Recently I've been the recipient of a couple of neat gifts.
I won a Shepherd's Bush patriotic chart from Vickie of A Stitcher's Story. She also generously included the 28 count 'Fruit Punch' Jobelan fabric. I can see this used for a Valentine chart of some sort. Thanks so much Vickie!
I also got an email from Kris, a Loyal Follower asking for my mailing address.
Look what she sent me! This great chart and the JABC buttons. I think this will be my first November stitch. It is perfect Kris, thank you!
The other day, I took a walk, and besides looking at flora, I spent some time watching and listening to the fauna. Specifically birds that I do not normal see at my feeders.
I heard lots of activity in the oak grove near the road, starting with this bird - a Kinglet of some sort think.
I heard the buzzy mechanical sound of a Bewick's Wren and found the bird in the underbrush.
While my Summer Visitors have left, the Winter Residents have returned.
Look! A Golden-crowned Kinglet! You can see the bright yellow stripe on the head of the bird.
They are flitting fluttery birds, so I was really pleased with this series of photos.
They are difficult subjects to photograph.
Here's my best photo - darn that blurry branch in the foreground.
The Kinglets are most often part of a mixed flock that includes Black-capped Chickadees. I estimate that there were six chickadees and an equal number of kinglets.
Besides the Bewick's Wren, there was also a Hutton's Vireo hanging out as part of the mixed flock in an area that included the oak grove and the willows at the edge of the Big Creek.
The Vireo did a better job of posing (holding still) for me.
The defining feature is the eye ring which is incomplete at the top of the eye. This helps to distinguish it from a Cassin's Vireo.
And while this my look like a Vireo, it is smaller, and is most probably a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet even though the ruby crown is not on display.
As you can see it was a very productive bird walk - and one taken at 2:00pm in the afternoon, not an optimum time for bird watching.
I had a Follower ask about feeding birds and the problems of waste and mess. As she was set up as 'No Reply', I'll answer briefly here. I have very little problems with my feeders creating a mess or the food going to waste. First off I have them sited in the backyard which is in no way a formal lawn. If the bird food falls on the ground it is not messing up a lawn. In a more formal area, some folks create a space with a cover of bark or mulch that is easy to rake and clean up. I honestly spread bird food on the ground each morning because I have SO many ground feeders including quail, mourning doves, sparrows, and the darned deer! Nothing goes to waste with all these hungry guys.
In the wet Oregon winter my challenge is to keep the food dry so it does not mold. That's where I tend to get wasted food. And moldy food is potentially dangerous / deadly to the birds. So I have plastic domes over many of the feeders. I also bring them inside some nights to 'dry out' the wet peanuts for example. I only fill the feeders about 1/2 full so that I am changing them out more frequently and I clean them every couple of weeks.
Lastly, as far as bird food goes you get what you pay for! Cheap bird food is cheap for a reason - it is mostly filled with fillers like millet that 90% of the birds do not like, so toss on the ground. I recommend black oil sunflower seeds. I buy 40 pound sacks of the seed at a Wilco Farm stores for $19.99. Many many birds eat sunflower seeds. I also buy good quality suet (no corn meal for example in the ingredients) which attracts some of the birds like woodpeckers, who are not generally seed eaters. I hope this helps!