Woo hoo! It finally feels like Spring. And it seems the birds agree with me on this one as I am about to share a few bits with you here...
For starts, Baltimore Orioles have returned to the backyard. As of this morning (Friday May 9th), we've got 3 males visiting. And of the three, one has caught my attention as he is banded. I am betting it is the banded male from last fall migration but I never got his full band number so who is to say for certain but seems about right to me.
But actually, with the partial from last year and what I have of it this time around, the numbers are the same. I had 5 numbers last year and I've got 7 so far now. Believe me, this is no easy task. Those bands are so small, I can't even think of a comparison at the moment. And since they go right around the leg, I just keep hoping I get them all through many photos. I'll show you below what I've obtained so far.
Here we have 231 over 21
Here it appears to be 31 over 19
223 over 21. And anything before that bottom 2 looks quite worn.
Super crop job. I swear that looks like a 5 left of the bottom 2. What do you think?
I got all that in two visits from the bird in half an hour. Two days later, I haven't gotten anymore. Such a tease from this morning!
I've sent out the partial number to the bird banding office, as well as to friends at Bird Studies Canada, and others in hopes of a miracle somewhere, somehow on this. You all know I won't give up on this as long as the bird visits us. It took me 10 days with that female American Goldfinch last September. All I ask is that you all wish me luck.
Also this week, we saw a stop in from some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. We had 2 males on Thursday. I saw 1 female on Friday.
This guy was determined to get some shelled nuts from this feeder which is difficult for a Grosbeak to grab on to.
But he figured it out.
Not the best perch but what the hell. He's quite a looker, eh?
I didn't get any photos of the female the following morning but that's okay as a few hours later, while outside, I heard some bird song that I kinda knew but also knew I never heard in our yard before. It took me some searching in our pines behind the house before I finally spotted a male Nashville Warbler. He was singing and feeding, bouncing from branch to branch. Warblers are tough to photograph in such scenarios. I was thrilled to see this little bird and to be able to add him to our backyard species list. I believe he's number 47 to touch our yard. We have a fly over list too, which has 11 identified species.
Ta da, look at me!
Singing away in the tree!
Aren't I so pretty?
It's too bad Angie wasn't home to see this visitor. He passed through pretty quick and I was fortunate enough to be outside and able to spot him. I wonder how many other Warblers have gone through the yard that we don't know about?
We also saw some White-crowned Sparrows foraging out back today too. Suddenly our Finch population has increased, especially with the House Finches. I often see half a dozen out there at once. It's nice we have a steady pair of American Goldfinch as well. Juncos showed up last weekend but seemed to have moved on once again.
And before I go, here's one more little bit for you. I find this slightly comical and really wish I had of had my camera for the encounter.
Friday morning I took the truck in, finally taking the snow tires off, and getting an oil change. It's a pleasant morning so I am spending my waiting time outside the garage. I look over at the gas station next to us and spot some Pigeons. The red one sure looked familiar. But then he took off across St. Clair Ave to the Walmart across the street. I watched him strut cock over there amongst some ladies, and then come back over to the gas station lot. It's busy and his stay wasn't long. I got a good look at his feet, saw the clubbed foot, and knew right away it was our little buddy "Red" from the back yard. I didn't think of taking a photo with my phone until he went back over to Walmart. You should be able to spot him in this crappy photo. He did some more strutting and wooing before settling down on the roof top for a good long preening session.
The truck is done. I head home. About 30 minutes, who is in the backyard but Red himself. I stepped out back, he flew right to me and we had a good visit.
The garage and Walmart are just under 2 kms from the house, which really isn't that far. But to be out and about, and see one of my birds is pretty funny to me. I'm always looking for them over by the Loblaws since I see dozens about the area from that parking lot.
Since I'm on about them Pigeons, I may as well throw Pierre in the blog. We've had some visits but I can't help but notice he's rather aggressive, vocal and clingy. Actually all the Pigeons are the first two, males anyways. I guess it's that time of year. Some days Pierre kicks ass, other days he's getting his handed to him. He's still the king even though sometimes I feel like an emotional tampon to my boy. I swear he sulks if he's not the centre of attention. He coos and coos, louder and louder, and makes his presence be known. He's not been keen on my attention on the Orioles this week, and not 100% focused on him. What a bird! Here's a one minute video of how things go with them.
It's been a great week in the yard with the birds. I wonder what the next few weeks will present us? Both Angie and I are very curious, but lil Ms Meadow really could care less...