Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Beginning of Summer 2012

Memorial Weekend 2012...

Here it is Memorial Weekend again, and 2012! Another long winter behind us, another anticipated summer in front of us! It is this time of year I especially enjoy the nature around me. Some excitement here recently, I wish I had some pictures to go along with, but sometimes I just decide to enjoy the moment, instead of missing much of it, because I am trying to get my camera and a picture snapped off before it ends. One of those moments happened yesterday morning, when my husband woke me up at 6 a.m. to tell me there was a moose swimming in the bay. Even I would get up for that exciting news. So cool to watch the young moose swim across the middle of the bay, headed out into the vast lake. It was right out in front of our cabin when it started, and we stood there and watched how quickly it swam out to the middle of the lake. Wondering where it thought it was headed? There was no land in the direction it was going! A neat early morning experience we have shared more than once before. We figured this was at least the 3rd moose we've seen swimming in our bay. Then there is also the moose rescued by my husband, and other moose sightings I can remember. The moose love to hang here in Moose Bay.

June 2012 - Frequent visitors

Today, when I was cleaning out the "storage" corner of our patio, a dear sweet hummingbird hit the large picture window where I was working and landed on the step. I went to see if it was okay, and it fluttered into the shrubs when I approached. I still wanted to check to see if it was okay, so I went around the other side of the bush, and the poor thing was hanging by a foot upsidedown. I reached in to see if I could free it's foot, and it got loose and flew off. I was happy it was able to flee, yet just a little disappointed I didn't get to see it a little better. It all happened so quick.  These little birds are so courageous, and not afraid of much.  In the past, I have been able to get some video footage of the hummers as they dine on my feeder hung on my "birding balcony".  So I will share that with you today...

A few days after the hummingbird incident, I had another little birdie hit our window. This time I was inside with the slider door open, and the birdie flew into the house and hit the window beside me. I got up out of my chair to see if I could find it, and it flew and landed on my husband's chair. It was a sweet little baby Red-Breasted Nuthatch! So darling! A family of six red's have been feeding at my suet lately. Four babies and the parents often visit for feedings. So cute to watch the babies flutter their wings for their share of the food. Sometimes the babies will stay up the tree a ways and the parents have to run back and forth from the suet to the baby. Other times, the baby will follow the parent to the suet but still wait for mamma or daddy to feed them. Then sometimes, eventually, they will start picking at the suet themselves.

1/2 of the family of Red-Breasted Nuthatches

I love it when families come to the feeders.  Here is a pair of Downy Woodpeckers coming to the feeder.  I know it was a male and female, but not sure if it was a mating pair, or possibly a parent with a baby.  You have to watch them for awhile to tell, and usually the babies act like babies.  Shivering, fluffing up, begging for food, etc.
A pair of Downy Woodpeckers
Another family of birds I've been watching is the Tree Swallows.  They arrive every year as soon as the ice melts off the lake.  This year, I am happy that a pair has chosen my balcony bird house for nesting.  It's been vacant for the last couple of years, when the swallows have taken up residency in my wooden bird houses, or the many other neighborhood bird houses, and any nook and cranny they can find!  When they nest in the balcony bird  house, it's perfect for picture taking when the baby birds emerge!  One of my best baby bird shots was from this bird house.  I even got the photo published in the Birds & Blooms magazine!  Here is a more recent photo of one of the parent Tree Swallows watching me and waiting to go into the balcony bird house.

Tree Swallow (the one nesting in my balcony bird house)
Also frequent visitors my bird tree are the Black-headed Grosbeaks.  This pair look nothing like each other.  The male looks like a Black-headed Grosbeak, but the female has very muted coloring and blends well into the background so she can hide and protect the baby Grosbeaks when she's on the nest.

A pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks
This song sparrow has the sweetest melody he chirps from the branch of my bird tree.  You can tell it is a song sparrow by the brown 'spot' on the chest.  You can many times hear them first, because their song is so sweet!  Next time you hear a lovely melody being chirped from the trees... look around, you may be able to spot one!
Song Sparrow
And one last visitor that I never get tired of seeing, the majestic Great Blue Heron.  No longer do we have a fish pen in the bay for the heron to hang out daily, but they still visit the bay frequently.  The wingspan on these birds is incredible!  I caught this guy, just as he was taking off from the neighbor's dock.  Since his wings are just out of the shot, you can't quite see the impressive spread.  But I love flying heron pics!
Great Blue Heron
So there is my blog update for now.  I'll try to be better at grabbing my camera to get some more wonderful bird adventures to share with you!

- Sherrie (Bird Lady)

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