With the arrival of an American Tree Sparrow this week, most of our regular winter yard species have arrived for the season. We’ve already had Pine Siskins and a pair of Common Redpolls (seen a week ago but not since), and we’ll likely see a variety of other winter finches between now and March.
At some point I anticipate a waxwing invasion. Our new neighborhood is filled with fruit trees, especially crabapples. One tree in our neighbor’s yard is an early favorite with the robins and starlings, but we have one just off our back porch that is both filled with fruit and a good stopover on the way to our feeder station.
Our three-season sunroom works pretty effectively as a blind. I can sit there when A is napping and point the camera out the window! This past Saturday I tested this out even though it was (as it has been for months) cloudy and dark. The house finches put on a show though…
We’ve had two pair here for the last few weeks. I’ve been trying, as yet unsuccessfully, to photograph one of the females who has some odd discoloring around her head. It’s probably leucism, but I’d like a good photo to get a better look.
The finches seem to prefer the smaller shriveled up fruits- they’re probably easier for them to eat.
The robins, on the other hand, go for the brightest, juiciest looking bits.
It’s also pretty windy up on our little ridge above the lake- there’s not much between us and the Adirondacks, 20 miles to the west. We do have a hedge to protect us from the worst of it, but the juncos and goldfinches were getting buffeted by some wicked gusts every time they flew up beyond the white cedar.
Much to my chagrin, we do have plenty of European Starlings and House Sparrows around. So far they haven’t monopolized the feeders, but I may have to change the blend of seed I’ve been using. Perhaps more black-oil sunflower would discourage the Blue Jays from being such slobs as well, but I don’t hold a lot of hope.
As it turns out, the muted colors in our yard this time of year provide a pretty nice (if a bit busy) background for bird photography, even in the consistently poor light. I’m looking forward to a chance at cardinals and finches in that tree with some snow on it!