Spring!

Yes, it has finally arrived.  Things are blooming, the grass is green (and already needs cutting), and the stormy weather has begun here.   It’s also a time for migrating birds to be on the move.  So far, I have only seen two new birds here and one of them is a year round bird for us.  I had just never seen one until a few weeks ago.

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This is a Pine Warbler.  Not a very good photo, but I barely got this one.  They live here year round, but this is the first one I have ever seen.  Hopefully I will see more of them and be able to get some better photos.

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These are Pine Siskins.   I have never seen these before.   They resemble Goldfinches, but are streaked on their undersides and have gray markings instead of black.  I have read that they migrate all over North America and do not follow any certain paths.  This year, they seem to be all over the U.S. in abundance.

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And here at last, is a decent photo of a male Purple Finch.  They are a lot like House Finches, but do not have the streaking on their undersides.  I have seen them many times, but could never catch them still enough to snap a photo.  Very happy to finally get a couple.

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Just for reference, here is a male House Finch.  They are very similar to Purple Finches, but are more common.

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Another favorite, an American Goldfinch.  They are getting their bright yellow color back now.

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A Carolina Chickadee.  They are so cute and sing sweet little songs.

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The tiny birds are my favorites and this Brown-headed Nuthatch is no exception.  I love the squeaky toy noises they make and their acrobatics.  So fun to watch!

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And last, but not least, one of my all time favorites, a Cedar Waxwing.  I have seen many this Winter and have enjoyed seeing them so much.  They have come to my yard almost every day.  It is getting time for them to leave soon and I will miss them.

I am on a daily watch now for the Indigo Buntings to return.  I can hardly wait!  Last Spring, I also saw a Blue Grosbeak, but never did get a photo.   Bird watching is a fun hobby, but also relaxing.  It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors.

Friends and family are amazed at the variety of birds that come here.  For anyone who would like to attract birds to your yard, just put up a bird feeder and fill it with black oil sunflower seed.  Almost all birds love them.  Other birds forage on the ground for their food and some eat flying insects.   Some love suet cakes.   Birds seem to attract other birds too.  Having a water source, like a birdbath is another attraction for them.

I hope you all are enjoying Spring so far.  For me it is the opposite of Fall, which is my favorite season of all.  I am learning as I grow older that every season should be enjoyed for whatever it may bring.   Every day is truly a gift.

Be blessed my friends!

Pickle’s 2nd “Gotcha Day”

The past few days have been wonderfully sun-shiny and warm for winter.  Temps almost up to 70 degrees!   Now don’t get me wrong, Fall & Winter are still my favorite seasons, and I like rain too, but it’s nice to have such nice days with bright sunshine.  I have been taking advantage of it as much as possible.

January 18th is our little dog, Pickle’s Gotcha Day.   She has been with us for two years now.  On this special day, she got to have a little vanilla ice-cream, got a new collar & toy, and yesterday she had a spa day at the groomer’s.   Our groomer always takes a photo of each dog after she has worked her magic.   Here are my three favorites.  The one on the far left is from yesterday.

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I have also been enjoying the birds.  This warm, sunny weather is perfect for this, as well as many other outdoor activities.  I keep hearing that it will all change again by the week’s end.  More rain and cold on the way.

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I am seeing Cedar Waxwings almost daily now, in the mornings and late afternoons.  I so wish I could get some shots of them that did them justice.  They are so beautiful.   This is one of the best photos I have ever gotten of one, to date.

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This tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet is such a fast little bugger, that its not easy getting a photo of them.  They are so acrobatic and fun to watch.

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Last year, we only had a few of these delightful House Finches.  Now there are literally hundreds of them here.  They can be quite noisy, but I love hearing them.

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And another favorite, the American Goldfinch.  They love the feeders, but I am also seeing them way up high in the Sycamore trees, catching small insects.  They are in their drab winter colors now, but still a treat to see.

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The little Chipping Sparrows have returned, as well as the Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows.  Hopefully I will get decent photos of all of them to share soon.

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My day would not be complete without seeing these adorable Carolina Chickadees.  Their coloring is very pretty and they makes the most delightful sounds.   I love all birds, but the tiny ones are among my most favorites.

I hope it is bright & sunny where you are.

Enjoy every blessing to the fullest……