Today WordPress is forcing me to use their new editor instead of their “classic” editor. Let’s hope this post turns out all right.
Overnight wet and heavy snow fell in our area, bending and sometimes breaking the branches of some trees. Many birds came to our feeder, among them a pretty female Downy Woodpecker that looked for insects on a nearby magnolia tree. Here is a shot of her, rendered in monochrome for this Monday.
In addition to Northern Cardinals, other regular birds at our bird feeder include Carolina Chickadees and two kinds of Woodpeckers. On the same cloudy days that brightly lit the cardinals, I was able to get several good shots of these other birds.
One more photo taken on January 1st, 2019.
It’s been snowing since early this morning and will not stop until late tonight. So far, eight hours into our fourth Nor’Easter only about 5 inches of snow fell, but the forecast is calling for at least double that by the time the storm ends.
As usual, I cleaned and stocked the bird feeder with sunflower seeds and all the usual birds came, emptying half of the feeder by the end of the day. I did not miss the opportunity to take some photos as they posed among the magnolia branches.
Today skies are mostly sunny and snow is melting at a good pace. I took the opportunity to photograph the various birds that come to our feeder all day long.
Finally, the one and the only Northern Cardinal, resplendent in colors rivaling its human counterparts in Rome.
The Downy Woodpecker is a bird that we often see in our backyard, competing with other small birds for sunflower seeds form the bird feeder. It does not eat peanuts, perhaps because those are too big for their beak. In the spring and summer, it can be heard drumming against wood, whether on trees or on our house trims!
Today one of them, a male, lingered among the magnolia branches for a minute or so, allowing me to capture it in the following photos.
Temperatures are plummeting today and may reach 0° F (-17° C) by tonight, while the wind has started howling outside. I put out roasted peanuts for the birds, and the Downy Woodpecker, who had refrained from eating them in previous weeks, finally relented and started today.
More snow is forecasted for several days next week, but today the snow that felt two weeks ago has melted almost completely. To help out our backyard feathered friends, I put out sunflower seeds and roasted peanuts for them. Many came out, and they did not mind me taking their pictures, even with the patio door partially open.
A pair of Blue Jays flew in, each grabbing several peanuts at a time.
Within less than an hour, the birds had finished half a box of peanuts!
A Nuthatch and Cardinal were perched on our bird feeder.
The Nuthatch made many trips, each time flying away with a sunflower seed.
Next a Downy Woodpecker did the same thing, under the benign eyes of His Eminence.
A Red-Bellied Woodpecker displaced the Cardinal, but that did not seem to bother the Air Woodpecker pilot.
That monster snow storm that everyone was talking about over the past few days shifted east and spared our area. There were only a few inches of snow when I woke up this morning and by noon it was over. Using a snowthrower, I cleared our driveway in less than an hour.
I had refilled the bird feeder and many birds came and feasted, even while it was still snowing. The hawk was nowhere in sight, so the little birds ate their fill. A very cute one is the House Finch which stood out with its red, almost scarlet colors.
Here it is perched on the feeder.
Another cute one is the Downy Woodpecker that I have been photographing since he was a baby.
The past few days were the coldest ones of this winter, with temperatures in the twenties or below (around -5 degrees C). The windchill temperatures were worse, forcing many schools to close. I filled up the bird feeder with sunflower seeds and more birds took advantage of it than usual. There must not have been too much for them to eat elsewhere because they emptied half of the large feeder in less than a day.
There was at least one Red-bellied Woodpecker that kept coming to the feeder, and yesterday I was able to finally take some pictures of it. Up until now, it had been a very shy bird and I could never get a good shot of it with my camera.
Every time it snatched a seed, it flew to a nearby tree, inserted the seed in the bark and pecked at it. The following photo shows that behavior, even though I could not get any closer with my lens.
Meanwhile, the Downy Woodpecker also made its appearance. We usually see more of them than of the Red-Bellied kind.
This week, I acquired a Canon SX50 HS camera which can zoom from 24 mm to 1200 mm, or 50X. This camera is used by many bird photographers who cannot afford to buy those giant lenses, some costing as much as a second mortgage on a home.
I must say that the camera has lived up to its reputation. See for yourself in these three photos that I took over the past three days.
Here’s a junco, that came to partake of sunflower seeds I put out on our deck. I shot this through our glass patio door, but it is still very sharp.
Next is a robin, running on the grass near the Delaware Raritan Canal about 1.5 miles from home. We also have them in our backyard, but until now I haven’t been able to take as close a shot as this one.
Finally, here’s a nuthatch hanging upside down a tree trunk. I thought it was a female downy woodpecker, but Jet Elliot (see her comment below) pointed out my error. Thanks, Jet!