Sunday, January 7, 2018

It's Been Too Long

The Waldoboro Town Landing 
It's been a very long time since I have written a blogpost, and of course so much has happened. Suffice it to say that we have moved 4 times in 4 years since moving back to Maine in 2014, but we have finally bought a house and plan to settle down. After spending a year at a lovely house in Jefferson, Maine, we fell in love with the midcoast. So, when we decided to buy, we searched this area and could not believe with when we found a house that met all of our needs, plus sat on 20 acres of land! Finally I would have my very own wildlife sanctuary!

The previous owner left behind a single bird feeder riddled with buckshot holes. While it is still in the backyard, it did not take me long to set up my own feeders and my birdbath.

This was only the beginning.

New feeders
 A birding friend gave these two feeders to me when she came to visit. They have since become some of my favorite feeders because they are easy to fill and clean, and the birds seem to like them. Thank you, Lois!

The birdy corner of the yard.

A mourning dove discovers the birdbath.

Spring Sunset shortly after moving in.

What lies beyond these rocks in our woods?

The side yard uphill from the house.

The weeping cherry tree just starting to blossom in spring.

A Gray Catbird in the birdbath this summer.

I have both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers here almost everyday.

The birds and the bees and I all loved these azalea bushes in bloom.

Song sparrow in summer

A wild Tom turkey struts his stuff in Spring.

A raccoon tries to raid the feeders.

Storm clouds gather

Run for cover, turkeys!

Web covered bushes
 These webs would show up only on misty, fogy mornings in late summer. They would last for a few hours and then disappear. But when it happened, it gave the yard a mysterious, spooky feeling. I never saw what creature made them.

My summer yard

Turkey with poults.
Towards the end of the summer I had three hen turkeys with their poults coming to the yard to feed beneath my feeders almost everyday. If you look carefully you will see there are chicks of various sizes. It seems one hen takes charge, and all the poults follow her, but the other hens follow along and help out as well.

Front yard deck with new table and stools.

Female Ruby-throated hummingbird at the front yard feeder.

This species of hosta was a late bloomer but attracted many hummingbirds in late summer.

The front yard on a misty Autumn morning.

Nest boxes on the North Hill
 These nest boxes were here when we moved in. There are actually 4 of them. I had at least one, if not two pairs of tree swallows that nested here last summer, but in the fall when I went to clean the boxes out, I found two of them with mice nesting in them instead!

Teaching my grandson about the birds.

A goldfinch on the birdbath.

A boundary marker in the old stone wall.

My cousin, George, helps me walk our land for the first time since we moved in.

We found a moss and root covered ledge.

Our neighbor bush hogs the yard.

We left part of our yard to grow wild for the butterflies and birds. After nesting season we cut it down for winter to grow wild again next spring. 

The yard after the mowing.

Azalea leaves in Autumn

Autumn Gold

The sun kissed oak tree at sunset.

Gus cuts our Christmas tree from our own yard!
 Yes, it is a small tree, but we wanted it that way so we could put it up on a table out of reach of our new puppy!

Merry Christmas 2017

Winter came in with a bang!

A little Red Squirrel steals a snack.
 I had to switch to the heated birdbath for winter. All the birds love it, but so do the squirrels! During the blizzard and the arctic blast we just endured, this little birdbath provided water for all creatures great and small. However, on Saturday when the temp never rose above -4 degrees Fahrenheit and the windchill was 20 below, it did start to form a thin sheet of ice in the center with a bridge attached to the edge. I broke it up this morning, and added fresh water.

Here comes the hungry hordes!
  Did I mention I have turkeys in my yard?

No feeder is safe from Wild Turkeys

Who knocked the feeder down? The turkeys or the squirrels?

American Tree Sparrow: Species number 91 for my yard.

December 17th was the last day to add a New Yard Bird to The 20 Acre Wood Yard in 2017. This single bird was here for only a week or two and then was never seen again. Last year in Jefferson I had dozens in my yard all winter.

I had to stop tossing seed on my deck for the juncos because these hungry dinosaurs would not stay off the deck!

Turkeys in the snow.

Dark-eyed Junco

Snowing hard

We have had 4 storms with plowable snow since mid-December 2017.

American Goldfinches at the feeder. 
I had goldfinches all spring and summer, but when Autumn came they disappeared and I did not see any for a couple of months. We had a very mild September through November, but once the cold weather returned, so did the birds. I keep hoping for a Common Redpoll or a Pine Grosbeak, but so far, no such luck.

American goldfinch outside my window in winter.

The turkeys are back...again!

Red-bellied woodpecker
This female Red-bellied woodpecker showed up this fall and has stayed ever since. She is species number 88 since I moved here in April. I have had Red-bellied Woodpeckers in every yard since moving to Maine, but they are usually only there in Winter. They must go someplace else to breed and nest.

Now they have gone too far!

Get off the deck, you turkey!

The snow has brought the birds back to my feeders.

The woodpeckers really love beef suet and the bonus is the squirrels don't!

A goldfinch trying to stay warm and find food on my front windowsill.

The turkeys trample down the snow and make it easier for me to get to the feeders.

This is how I birded during the blizzard on 1-4-2018.
Author's Note: I have not written in so long because so much has changed with computers and the programs that run them and process photos. It soon became too overwhelming for me with everything going on and I gave up. I bought this new computer in October of 2016, but have since barely used it. However, my youngest brother has been encouraging me to write again, and my Best Birding Buddy was just here visiting and he inspired me to get back at it. On a whim I turned my computer on tonight and decided to see if I could add photos from my cell phone to my blog easily, and low and behold, I could! So, while these are all cell phone shots, at least it is a start. Hopefully I can keep this up, because I have missed it.