Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

April 25, 2014

Bits and Bites

Well I've been wanting to get in here and gab away about this or that but just haven't had the time or occasionally the desire to spin a tale.  And seeing it's been almost 2 weeks since I last keyed something out, I figure I better get at it...

So, how about a little mish mash of catching up on the animal adventures of late?

For starts, I put out the call to my Pigeon pals a few weeks ago.  And within days all the birds came back to me.  They must have picked up on the energy that I was wanting to see them.  Well, all returned except for Red, until this week.  Almost 3 weeks he was off and about elsewhere, and one morning earlier this week I spotted him out in the garden.  I opened the back door and he raced to me as soon as he saw me.  We've been mingling the last few mornings even just for 5 or 10 minutes while I'm having my first coffee.

Funny thing happened on Wednesday.  He's in my hand and suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere in comes Pierre and knocks Red right out of my hand.  Pierre puffed himself right out, did circles in my palm and cooed like a crazy bird.  I guess in the Pierre's mind, he's "claimed" me once again.  I do try and feed two birds at once, holding hands out in different directions, to keep space between them, which sometimes works.  But not this week, Pierre is bouncing back and forth when I do this, pushing the others off and away.  I guess I'm flattered that my boy doesn't want to share me with anyone else once again.  LoL!

Pierre has himself a lady friend again this Spring.  She's nothing like Maggie, but that's okay, no two creatures really are alike.  But the bond between her and Pierre is quite different as well.  She follows him but there isn't that whole "Lady and the Tramp" love like last Spring.  It sure seems more like this is how it is, it's Spring, we mate, and that's that.

Pierre (left) and friend.

We joined our friends at Hobbitstee for the release of 3 Opossums back into the wild.  I was going to plaster a bunch of photos from the adventure like the Raccoons a few weeks back but decided to spare yas...  LoL!  So how about a video collaborating many of the photos we took of the release?  See here.

As always, the happiness within combated with concerns for them as they went back to the wild.  Look at the sweet little face!  So many people tell me they are so freaked out by these creatures.  I think they are great!  We set them all free in different areas, giving them a better chance at setting up their own territories, and wished them all the best with their lives.  I look forward to hopefully seeing some Opossums in the backyard again as the weather slowly warms up.

Speaking of backyard mammals, our nocturnal creatures are waking up once again.  I'm seeing Raccoons and Skunks almost nightly.

This guy showed up early one evening.  He seems to have a bit of an eye condition and hopefully it's nothing serious.  I will try to look out for him if it worsens.  What a face!

I found this guy another night out back.  Now look at this face!  I've shared this photo on social media and it's upset a few people.  They don't understand how I could even be anywhere near him.  For starts, having a 500mm lens sure helps, and he's actually eating something near a bird feeder, which gives him the look of anger while he chows down.  Obviously I am not trying to pat any of these animals, but I enjoy watching them from a respectable distance when in our backyard.

And here is our other night terror according to some.  The word "Skunk" spreads fear with some neighbours.

Seeing that tail and those little purple flowers sure shout out Spring to me.

"Ooooooooooo!  Gardening season is almost here!"

Yes, love the night life for sure!  I am going out more after dark, checking who is creeping around, and ensuring the bird baths are clean and full for them.  They can clean up the grounds for me too!  But on occasion, like earlier this week, the Raccoon can really portray the "masked bandit".  See, I was out topping up a few feeders.  I left a bag of peanuts on the deck while I did the baths.  We buy our peanuts in 25 lb sacks to save money, so I use a paper bag with a few handfuls in it to top up when I do.  Seems one of the guys came along, sniffed out the bag and helped himself to it.  And I mean he really did help himself to it, first just taking bits out to snack on and eventually stole the whole bag, running up the tree with it.

"I just can't help myself!"

Little thief.  LoL!

We just got our first, and probably only Chipping Sparrow out back this week.  The last couple Springs we've been fortunate that one stops in for a week or so before continuing on with his migration.  A pretty little bird.  But he's awfully quiet so far.  I recall last Spring and his loud fast-pulsed song.

The poor guy sure has taken some grief from the House Sparrows this week.  But he toughs it out and still gets a feeding in.  This is the first time I've seen him on a bird feeder; usually he's picking away on the ground.

I'm hoping we have others stop in for a brief spell like previous Springs.  Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3 Springs now with this one). 

And as I wait for these Spring sightings, I'm still watching our winter visiting Juncos out back.  They are here every day and singing up a storm.  I wonder if they will nest here this year since it's getting pretty late in the season for them?  Hmmmmmm.

And lastly, I joined a small group of people at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy for a private photo shoot with their captive bred educational birds of prey.  It was a blast!  I highly recommend anyone wanting to see and photograph birds of prey, to check this place out, or others in their area.  Some say it's cheating to do this, but I don't see it as that way.  I think it's a great opportunity to see these birds up close and get detailed photos of them.  Of course my photos are for my own enjoyment, and for family and friends who wish to view them. I would never submit any of these photos anywhere under the misleading that I got these out in the wild.  That is cheating in my opinion.  Here are a few of the birds I photographed.

There ya go, mostly caught up on the animals and I of late.  But how about one more bit which is interesting...

Angie found this photo in some lost photo files on the computer.  I took this back in 2008 in Lambton Woods, which is minutes from our house.  I was still skeptical even this week looking at the photo again, but no doubt, its a Black-billed Magpie!  A bird not common in this area, let alone much of Ontario.  I had no idea what it was back then and titled the photo "mystery bird".  I probably saw it, thought "wow, neato!" and took a few photos with my new Canon Power Shot camera.  And must have forgotten about the bird and photo since I wasn't able to ID it with our "backyard bird guide" we had back then.  I can only imagine if I saw and photographed the bird today, reported it, and how many birders would be in Lambton Woods later today and this coming weekend seeking him out.  Like I said, I chalk this up as an interesting story if nothing else now so many years later.

As always, I thank you for stopping in and giving this a read.  See yas again real soon.

Cheers with something 40% later this evening!

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