Today was the beginning of what is to be a pretty brutally cold week ahead. I was to pick up Angie from Pearson at 10:30am and had some time to kill this morning. I played good hubby on Saturday night and cleaned the house up some while enjoying good tunes and a few White Owl whiskeys. So I went out early this morning braving the cold.
It doesn't really matter where I went, just that I made the effort to go out, and not just for me, nor for some photographs. I packed up with a couple bags of food offerings to any furry or feathered creatures that I crossed paths with. I expected to see a few birds, figuring in this cold snap, some might be out trying to stock up a bit. I was surprised at how many came to me.
As always it starts with a few Chickadees. And soon the buzz is about the woods that there's someone with food and more Chickadees come. And with them soon arrived a few Cardinals, half a dozen Juncos, an American Tree Sparrow and one funny little male Downy Woodpecker. "Why funny?" you ask. Well, check out this pic I took of him with my Blackberry...
I couldn't keep track of the Chickadees, it was just a steady flow, and at times there were 3 or 4 squabbling about the palm of my hand to get in and grab a peanut from me. They were landing on my head, my forearm and on the camera. It was at that point I got the idea to set up as I did with the picture above and have some fun. The Downy Woodpecker came in and it took some time despite him REALLY wanting a peanut bit, he was skittish. And with his skittish behaviour, the faster and more aggressive Chickadees were taking all the peanut bits before he could get one whether I threw them on the ground, had them in my hand, on the camera or all 3 spots at once. I was actually shooing away the Chickadees at one point and throwing seeds far up the path to open the area up for this Downy. And then he finally moved in. His first few attempts to land on the camera were quite clumsy. He just couldn't get the foot work happening like the Chickadees. Landing on the hood of the lens sure didn't help either.
Like I said, the Chickadees were better at this idea than Downy.
Then, suddenly, Deer began to appear! First I noticed one, then as I heard rustling and my eyes adjusted to the brush they moved through it went to 3, then 5 and final count was 7, including one Buck.
Their curiosity brought them in for a few minutes before they moved on.
I needed to get back to the truck and head over to the airport. I threw a few more handfuls of seed out to all the birds surrounding me and turned to grab my camera but it seems someone was not ready to let me go.
I made sure he got a few more peanut bits before I moved on. It was hard to leave despite the cold winds and knowing if I was late to pick up my homesick wife, the trouble I would get myself into.
I know some of the birds followed me along the path. And I found this surprising as a female Cardinal was almost landing on me (or so I thought) with how close she was getting to me. I am probably wrong since there was post near me but a guy who loves Cardinals so much can dream, can't he?
So, if my nature loving friends can spare some time over this coming very cold week... please take a moment and perhaps help our "frosty friends" out in the coming days. High energy stuff like black oil sunflower seed and/or shelled peanut bits (NO SALT) are great!