Cleaning up the kitchen after lunch, my eye was arrested by the sight of a lonely bluebird huddled on top of the nesting box in falling snow.
The temperature was 18 degrees, and I could only imagine that, despite his fluffed out feathers, the little fellow was feeling a bit cold. Grabbing my camera, I snapped his picture, then soon discovered he wasn’t the only wind-blown bird in the backyard. At least one other bluebird, a downy woodpecker, and a robin were nearby. (Click to enlarge pictures.)
I’m looking forward to spring when sunshine and warm breezes will waft away the cold and snow. I have a feeling my feathered friends are just as eager for a change in the weather. How about you?
Thanks for visiting today. See you soon.
Weatherwise, February is usually a dreary month along the south shore of Lake Erie, but this year Valentine’s week brought a few birds to the backyard buffet that I hadn’t seen in a long while, most notably the beautiful male bluebird and the red-breasted nuthatch pictured above. To be honest, the birds I have been seeing most often when I look out my kitchen window are the ever-present pesky starlings. Starlings in small numbers are interesting birds with pretty feathers, but starlings never appear in small numbers. They invade! For that reason, I don’t usually take their picture more than once in a while when the backyard bird pickings are slim.
But this has been a good week, one that culminated on Friday with the appearance of a female bluebird and another appearance of a red-breasted nuthatch. The white-breasted nuthatch is a regular visitor, but the red-breasted variety is truly a rarity in our neighborhood. I’ve read that an irruption, or invasion, of red-breasted nuthatches is possibly due to a lack of spruce seeds farther north in the bird’s typical winter range. I’ve only seen a few so far this year, not nearly enough to count as an irruption, but when they appear in my backyard, I consider it to be an exciting event. Here are several that I have seen this week:
Red-breasted nuthatch with his lunch
Another of the red-breasted nuthatch
Rear view of the red-breasted nuthatch
And here is another picture of the male bluebird as well as his mate, who showed up today. Contrary to what many people believe, some bluebirds do winter in Northeast Ohio, but that is unusual enough to create some excitement.
Here is a little gallery of the backyard birds I have seen this week. Click to enlarge…
If you recognize this bird, let me know.
Red-breasted nuthatch with his lunch
Another of the red-breasted nuthatch
Rear view of the red-breasted nuthatch
And finally, my husband’s favorite, the smallest woodpecker, a downy.
That’s the backyard bird gallery for this week. As the old-fashioned expression goes, I’m pleased as punch to be able to include a couple of reasonably rare birds among the current collection.
Thanks for visiting the backyard buffet with me.
See you soon to find out what next week will bring my way!
When I came downstairs for breakfast this morning, I was amazed to see a beautiful blue sky outside my window. Knowing that a blue sky in the morning can become a dull, overcast sky by noon, I hurried through breakfast and made it to the park with time to spare. First stop was the owl tree to see if Momma Owl was awake.
She was, as usual when I come to visit, sound asleep. Maybe she was up all night hunting for breakfast? That’s one theory, but I haven’t actually seen any owlets yet, although another photographer reported a sighting last week. I have a lot to do today, so I didn’t linger at the base of the tree to see if anything would happen. I shot off a few frames and headed back down the trail to see what else I could find.
Nothing much was happening at the split rail fence, so I walked a little farther down the trail toward the river, and bonanza! I encountered a bluebird, and she was happy to pose for the camera.
We have been hoping that a pair of bluebirds will move into one of our nesting boxes, but so far none of the blue beauties have shown more than a passing interest in either box. Although I am becoming a little discouraged, I haven’t given up hope yet. Spring isn’t even in full bloom. Maybe we need to hire a real estate agent to post ads about the wonderful homes that are available in the neighborhood. Do you think that would work? I wonder how classified ads would work in the birding community? Or would glossy, full page ones look better?
Here are several more pictures taken by the split-rail fence earlier in the week before the rain moved in.
And finally, before I close down for the afternoon, here’s a red-bellied woodpecker who showed up for this morning’s walk in Chagrin River Park.
That’s all, folks. I’m running out of blogging time. Thanks for joining me for today’s trail walk. I really appreciate your company and your comments.
Good morning, Trail Walkers. I hope you’re ready for another trek along the trails in Chagrin River Park. It never get monotonous for me when I’m out on the trail, but recently I’m seeing the same birds day after day. Here’s hoping that the coming of spring will soon bring some migratory birds back to the trails. My photos from yesterday are all birds, but I was drawn to the image at the top of today’s page because it shows more of the meadow. I hope you like it. Here are a few more regulars that posed for a photo opp yesterday:
There was plenty of titmouse action this morning. These little birds make me smile because they are perpetually perky, or at least they seem to be. They even sound perky.
