Feisty Finches!

I've always thought the pictures posted along side Finch feeders were crazy.  Really? Obviously Photoshop helps a lot, but Twenty-Four Goldfinches AT ONCE?!?! How silly.

Apparently I was wrong. This morning we had the usual 4 or 5 Goldfinches hanging around when my mom noticed a fairly large group of birds twittering and zipping around the trees in the yard across the street.  A quick peep through the binoculars revealed they were Goldfinches....and they were headed our way!  Unlike the feeder in the picture, our finch feeder does not have multiple tubes & an abundance of perches. However, they managed to hang and cling to as much as the feeder as possible. 

It was so fun to watch!


Metal Birds

Since I've been unable to devote much time to birding recently, I thought I'd at least post some bird related pictures.  Lately I've been playing a lot with my Canon EOS 50D (!!!).  I would love to be able to take beautiful frame filling pictures, but for now I'll settle with identifiable shapes and colors.  I was able to snap a pic of a friendly little Dark Eyed Junco.  He seemed oblivious to my large form slowly creeping toward him as he picked through the seeds scattered on the ground.  Since the only lens I have right now is a 50mm I couldn't get too close to him.  However, it was quite fun sitting in the yard with the little Junco hopping all around me.  :) I was also able to creep up on a Downy feasting on our suet feeder. I was able to get a bit closer to him than I could the Junco.  He even turned and peered in my direction several times.  Apparently I didn't look too threatening because he just continued pecking away at  the suet. 

While I was playing around with the camera in the yard, I did manage to get a great frame-filling clear shot of a bird...albeit a stationary metal bird.  However, it is a start!


Wonderful Waterfowl

This afternoon my mom and I made a quick trip around Smithville Lake.  I had heard the lake was 95% frozen and I wanted to see it for myself. Except for a few small areas around the Marina, the lake was indeed covered in ice.  Had I not known a lake lurked under the layer of snow, I would have thought it was a beautiful flat field. 

We managed to find a group of waterfowl lurking near one of the marinas in a small area of unfrozen lake.  Among the Canada Geese, I managed to spot some Hooded Mergansers.  I was enjoying watching them fish when I noticed another small bird with flashes of white.  It turned out to be a Common Goldeneye, which was a LIFE BIRD (!!!!) for me. 

I'm constantly amazed by the beauty of each new bird. While the pictures and drawings in the guides are acurate, they never seem to do the birds justice.  Exquisite!


Snowed In!

Today was lovely!  I woke up this morning to a layer of snow and I didn't have to go to work.  Before heading out in the cold to shovel the sidewalk and driveway, I spent some time watching the activity at the feeders. The feeders were busy today!  After shoveling (and shoveling and shoveling.....) I sat outside on the porch with my camera watching the feeding frenzy.  Muff, our cat, was quite interested in what I was doing and kept yowling at me through the door.  Oddly she wasn't much interested in watching the birds...instead she just wanted me to come back inside and hang out with her. 

The first bird I spotted was a House Finch hanging out chowing down on the safflower seeds. There have been several finches in the area and they've occasionally stopped by for a bite, but typically they don't stay long.  Today was a different story!  A group of 4 hung out in our yard for several hours.  A pair of Goldfinches also showed up and chowed down. 

Along with all the finch activity, the neighborhood Carolina Wren stopped by and bullied the other birds hanging around the feeders.  I was suprised to see him hanging around the suet feeder so much.  I was also suprised to see what a chunky little bird the Carolina Wren is in comparison to the other birds.  Hahaha..what a chunky little thug!

It was a great day to stay inside near the window and watch all the activity.  Quite enjoyable!