"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Welcome back!

Over the last week or so we've had a real increase in the birds coming to our yard.  Two of these are new to me and it was fun to see them come for a visit.

This little Red-breasted Nuthatch sat there and let me take his picture before flying off.
This Townsend's Warbler made his first visit during the bird count.   
You can see a little better here how vibrant the color is, although it still doesn't do justice to just how pretty the coloring is.  He seems to have made this feeder a regular stop, and sometimes takes a quick bath in the pond waterfall.
Here is a little Golden-crowned Kinglet enjoying a bath.  The one in this picture is a female.  She allowed me to come pretty close to get the picture, but she still looks so tiny in it.  This was the first time I'd seen one of these in our yard.  A few days after I took this picture a male came in for a quick visit.  He sat on the fence and as the sun shone on his head,  his brilliant orange crown sparkled.
There were about 4 Robins of different sizes in and around the pond, this one had been taking a bath right before I took this picture.
The House Finches and Pine Siskins are beginning to arrive too, and have joined in at the feeders by the pond.  I couldn't believe how many Pine Siskins came at once.  I read in the results of the Great Backyard Bird Count that their numbers have increased.  Strange thing was last year I noticed we barely had any.  They had always been a common one on the thistle feeders.  
I'm looking forward to more flying friends, with the weather being a little warmer there really has been an increase in activity.
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  1. I'm so envious of all the lovely birds that visit your yard! We have no trees in the back yard yet, so they don't quite like it here. And they haven't found my feeder either. Since I have no trees, it's hanging from the back steps, and I don't think they like it there. I'll keep trying!

  2. Your photos are lovely - and you get such a wide variety of birds compared to us. We've got sparrows,pigeons, blackbirds, thrushes, pigeons, robins, blue tits, pigeons, finches, pigeons, wrens, magpies and pigeons!

  3. This is a post dear to my heart:) I have such an attraction to the birds and yours are delightful. I haven't ever seen the Townsend's Warbler or the Golden Crowned Kinglet--probably due to geographical differences! The Pine Siskens have made their presence known, here, too! Funny thing is, I hadn't noticed any at all in the past few years! There definitely must be some major changes going on!

  4. Putting up that bark butter was a great idea wasn't it Catherine? It looks like its getting a lot of use. When I put in my pond I need to figure a way to have a bathing ledge for the birds too (like you have). I'm sure its a favorite spot. I think you must have a very welcoming yard for wildlife. Isn't that a fun side benefit of gardening?

  5. I just spotted a House Finch yesterday, a return visitor also. You've got a great variety of birds. Do you have tons of feeders?

    P.S. The word verification is being touchy again and not showing a word to verify.

  6. The pictures are wonderful. So nice to see someone has a spring theme going. I truly love to birdwatch and capturing yours so well is amazing.

  7. Great pictures, Catherine. I love the robin by your beautiful pond. It's really gratifying to have visitors take advantage of our efforts, isn't it?

  8. And isn't it nice to hear their singing? I am enjoying the longer days and sunshine-finally! That warbler is way cool, love the coloring and I bet she sings great.

  9. What fun to see your pictures this afternoon. I know you are enjoying all the activity and song!

  10. Looks like your water feature/pond attracts the birds pretty good! I have a bird bath just about like your it was given to me by a customer that was going to trash it... I was just thrilled to see 2 Song Sparrows with all the normal winter visitors today.

  11. You had a very successful bird counting event. Very cute they are posing for you and it must mean they trust being at your feeders.

  12. Msrobin - We do have a lot of trees in and around our backyard. The neighbors have a lot of cedars and I think that really attracts them. They will probably still find your feeder. Maybe you can put it on a shepard's hook further out in your yard for them to find.

    Nutty Gnome - So you get a lot of pigeons :) You still get quite a few that we don't get. I think a lot of it is just the area we are in, and lots of wetlands, trees , etc to attract them.

    Jan - I know you are a bird lover and your pictures show it. Mine aren't very good, but the fun is seeing them visit. I bet a lot of it is geographical, because I know a lot of your visitors we never see here.

    Kathleen - I wish I would have made the falls with a little more of a bowl shape to really allow the birds to drink or bathe, but they still manage to even on the flat stone that we have.

    Melanthia - I hadn't seen those finches for awhile, it's nice to see them return, the males are so pretty with their red chests.
    This word verifier has been strange on other sites for me too. I've had some blogs where only part of the page shows up too. Annoying :)

    Heather - Yes, I'm a bird nut. I stand and look out the windows all the time to see who is visiting.

    Grace - It is nice to see that the work and thought put into the garden is worth it. The Robins are always a favorite of mine!

    Tina - Oh yes, love their singing. The chickadees have been singing like crazy lately.

    Mildred - Thanks, we have been enjoying all the new visitors :)

    Randy - It's fun to see the birds take advantage of birdbaths, I love seeing them splash around. The birdbath is right by the pond and they are both busy a lot of the year.

    Anna - I was surprised that I could get that close. They must know I'm the one feeding them :)

    Darla - Thanks, they are pretty cute!

  13. Great captures! Love the pond! Great name for your blog also..A garden in progress..thats how I will always think of mine, even though its 20 yrs old! :)
    Enjoy your day!

  14. Isn't it great when the birds start returning? That's a sure sign that spring is on it's way. I hope I can do a better job of capturing bird pictures this year. So far still not much variety around here.

  15. Hi Catherine, your birds are delightful. I love the little nuthatch, how polite to let you take the picture. We have no warblers here, but I am interested in your feeder. Your pond is so pretty and welcoming, no wonder the feathered friends love to visit at your place.

  16. Cat - Yes this garden will be in progress forever, we've been here almost 10 years :) and still I'm always changing things around.

    Cinj - I love seeing the birds. I'm not usually quick enough to catch them, but I tried to keep my camera nearby since I had noticed so many lately.

    Frances - The feeder is a peanut butter feeder with bark butter on it. I've only had it up for a few weeks and this warbler has really liked it.

  17. What a beautiful garden you have.We always try to garden with our cameras,too.

  18. Chris C and Jon J - Thanks! I enjoyed your blog too!

  19. What a beautiful pond! Nuthatches are some of my favorite birds--they are so cute the way they eat upside down! And how very cool that you have warblers too!
    Seeing all your great photos makes me want to get a peanut butter feeder and hang it near the suet feeder too. More birds! :)

  20. Aerie-el - Thank you! I love nuthatches too, they always hold my attention while hopping up and down the trees.
    I think the peanut butter would actually be fairly easy to make, and I bet you'd get a lot of birds on it. Anything to attract more birds is great!

  21. I enjoyed your bird pics, and seeing your pond looking so great!


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