Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birds and Sunshine

We had some absolutely beautiful weather this weekend. I rode both of the horses for the first time in about 6 weeks, and we have been undertaking some farm repairs. There was also time to get the camera out and take some pictures of all of the bird life in and around the garden.

This yellow-rumped warbler looks to be enjoying the sunshine.

A secretive dark-eyed junco, who was hiding in the brush beside the driveway until I passed by.

A male bluebird in one of the pines at the back of the big perennial bed.

Such a beautiful shade of blue.

There are lots of robins feeding in the pastures, but so far they haven't made eaten the rose hips or the holly berries. At some point they and the cedar waxwings will strip the berries; I think they always do. I haven't heard the waxwings lately. I know they're around, having heard them in December and November, but they're not in the immediate vicinity.

I walked down to the slough to try to get a glimpse of the wood ducks. I flushed the same pair three times and didn't even get close to getting a shot. Ah well, it's difficult to be stealthy when clomping around in rubber boats.

On the way back to the house, I saw a flock of bluebirds at the edge of one of the pastures. They hang out here a lot, not only for food, but because they sleep and take shelter in the nestboxes and purple martin house.

They were hawking from the neighbor's fence

and from the nearby trees,

waiting to swoop down on an insect on the ground.

Next, imo the cutest bird in NA, the ruby-crowned kinglet.

They seem to be quite fearless. In the garden it's not unusual to find one foraging practically underfoot.

A bit of the red crown is apparent in this picture. The fuzziness around the edges is
out-of-focus foliage in the foreground, although he was literally glowing with cuteness.

They love Buddleias. I don't know if they're eating seeds or tiny insects or both.


  1. Precious birds and beautiful photos!

  2. Your bird photos leave me agog. I think I love one the best and then I see more - I love them all!

    And yes, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet is soooo adorable! :)

  3. Beautiful and scillful. Your photos are excellent! And they seem to promise that spring will come to us too, here in the cold and white north.

  4. Don't ya just love looking for birds to photograph? You did an amazing job here..

  5. What a wonderful way to start a Monday .. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures I love them all..
    hugs, Cherry

  6. Your photos have me smiling and 'oh my goshing' with each one. They are lovely. I just want to hold the dear little ones and gently love on them. Thank you so much for sharing your farm/country living. It is always a joy.


  7. Swetbay,
    The kinglet photos are so cute. Nice weekend wasn't it... Painted at Meg's house all weekend, now I need another weekend and it is only Monday.

  8. These are amazing photos, Sweet Bay, especially of the kinglet in the butterfly bush--these are worthy of printing in a book! You have such interesting birds that we don't see here; now I know how the yellow-rumped warbler got his name:)

  9. Beautiful pictures! Our weather was beautiful, too. My youngest daughter rode her horse yesterday for the first time since fall. Isn't it nice to finally see some spring-like weather?

  10. Wonderful pictures of your birds!!!
    I've never seen a kinglet before! Lots of your bird pictures look like paintings!! Have a great week!

  11. You got some great photos. I love the one where the RCK has its wings extended and the seeds or chaff is rising up all around him.

  12. You took so many great pictures! You always seem to have such a pretty variety of birds visiting.
    We had a baby Ruby crowned Kinglet visiting our pond last summer. They are such cute little birds.

  13. Beautiful photo's! I love all those colourful birds. The only birds we see at the moment are blackbirds, sparrows, great tits and some larks.

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  14. So sweet birds, especially the last shots, so soft and romantic, it made me smile. Nice to be enjoying some sun now I guess, it looks like spring almost over at your place. Thank you for brighten up my evening :)

  15. sweet bay; I am truly amazed. Each picture is an artwork of nature. all the photos are incredibly beautiful, I think they are ready for a bird book. You have such a talent. Your garden is not only a heaven of beauty in summer it is also wonderful in winter with all these tiny, gorgeous birds rummaging for food in the dry winter garden. It is such a pleasure like a nature walk.

  16. I love the little flash of yellow of the warbler. The bluebird is just beautiful - we do not have them in the AZ desert, so I will just have to enjoy yours :^)

  17. My goodness what great photos!! I love that little Kinglet. I wonder if we have them around here. I will have to be a better observer. Those last few photos of him are incredible.
    The male Bluebird is always striking, I can't get enough of seeing them.

  18. I know and love juncos, have not seen warblers, very cute. I also don't know from kinglets, but, my, they are oozing cuteness! That penultimate photo is especially awesome! II'm making it my desktop background. love when you can see birds so close up. I grew up with parakeets and miss noogling their little necks and fluffing their feathers.

    And, finally, how hot does it get where you live, say in August? How humid? (I always dream of moving this time of year.)

  19. Your photos are amazing-so sharp and clear! Beautiful birds too.


  20. Wow, that one pic with the seeds flying everywhere from the bird is gorgeous. That is a great shot!

  21. I was going to say the same thing Dirty Girl did about the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. Great photos, and yes the weather was fantastic this weekend, especially compared to what it has been.

  22. omg you've gone and done it again. More spectacular photos Sweet Bay! That Ruby Crowned Kinglet IS adorable. I have buddleias ~ maybe I could attract one to my garden?? I never knew the ruby crown would be so subtle? I think I would recognize it now after seeing your photos. Love, love, love the bluebirds and never tire of seeing them. Glad someone is enjoying nice weather but boo hoo, I want some too!!!
    So the secret to getting great garden birds is not to feed, just plant??? I never got back to you about that question before getting sick last week...

  23. Hi!
    Lovely photos of birds you are showing!!!
    Have a nice day!
    best wishes,

  24. Monica, it does get hot down here, and humid... the humidity does keep a lid on the temps so that it rarely goes above 95 degrees. If you moved to an area like this expect to sweat a lot. lol It's not bad though if you have a shady place to work.

    Kathleen, he raises his crown when he sings. :) It's so cute you can't believe it!! I got a somewhat blurry picture of him with his crown raised which I will put up next. Kinglets are woodland and woodland edge birds, so they like lots of trees.

    I think lots of plantings does attract more of the type of birds you want (less House Sparrows and Starlings). That and a good water source, especially for migrants.


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