The red-winged blackbird is one of the earliest signs of spring in Northeast Ohio. Long before other noticeable signs and sounds of spring appear along the trails, the harsh nasal voice of this bird tells a trail walker that spring is coming. It’s always a good sound to hear, even though experience reminds me that the trees won’t be budding and blooming any time soon… at least not here along the south shore of Lake Erie.
Let’s end today’s trail walk with a perennial favorite. Everyone recognizes this bird. The state bird of Ohio and several other states, the cardinal lives here year-round, and looks especially beautiful when I spot it on a tree branch, surrounded by freshly fallen snow.
I’m thankful there wasn’t any snow along the trail yesterday. I’ve had enough for this year. True spring can’t arrive soon enough for me!
Thanks for stopping by today.
See you in a few days.
The weather wasn’t too bad in the morning, and a lonesome male bluebird stopped by to check out the nesting box. I’d like to think he was scouting for a home for his mate and future family, but I won’t be holding my breath on that score.
However, as the day progressed, the weather worsened. In late afternoon I looked out the window to see snow falling and rapidly covering the ground with a coating of that white stuff, which looks magical in December, but by March…not so much! After the bluebird visitation this morning, there was very little bird activity. I took one last glance out the window as the light was fading, and saw only some snowbirds (juncos) and a couple of mourning doves, sheltering at the base of one of the feeders. When the dove posed next to the water bowl, I snapped her picture.
That was all the excitement for the day, and it was enough for me. I’m laying low for few days, recovering from a tumble off our back steps that resulted in an entire night in a massively crowded emergency room. And, no, I don’t know how it happened. They kept asking if I had passed out, lost consciousness, or felt dizzy, and all I could say was ,”No, no, and no,” whenever anyone asked.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!!!
See you soon, Trail Walker
This morning I visited a friend who lives a few short blocks from Lake Erie. Because it was a beautiful morning, I couldn’t resist stopping by Lake Overlook Park on my way home. Only one other person was walking along the trail from the lake to the parking lot. Noticing my camera, she remarked that high noon is not the best time to take pictures. “Come back in the early morning or around sunset,” she suggested. However, this was the time I had planned to visit my friend, and I was determined to take advantage of this opportunity to grab a few pictures of the snow-covered lake. So I walked on down the trail to the lake, and here is what I saw:
Fortunately, I had no plans to access the beach area! Continuing my walk, I stayed well away from the edge of the cliff. Tumbling into a frozen Lake Erie was not on my agenda for the morning. Here are a few pictures I captured on that short walk. I hope you enjoy them.
High noon or not, I am glad I stopped by the lake today, but I will go back for another photo walk along that cliff…when the sun is setting. I’m looking forward to comparing those pictures to today’ high noon captures.
Thanks for visiting Lake Erie with me today.
The temperature was hovering around zero with freezing rain tapping on the window pane, so backyard birding seemed like a better idea than trudging down the trail in the park. Call me a wimp, if you want, but I’m happiest indoors in weather like this.
The bluejays don’t seem to mind much as long as the rain isn’t pelting down, but Ido mind, so I decided to do a little backyard birding from inside my kitchen window today.
In most tree-shaded backyards, birding usually includes squirrels, and my yard is no different. This squirrel is sheltering under the bird feeder, and he looks pretty happy about having the food all to himself.
Most days I prefer birding along the trail in the park, but today I am thankful to capture my birds through the window. I hope you enjoyed the view.
Thanks for joining me. Let’s hope for sunny weather soon. I’m not a trailwalker today!
It wasn’t a fabulous day for photography, so I decided to take some shots through the kitchen window. This stump and several others are what remains of a large oak tree we had to cut down last year. I decided to take advantage of them to create tables, just for the wildlife. The little birds (and the squirrels and chipmunks) loved the idea, and this is the result. They are also popular with the deer that roam around our neighborhood at night, but for some reason, today it was just birds. To my surprise, there wasn’t a hoof print in sight. Near this stump is another on which I place a water bowl and handfuls of black oil sunflower seeds. Occasionally, as you can see here, there is some quarreling between the visitors. It looks to me like the sparrow is complaining because the house finch is just a little greedy. Look at that mouth full of seed! Definitely more than her share, according to the sparrow.
The breakfast and lunch hours are the most popular times for visitors. Sometimes I can almost liken them to the regulars at the neighborhood deli…except for the greed factor that is. Here are a few more visitors that showed up yesterday when I was watching out the window:
That’s it for today. I did spot a red-bellied woodpecker, but couldn’t capture her picture. Maybe next time! Did you notice what a monotone day this was? I’m thankful for visits from the blue jays and the little house finches with their rosy breasts. Otherwise winter weather can be a little dull.
Hope to see you again at the back yard buffet!