Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feathered friends

On Tuesday, I took 253 bird (and squirrel) photos out my office window. Lordy, I do love digital cameras. On our ten-week 1993 honeymoon in southeast Asia, I remember taking ten rolls of slide film for my Pentax K1000 SLR (fully manual, remember those?), and carefully rationing it to make every photo count. Nowadays I can just blow off 1,000 photos and it costs me nothing! So you're going to get a lot of bird pictures today, and maybe tomorrow.

I used to post quite a lot of bird photos back in 2006 - 2007, when we lived on a lake in Quebec for a year and had the most amazing array of birdlife I have ever seen in my garden. I've slacked off over the last little while, but seeing the nice bird photos my friend Ronna has been taking with her new Nikon inspired me to grab MY Nikon and start shootin'. Here ya go...

Bluejay playing peekaboo!

 A demure red squirrel.

 Male Downy Woodpecker. They LOVE suet!

 Pretty American Goldfinch sitting in the sun. In the winter, the boys lose their bright yellow plumage and turn a sort of olive colour.

Goldfinch checking out the seed on the ground from a tall perch.

A cute little Dark-eyed Junco.

 And the Common Redpoll! They love niger seed and arrive in flocks to chow down.

 The top Redpoll was reluctant to share the suet feeder!

And a pack o' Redpolls on the niger feeder.

A Tree Sparrow taking a piece of corn.

A dear little Red-breasted Nuthatch...

 ...and the larger White-breasted Nuthatch.

I am very fond of nuthatches, and in the past have gotten them to eat from my hands. They run up and down tree trunks in every direction looking for food in the bark. Unlike the woodpeckers, the nuthatches can go down the tree headfirst.

And here's a Red-breasted Nuthatch hanging with the male Downy Woodpecker.

More birds tomorrow. And snow, apparently. There's a storm coming and we may get up to 25cm (10") of snow. This is great, because our friends are coming over Saturday to cross-country ski, and right now the snow surface is too icy and crappy for good skiing. I predict a snow day for Gordon tomorrow but we'll see!


  1. One day you should put your header on my blog and vice versa and see if anyone notices!! Hahaha. I think my followers might notice that I all of a sudden have 1. a bearded husband; 2. chickens; 3. dogs. And not necessarily in that order.
    Love the bird pix. We rarely get red-breasted nuthatches here and I just love them! Nice!

  2. Absolutely wonderful! I envy you for the range of bird life you get!

  3. Anonymous2:05 pm

    Nice photography! Especially like that goldfinch.

    Mr. G.

  4. YAY Birdies! love them ALL! great photos. Sometimes I wish I still had my K1000 but then again I can't quite remember why?

  5. Anonymous5:36 pm

    Those are very good pictures! You get quite a variety of birds -- unlike us. We get finches, sparrows, and (when they can sneak in to the finches' and sparrows' territory around our feeder), chickadees. We did get a prairie falcon for awhile. S/he was snacking on the smaller birds.

  6. Ronna, that would be an interesting experiment! :) Hmmm, wonder why don't see many red-breasted nuthatches? They especially seem to love our black walnut trees. All that craggy bark!

    Jams, it's pretty great. We get waterbirds (there's a migratory bird sanctuary across the street with beautiful ponds!), woodland birds, field birds, you name it. My goal is to see an owl in our woods. I have heard Great Horned owls there in mating season.

  7. "Mr. G", I like that. Does that make me "Mrs. G"?

  8. Lauren, I must admit, I still have mine! :) Got it in 1981, my first "real" camera. It's tucked away... one day it'll be an antique, ha ha.

    CogDis, are you in the city? Sometimes affects bird variety! :) We have such a varied landscape around here, it attracts many types of birds. And there's a mini-forest next to the house where white pine and white spruce were planted 30-odd years ago.

  9. Hey nat, lovely pics, I just love all the different varieties of birds you have in your neck of the woods.

    How ever did we manage without digital cameras?

    Hope you get to go cross county skiing after all that snow.

    Blue skies and sunshine here,

    Claire :}

  10. Wow what a great variety of birds you've got, lovely photos.

    I've nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award; there's details on my blog.

  11. Love your bird photos. Such clarity, what type of camera do you use?
    Ronna : Yes, I would notice the difference, you 2 may have blogs on similar topics but your approach and style is different.

  12. Yeah, I love my Nikon D3000, too.
    Great photos.
    I am waiting for the Cardinals to come back.

  13. Claire, the storm missed us and we only got about 2" of snow, but I think it has freshened things up enough for skiing! Love your blog, btw. :)

  14. LBM, thank you! :)

    Elisabeth, these were taken with my Nikon D70 and Nikon 70 - 210 mm lens. They would have been even better had my window been clean! :)

    Willie, we ARE going to visit you soon! We are trying to work through our social backlog. WEekends have been too busy lately.

  15. from that angle, the squirrel looks like he/she has a funky hairstyle going :D

  16. PP, I hadn't noticed that but you're right! :) He's got a punk thing going.

  17. Okay firstly (is that a word? It looks weird to me when I type it. haha): Every time a take photos with my digital camera I thank the heavens that I don’t have to use a ‘manual’ camera and then go get the film DEVELOPED.

    Secondly: You have the BEST office view of anyone I know.

    Thirdly: Excellent bird photos! I have a bird bath behind my apartment deck. The only thing I ever see are Robins or the evil squirrel that tried to attack me. I’d put up a bird feeder to attract more birds but my landlord might have a nervous breakdown.

    Great post! :)

  18. David, I am a big fan of the word "firstly"! And yes, I can't say I miss film much. :)

    I am quite fond of my office view, although the one in Nova Scotia was pretty great (the ocean!) But the chickens have the best view on the farm. Their picture windows faces south and overlooks the all the farmland behind the barn.

    That squirrel of yours needs a talking to. And I think you should put up a feeder. It'll keep your landlord on his toes! :)


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!