Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Birding

Winter is finally here. We just got a dump of snow a few days ago. Winter birds are settling in, Redpolls, Blue Jays, ravens. I haven't really been birding much in the last while, or making a lot of posts other than Feathers on Friday and Weekly What Birds, so this morning I went out and watched the birds at the feeder. There have been three finch species hanging around, Common Redpolls, American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. I saw them all today at the feeders.

Chickadees of course are the most common and the boldest as I sat on the deck. They were always flitting back and forth from the feeders, while the redpolls and siskins took a long time for them to gain my trust and start feeding.
Black-capped Chickade

Black-capped Chickadee
 The chickadees hid seeds in the bark of the trees and store them for later.
Black-capped Chickadee
 Eventually the redpolls came warily closer, if I made a move they would fly. After several attempts for the feeder and seeing I wasn't moving a lot, they became comfortable with me and the flock came in.
Common Redpoll
 Last year we scarce had redpolls at all, so it's a treat to have them back.
Common Redpoll getting ready to fly down to the feeder.
 The siskins chorused in the nearby trees but didn't dare to come near.After waiting quite a while and seeing the siskins weren't coming, I started to leave. I waited a moment and came back. Already a whole bunch of sisksin were at the feeder. I cautiously approached and leaned on the deck rail to get closer.
Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin

A Downy Woodpecker came around later on a close branch, and I got a pretty good photo.
Downy Woodpecker
 After being inside a few minutes, my brother said there was a big bird at the feeder. He got a bit of a blurry picture before it flew away. It looked like a Rusty Blackbird. Five minutes later it returned. I was able to get a decent picture of it under a chair.
Quite the bird! It's a lifer for me, and I didn't expect to see it here in the winter, nevermind at our feeder.
Rusty Blackbird

I am planning to make some new posts soon, the final part of the Churchill trip, a post about my field guides, and I should be making others. So stay tuned!


  1. Great photos! The Rusty Blackbird must have been a surprise. I really want to see a redpoll...unfortunately they aren't common in NM.

    1. Yeah, I guess. They like more wintery conditions, seeing they live even more up north in the summer.