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Saturday, August 30, 2008


There is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is, I haven't seen any hummingbird pics. The good news is, I only have to look at a handful of pics every day, rather than 300 plus I was used to! On second thought, guess there isn't much good news for you. :)

I am still seeing the male cardinal at the feeder. Sometimes I think he looks a little ratty, but maybe it's just the lighting. The jay still shows up occasionally, too.

A few days ago, I heard a chirping outside my window. I checked the downy cam and, sure enough, I saw a female downy feeding. Since then I saw her at least once a day, and today I saw her three times before 11:00! She is noisy, it was easy for me to tell when she was there! Since she only stays at the suet feeder for less than a minute at a time, it probably isn't worth checking the cam to see her, but have at it, if you wish. It was a female every time, I have not seen a male lately. I wish I could think of a better use for that web cam, it seems like somewhat of a waste. On the other hand, when I do see a downy feeding, I do enjoy watching them!

Posted by Dave at 7:38 PM
Edited on: Saturday, August 30, 2008 7:40 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chickadee II

I fried the computer which held the database for this blog. All my bird pics were on that computer, as well. I did have a backup of the blog, so I was able to do a restore. I am still hoping to gain access to the bird pics, but it'll be a couple of weeks more, at least. The Downy cam went down with this, as well. That was no big loss, I have not seen any activity lately. The cam is back online, and hopefully there will soon be something to watch. (It would have been nice to turn it into a hummingbird cam!)

On my way to clean the birdbath the other day, I noticed a chickadee sitting on the ant trap, on top of the hummingbird feeder. I like chickadees, so I didn't want to scare it away. I stood there and watched it as it ducked it's head down in the ant trap to get a drink. I thought, that figures! I clean the birdbath and fill it with fresh water everyday. I add water to the ant trap when I notice it is empty, but I sure don't clean it! Anyway, after getting a drink, it flew to the box feeder. It landed on the side away from the Wingscapes camera. There are a couple of small holes on the side of the feeder, and it was using one to get something to feed on. Then it flew to the feeder hanger and started to sing. Being a chickadee, it didn't stay there very long. It flew down to the top of the feeder and sang some more. It continued to fly to various spots on the feeder and sing. Meanwhile, a dove landed on the ground under the feeder and was pecking away at the ground. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a squirrel off to my right. It wasn't any farther away then what the birds were, which wasn't very far at all! But then the birds flew off, and I continued on to the birdbath.

For the first time, I noticed a sign of activity at the hummingbird feeder. Namely, the water got cloudy. But I did not notice the water level dropping any faster than usual. The Wingscapes camera caught a possible culprit! I believe that this is my friend, the chickadee. I might re point the camera to better view the hummingbird feeder. I sure would like to see one.

A couple more chickadee shots, here and here. I changed these links to open in a new window. Is that better, or would you rather hit the 'back' button on the browser? I guess it is six of one, and half a dozen of the other. :) edit: I changed it to open in the same window.

Posted by Dave at 6:31 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:48 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Barn swallows

I have mentioned more than once, that I see swallow type birds dive bombing me, while I am mowing the yard. I could never figure out what they were. Here is a good reason why! Check this picture, it is what I usually see when I am looking for a pic of a bard swallow. This does not look like my birds. I usually see the swallows when I am mowing the yard where my box feeder is located. Before I mowed the yard today, I read the daily Birdchat Digest, and checked the messages in the Garden Web Forum. I saw a post that seemed to answer my question as to what they are doing: * Posted by chinamigarden Mon, Jul 21, 08 at 10:25 "The birds that are circling you as you mow are probably barn swallows. They are eating the bugs that you are scaring up with the tractor. Its something to watch as they are quite acrobatic. Good luck with your new hobby. Be prepared for your one feeder to become 6."

So I moved over to the yard on the other side of the driveway, and suddenly, the swallows were all around me! I counted at least six birds! I never saw more than two, before. So I was thinking that they probably are going for the bugs. In the past, I always assumed they were buzzing me, to chase me away from their nesting area. Then one flew within a couple of feet of me. I want to tell you, that woke me up! They usually don't get that close!

After I finished mowing, I came in to search the web until I came up with an answer as to what these birds are. I found this page, which shows a pic much closer to what I am seeing. I really didn't notice the red around the head, but it would be easy to miss. In any event, I am sure that these are barn swallows.

They are entertaining, and whereas they eat bugs, I am happy to have them. I don't need them to get quite so close, though. :)

Posted by Dave at 4:45 PM
Categories: Backyard Birding