Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Notes from My Nest: A Winter's Morn

View to the North from living room windows 1-6-16
It is cold, gray, and still on this Winter’s morn as I open the curtains and gaze across the yard. Through the trees I see the silver plate that is Middle Bay, calm now after the fierce winds of the last 3 days which whipped t into whitecaps and roared through the trees. A shallow blanket of snow still covers the ground, a remnant from last week’s first winter storm. Through those same trees I can also see the multi-colored Christmas lights still twinkling on my neighbor’s front yard Christmas tree. Somehow seeing them there makes me happy. While I do not know that neighbor, their lights seem friendly and welcoming, a small gift to this little neighborhood on the back roads of Maine.

waiting for the sun 7:32a on 1-6-2016

While the bay is seen out the North windows of this house, a walk to the dining room windows reveals a sliver of a moon rising over the trees, resting on its back with the Morning star shining as its companion. I only see patches of sky from this house. We are set down in a hollow with trees all around and a tree-lined ridge silhouetted against the sky. From the back deck I can hear the small creek tumbling and splashing on its way to the bay just beyond the edge of the yard. As the sky starts to brighten to mouse gray and then blush and blue, the yard birds start to arrive.

A song sparrow makes a surprising first appearance today, followed by the little dark-eyed juncos. Soon a mourning dove settles down onto the platform feeder, and even through the closed windows I can hear the whistle of its wings. Often when I open the curtains in the morning I startle a murder of crows. It is not unusual for me to find 30 to 40 crows in the yard but once the see activity in the house they disperse, and I will only see a few at a time throughout the rest of the day. I have tried on occasion to get a picture of their number, but they always fly off when they see me, no matter how stealthy I try to be! They are just too smart for me!

This morning I am being treated to a pair of Golden-crowned kinglets flitting about in the trees just outside my window. They are so tiny and cute with their golden streaks like racing stripes over their crowns of their heads. I hear their tiny silver whistles as they flit from branch to branch and from the back they briefly remind me of the Hutton’s vireos I would see in Tucson when I lived there. But I am here now in the Maine woods in winter with snow covering the ground and the flat water of the bay turning pink and blue in ribbons like bolts of silk laid out on display. I am still waiting for the sun to rise over the ridge at 8a. The day has begun in this New Year, filled with promise, hope, and birds!

8:19 a.m.

Notes: Yes, I have been out counting birds. While I am not specifically trying to do a Big January, I am still keeping track and so far have added at least one new species to my 2016 Year List every day so far, except for January 4th when it was so freezing cold that the birds and I all stayed home! My goal for this year is to get a new computer and a new camera or lens and then learn how to use them both! While Gus’ old 18-200 mm lens is what I am using right now after my 300 mm broke back in October, I am finding myself frustrated by the lack of magnification. I just cannot get the birds as well as I could with the 300, even though it was heavier! So, if you don’t hear from me at times, it is because I am out birding, or trying to learn new things! It also takes more time to compose a blog post ever since Live Writer has gone defunct. I am still adjusting to THAT! Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading my blog!

2016 Stats

Total Species: 
  • Life 483  
  • Year 39
  • Month 39
Yard Birds
  • Life 75
  • Year 21
  • Month 21
Sunlight on the edge 8:30 a.m.


  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR Kathie. Looks like your year has started off pretty good bird wise. Hope you manage to get another camera and computer. Lovely snow scenes.

  2. Happy New Year, Kathie! Beautiful blog post.

  3. What pretty views. No snow down here, yet :) Happy New Year Kathie!

  4. I enjoyed reading your beautiful flowing words. Makes me think I am there looking out your window. Happy Birding in 2016!!

  5. Hi Kathie

    I envy your Kinglets, it has been a long time since I say any of these delicate little 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.