Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Notes From My Nest: Yard Birds and such

 finch feeder 1-21-15

It’s a cold, clear morning here today with barely the whisper of a breeze. The Common Redpolls are back at my feeders, but so far the Hermit Thrush that has been hanging around all week is noticeably absent this morning. (It showed up around 11 AM after all!) I awoke around 6:30 AM to soft, gray skies that soon faded to a soft pink light and then full on blue. For a brief moment the waters in Maquoit Bay were bathed in these pastel colors, but now the sea is an icy blue fringed with an icy edge. Yesterday I could see a few Buffleheads and Goldeneyes floating and diving in the water. A Herring Gull lazily drifted around the ducks and seemed to be watching them dive for food. I only have a little window on their world glimpsed between cottages and tree trunks, but it is enough for me for now.

maquoit bay 1-21-15 Maquoit Bay View 1-21-15

We have had a break in the stormy weather and with the temperatures a wee bit warmer, this sunshine is calling me to go outside. Since dislocating my shoulder, I am even more housebound than I was before! While I am still in the 8 week healing zone from my surgery I could at least get out in the car and drive! Now I am totally dependent on others to drive me around. With weather this nice, I would be over at the boat launch in a heartbeat! Now I am stuck inside! The warm rains we had on Sunday did melt most of the snow in my yard, so I was bold and walked out to my car to get something on Monday and I couldn’t help lingering in the driveway for a moment.

South 1-21-15 South Feeder

I am trying to find ways to occupy myself while stuck in the house. I get up every morning and start counting birds right away. I make a cup of tea with my bins slung over my shoulder while I am still in my nightgown and wander from room to room. My yard is set up in such a way that I can see bird feeders from almost every window. The interesting thing I have observed is that the birds seem to wander from feeder to feeder as well. Seldom are all 4 feeding stations occupied at once. I do not know why. The Hermit Thrush that has been hanging around all week is bold and friendly and not easily spooked. I have observed it eating both seed and suet from my feeders. The redpolls are much more skittish and fly off at the slightest movement, or lack thereof. Sometimes I have no idea what has spooked them! I am searching the flocks for a Hoary Redpoll, which would be a Life Bird for me, and I think that I have seen at least one that is much paler and more “frosty” looking with a white rump. I tried to get a photo of it this morning out the back door, even with my bum arm, but the window frosted up as soon as I opened the inner door and the birds took off, so no luck and no proof! You know me. I will keep trying!

north feeders 1-21-15 North feeders near driveway

I’ve also spotted a few pine siskins mixed with the redpolls as well. My Yard list for the year continues to grow, but my over all year list has stalled, since I have not been able to get out and bird. Harlequin Ducks, Dovekies, Common Murres, Razorbills, Glaucous Gulls, and Snowy Owls are just some of the birds I am longing to see before this winter is over! Perhaps I can get my husband or my daughter to take me for a birding drive soon! I haven’t even seen a Common Raven or a Northern Mockingbird yet this year! Still, I am seeing a nice variety of birds in my yard and one of my favorite winter birds is the Red-bellied Woodpecker which is still hanging around my house. She has a fondness for peanuts and if I do not put them out for her, she usually won’t show up. The problem is, the blue Jays like the peanuts as well and come to the feeder and gobble them up, carrying them away in their gullet to cache someplace else!

daughter doing dishes 1-21-15 My daughter doing dishes for me 1-20-15

I have such a need to communicate and to write, that I have started writing with art stuff 1-21-15 my right hand. I can easily form the letters but it is a slow and painstaking process. Using this keyboard is much easier as the words flow from my brain to my fingertips. I am feeling stronger everyday and I am getting tired of sitting on the couch and watching TV! I had just bought some pencil crayons and other art supplies to try and be creative with last week before I fell because I needed something easy to use since I cannot go down in the basement and haul all my painting supplies upstairs by myself. I didn’t even get to open them and try them out before I fell and dislocated my left shoulder. They are still in their packages on the dining room table. I look at them everyday with longing and try to think of what I can do instead!

me 1-21-15

Today was the first day that I was able to dress myself! I was so proud of me! The black strap on my shoulder is my binocular strap. The white sock is over the strap of the sling because the foam rubber strap irritates my skin!

After writing this post earlier this morning the yard got very active and I had both a Sharp-shinned Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk show up! I was looking out the front window and saw some birds fluttering in the bushes by the road. I thought they might be Robins but when I looked I was surprised to see my FOY Cedar Waxwings in the yard! So, things are looking up! Maybe all the new birds I need to see will come to the yard eventually? I am up to 108 Yard Birds now!  More updates later.


Here is the list of birds I have seen in my yard so far this morning:

(To the right is my handwritten bird list from yesterday written with my right hand!)

1. Red-tailed Hawk 1

2. *Sharp-shinned Hawk 1right-handed writing 1-21-15

3. Mourning Dove 12

4. Red-bellied Woodpecker 1f

5. Downy Woodpecker 4

6. Hairy Woodpecker 1

7. Blue Jay 1

8. American Crow 4

9. Black-capped Chickadee 10

10. Tufted Titmouse 2

11. Red-breasted Nuthatch 1

12. White-breasted Nuthatch 2

13. Hermit Thrush 1

14. *Cedar Waxwing 5

15. American Tree Sparrow 2

16. Dark-eyed Junco 6

17. Northern Cardinal 2 m 1 f

18. House Finch 6

19. Common Redpoll 14

20. Pine Siskin 1

21. American Goldfinch 2

*First of the Year sightings of these species!

backyard 1-21-15

Backyard feeders looking northwest 1-21-15

2015 Stats Life Year Month
Worldwide Bird Species 478 49 49
Yard Birds 109 36 36
Total eBird Checklists 7437 63 63


  1. Hi Kathie, I am happy your yard list is growing while you are recovering from your fall. You have some wonderful yardbirds, I am envious! I wish you a quick recovery and a happy day!

    1. Thank you Eileen. This has been my birdiest yard ever!

  2. You have so many garden birds and I am glad to hear you are improving in health.

  3. That's an amazing yard bird count. Congratulations on being able to get dressed - a sign of progress. At least you can see birds from your house!

    1. Happy wanderer, I do not know what I would do if I could not see or hear any birds!

  4. You do look well and rested in your photo Kathie so that has to be something and you sound like you are recovering even though you had a setback.
    Remember what you said in the last post. "I dont want to do anything stupid" So try and stick to that.{:))

    1. Roy, I know! it is so unbelievable! I couldn't make this up! I just want to get well and get back outside!

  5. Glad you are both healing and at least getting yard birds.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.