go to the 9th Annual Virginia Orchid Society Show, held at Strange’s. It wasn’t very large, but there were some amazing specimens on display.
The sizes, shapes, and colors were just incredible.
They also had Orchids for sale, and they had several lectures on orchid care. The lectures and admission was free, which was perfect for a much needed shot of color.
I’m so excited and ready for Spring!