Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cottage Yardbirds on the Victoria Day Long Week-end

I continued to pace aimlessly around the cottage sans internet, and reluctantly ended up dismantling most of my cottage bird-feeders. This I did after being woken up at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning by the sound of god-knows-how many raccoons screaming like banshees as they attacked my latest feeder addition, located three feet away from the bedroom window. Even our two German Shepherds were silenced and lay there trembling by the sounds of these cute-and-cuddly mammals ripping each other's throats out as they battled for my "songbird seed collection", I shuddered to think at the time what the body count was going to be once daylight arrived. There was none, in fact, but I still took down the feeders, as they also apparently attract bears, it just kept getting better...

However, to cheer myself up and stop sobbing about any new species that might now totally bypass our place, I decided to keep a count of my YARDBIRDS, ie any species that could be seen from within the property, so here goes, in no particular order, without even trying all that hard:
  • Great-crested Flycatcher
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • European Starlings (family on neighbour's lot, grrrrr)
  • Canada Goose
  • Common Loon
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Osprey
  • Mourning Dove
  • Eastern Phoebe (audio only)
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Winter Wren (audio only)
  • House Wren (audio only)
  • American Robin
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Black-and-white Warbler (audio only)
  • Common Grackle
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Mallard
  • Merlin
  • Wood Duck
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Red-eyed Vireo (audio only)

On Saturday evening as we were BBQ'g, a female Wood Duck flew up into a tree next to us, a first for me to see one of these darlin's up so high. Then on Monday night, at what I call that wonderful "golden hour" time just before sunset, I saw this male do the same, I never realized how much larger they appear to be when seen from below!

I also saw this Merlin fly in just before sunset, I had been hearing him the whole time I was there (mostly in the morning first thing) but had yet to get a visual on him. My field guide tells me that they are "mostly silent, except at or from the nest site", so I guess that means I have to track down a nest next time, I'm now working on booking a cherry-picker! The photo angle is admittedly awkward but was the best I could do:

So here it comes, didn't you just know it was coming, that sunset-at-the-cottage shot??? blahblahblah, zzzzzzzzzzzz:

What a difference a day makes, the following one was taken the next day, check out the treeline to see how much further to the "right" the sun is setting, as it continues its cycle towards summer solstice next month:

An astronomical mood hit me, so for fun I tried a shot of the moon, after seeing Ann's great success with it:

OKfine, I digress, back to birds now: here's a Mallard at last night's Golden Hour, she was celebrating (as was I) the departure of all the cottagers returning back to the city last evening:

The Pileated Woodpecker was initially my week-end Nemesis bird, and it took me three days to finally get a visual on him, as he taunted me incessantly with his "jungle calls". In fact last night at sunset I tracked him down by his drumming on a tree that overlooked the shoreline, I was a mere ten feet from him without his knowledge but he was not well-placed for a photo, so these earlier ones in the day will have to suffice:

Let's see what new additions will be added to my Yardbird List next time!


Ann Brokelman said...

Fantastic shots - love the wood duck in the tree. Very cool Janice you are never going back to work right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alex said...

Wow, how did you get that moon shot?! Absolutely gorgeous! And those sunsets are amazing. Oh, and the bird shots are pretty great too ;)

Shon And Sedona said...

Great pictures