Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Late Arrival, Late Posting

With our unusually cold, snowy, and long winter, spring seems later than usual.  For whatever reason, this year I was not longing for spring, but enjoying the winter--maybe I just needed a break from yard work...or maybe I just accepted that I couldn't change the weather.  I know I am looking forward to the clean slate that winters always seem to bring to the yard.

Normally, come mid-February, I'm searching for signs of spring, scanning the wooded hillsides for that red haze that comes upon the maples as they awaken from their winter slumber.  Every year, I am on the lookout for the return of the red-wing blackbirds.  Despite not being in any rush this year, by mid-March, I was scanning the roadsides where I've seen them perch past springs.  This year, however, the first one I saw was in our own backyard! :)

The pictures aren't so great, but I finally got some shots of him a day or two after I first spotted him.

These were taken March 16, 2014:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Staking Claim

The male bluebird is back and staking claim to what appears to be the best nestbox on the property.  Each year, this particular box is used by a bluebird pair.  I'm thrilled to see it is likely they'll be nesting here again--I have to admit that I'd be quite disappointed if I had to go a year without them.

After spotting him last week, I went out and checked out the inside of the box where I saw several strands of grass had been added to the bottom already.  Today, I saw just a few more had been added.  Looking good. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Great Backyard Bird Count: Photos & Tallies

I think it is only a month late, but here are the results of the GBBC back in February...and a few photos as well:

Okay...I just tried to find my bird count results and had no luck, so, if I find them, I'll post them later.  Either way, here are some pictures:

I had a Carolina wren, a nuthatch or two, some chickadees, and goldfinches in addition to the songbirds pictured above, but one of the highlights was when I spotted a hawk (thanks to the two crows causing a ruckus as they harassed him); it was nice to add something new to my lists.

Most surprising to me was that the rest of the birds kept on eating despite the predator so close by...perhaps they felt secure with the crows as their bodyguards.

Oh, and, not officially part of the count, there was one gray squirrel. ~smile~

Calling Dibs

While chatting with Jeff, something caught my eye out the kitchen window and over halfway across the field--a dark spot on the bluebird house.  After grabbing the binoculars, I confirmed what I suspected and hoped.  The bluebirds are back.  At least the male is, and he is claiming his favorite nestbox in the yard.  That same box has been used by a bluebird pair each year since I put it up...I assume they are the same pair, but I have no way of knowing.

It is that time of year again.  I'll have to keep an eye out on the box and try to have the camera ready.