Bird antics

Cleaning up under a feeder, a small band of a much larger mob!

I love these guys, and gals!  Evening Grosbeaks.  They remind me of clowns!  They hang out in large flocks in the winter and eat A LOT of seed!  Not shy, if there is seed on the porch, close to the house, they will come and get it.  They are not intimated by other large birds. Generally amiable, they seem to share well with smaller birds.  I watched several times today as one Varied Thrush or another tried to take an aggressive stance with them…… Thrush vs 8-12 Grosbeaks  (talk about thinking much of oneself!). The Grosbeaks, who always stand with sentinels looking in different directions, barely looked up.  “You want us to leave? You’re kidding right?”

Snowy Magic

Not much blogging on this blog lately. Difficult to share my musings about the joys and mysteries of Nature when for the past month Nature and I have not hung out much. Gimping around in a leg brace due to a fractured knee cap has made thiswinter an inside event.  And I have certainly grumbled on the rare days of blue sky and sunshine, missing my winterwoods walks. Sitting in a lawn chair bundled up with my leg on a stool does notsatisfy the desire to be walking a beach to shake out the winter gray.
But today Nature came knocking.  After a tease of snow over the weekend, today is the promised “winter weather warning” weather pundits have been excited about for the past few days. In urban areas snow in western Washington can bringdisruption and havoc, but here it is absolutely transformational.  The noisy county road, slick with black ice under newly fallen snow, is almost abandoned. Only the brave, foolish, and critically needed venture north from south county.

I sit mesmerized as the world around me becomes bright. Snow is falling and every little branch and ‘branchette’ heavy with mini snow piles.  Birds of all shapes and sizes decorate every bush and tree in our yard as they take turns at the feeders.  I toss out extra seed close to the house where there is still exposed dirt and grass, and the adventuresome wander unto the porch to see if I am providing extra feeding stations, which I do, as I cannot resist Curious Juncos, bold Stellar Jays, and flitty Towhees who find the competition at the feeders a hassle.  Both Chickadee varieties and dozens of Pine Siskens compete for, and empty, the hanging feeders.  Against the white, birds that usually blend in become colorful tree ornaments – StellarBlue, Thrush Orange, Towhee Brick Red & Black, the earth tones of Junco& Chickadee, Finch Red, and a plethora of Sisken Stripes!  A Grosbeak just arrived, a young male with just a slight show of bright yellow.

And there are all the antics that go along with the color show. Small Siskens are the bullies, and hang out in very large gangs. They open their tiny wings in a show of aggression and chase anyone else from af eeder.  Towhees are theflitterers, hopping and bopping about on the ground.  Chickadee darts in, procures one seed to take to a branch, opens and eats it – seems like more energy is expended than gained, but not being a Chickadee I don’t know. Jays, big and bold, spend a lot of time in the trees picking at moss andbugs and who knows what else.  I just looked up as one ducked to avoid a mini snow avalanche falling from the branch above.  Thrushes hunker down, making their elegant long bodies into large round fluff balls to stay warm.
And there is the constant twitter and cooing, special sounds that are either only sung on snow days, oragainst the snow muffled silence take on a sometimes eerie, always charming,tone.
Yup, Nature came calling today,drawing me out and captivating me with snowy enchantment.  Stay cozy, and if you are living in a warm sunny earth place…ah you are missing the magic!