Two new birds in the backyard

Two new birds in the backyard (although I’ve seen them both before somewhere else). Two brown headed cowbirds stopped by but didn’t stay long. A hermit thrush has become a regular visitor since early December.

An eastern phoebe has stopped by a few times this winter. I caught him taking a bath one morning.

Regular visitors include a black and white warbler, cardinals (who are usually shy and don’t come out in the open but I caught this one on the bath) and bluebirds.

Every few weeks a yellow throated warbler stops by. He usually hunts for bugs in the small palm tree next to our house. I went outside to get these since he was hiding under the palms.

I heard her before I saw her. I heard the pileated woodpecker’s loud scream as she flew into our oak tree. I snapped this quickly through the window before she took off.

I went outside to get this shot. Actually, I went out to try and shoo him away from the window and took my camera out with me. He is not easily scared. I’m glad he hangs out in our corner of the neighborhood but I don’t want him too close to the window where Buddy and Harley stay (in the sunroom).

A young little blue heron that hasn’t lost his white baby feathers yet.

I’m glad I put that nest box up so the squirrels can nap on it.

Things blooming in the backyard in late December.

Inspire Me Monday

The backyard in early December

The turkeys were regular visitors to the backyard in early December. One afternoon I saw these 2 looking like they were having a spat. I’m pretty sure they are siblings. Maybe the red head is a male? They were born this spring so they are still pretty young.

Another day I caught them feeding. I think he saw me through the window.

The young doe was also coming by almost every day. She was alone every day until one day I think I saw her with some other females.

One day we had 2 females with a younger deer come by and feed. I was hoping our little Bambi had found some friends.

I heard Harley (our cockatiel) yell his “There’s a hawk in the backyard” scream and I ran over and saw this Cooper’s hawk sitting in the oak tree. I couldn’t get a clear shot of him through the window so I snuck out the back door and was able to get the above. He was not spooked when I walked right up to him. I’m assuming this is the same one that was in our front yard a few months ago.

House finches and pine warblers have been regulars at the feeder and bird bath this winter

I checked in on the neighborhood eagle nest the first week in December. I had been seeing a lone eagle around the neighborhood and this was the first time seeing them both on the nest. I went by right after this and saw a head peak up from the nest but I haven’t seen any other activity. I hope she’s sitting on eggs. I can’t see her from the street so I can’t tell

.

The usual visitors

Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.

Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.

I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.

Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.

Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.

Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.

Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.

The usual visitors in the backyard

More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.

All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.

This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.

Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).

My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.

Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.

Inspire Me Monday

Fall migration in my backyard

I was bummed that I would miss fall migration due to my shoulder surgery but it seems that fall migration came to me one afternoon. I came home from physical therapy and looked out the back window and saw some birds hopping around near the bird bath. I was thinking it would be the same birds that visit (titmouse, chickadees, etc) so I barely looked but then I noticed a few that looked different. I still had my camera set up on my tripod so I started snapping. There were a few immature indigo buntings.

There were several flashes of yellow and one was a non-breeding male scarlet tanager that was taking a bath.

Above are female summer tanagers.

A red eyed vireo stopped for a quick drink.

Pine warblers are fairly common in the backyard during the winter.

Catbirds are also common in the winter. He was photobombed by a bluebird.

Chickadees come by almost every day but it’s always hard to get a decent shot. They are very skittish.

There were several house finches this afternoon.

Later in the day the neighborhood red shoulder hawk stopped by and that cleared out all of the birds. I always know when he’s here since Harley (my young cockatiel) has a certain high pitch scream when he sees him. I jumped off the couch when I heard that scream and there he was, low in the tree. I ran outside and shooed him away but not before snapping the above.

I made it home right before lunch and when I saw all of the birds in the backyard I started snapping (all through the window). An hour later I was starving but it was hard to pull myself away from the window. I eventually did but I kept peeking out. I looked up on the BirdCast Migration tool website for Pinellas County. It said that over 5 million birds had passed through that night so I think that explains the fall out on this day in mid-October. We normally get one million passing through on a big fall out day.

Blue in the box

I was so excited to see bluebirds checking out the nest box I put up over a year ago. We have a lot of bluebirds in the neighborhood but they only stop in my backyard for a second and are very skittish. My neighbor several homes down from us has 2 bluebird boxes in his backyard and he’s lived here a long time so I think they are pretty established over there. There were young ones bouncing around the yard this spring so I’m assuming they nested in his box. Finally, in early November I caught them going in and out of my box for several hours. There were at least 4 of them and they also stopped at the feeder and bird bath. The next day I went outside and took a peek in the box and there was a nest in there but no birds or eggs. Maybe they were building it early (like several months early)?

All taken through the window.

In the yard

In mid-October I had some migrating birds stop by the backyard. Black and white warblers were common here last winter but this was the first time seeing house finches in the backyard.

I saw my first ever worm eating warbler in the backyard. Over the years I had heard of one being reported twice in the Tampa Bay area but I could never find them. I was pretty excited to see him bouncing around near the bird bath. He stayed close under the big palm leaves on the ground and then later disappeared.

Common birds to the backyard are catbirds (I get a lot of them in the winter) and red bellied woodpeckers.

A house finch with just a little red on his head stopped by the feeder.

I’ve had an almost grown baby coming through the backyard alone. When I first saw her in mid October, you could still see the spots on her hind legs.She was all alone. I don’t know what happened to her Mom but I was thinking she was old enough to be on her own.

For several weeks she would come by every afternoon and hang out in the back, feeding and napping. I took all of these through the window because I was afraid I would spook her if I went outside. She saw me in the window though. She would take a quick nap up against my neighbor’s oak tree.

Our hibiscus bush in the front yard has been blooming for a few weeks. I took this with my phone.

Out in the neighborhood

I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)

In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.

Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.

Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.

Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.

Inspire Me Monday

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s something very strange about having wild turkeys sleeping in your backyard. This family has been cruising through our backyard for months now. I see them almost every day. Sometimes they walk through pretty quickly and sometimes they hang out and feed, scratching in the dirt under the big oak trees. Sometimes they take a nap, either in the trees or on the ground. I don’t know if this flock will stay together or split up. I can’t tell if any of them are males yet. They are pretty skittish and will quickly move on down the neighborhood if I go outside so all of these are taken through the window.

Our ring camera picking up the turkeys walking around the patio when I was gone one morning.

The sun coming through the trees in the front yard as it sets.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

SkyWatch Friday

In the neighborhood

It was late August and I was coming home from the grocery store and saw 2 eagles sitting in the utility tower in my neighborhood. I quickly put the groceries up and grabbed my camera and ran out the door thinking they would be gone but they were still sitting there. They were sitting in different towers that are next to each other. I was glad to see my neighborhood eagles back for the winter (at least I was hoping it was them).

A few of the regulars in the backyard. Bluebirds have been checking out the nest box I put up last year. Hopefully they will nest in it this year. The turkeys come cruising through the backyard every couple of days.

Blooming in the front courtyard.

Fungi in the backyard from all of the rain we had in September.

Inspire Me Monday