An Amateur Birdwatcher's tally
Old birds in a new year
Old birds started off the new year for me. By 7am crows are filling the skies, as they travel from their sleepy time trees to the streets and parking lots of the city. They wake in lots of company. I wonder how they decide where to go? Maybe it’s pre-determined. Do they go to the same places for the same routines? One day I plan to study that. Just because the answers would be interesting.
Seagulls land on the light posts and join their crow buddies for a few hours of calling, playing, munching, and more in the parking lots. I was up on an errand but took a few moments to enjoy their games.
Later in the morning I went out with my dog Maggie (who often joins me in my birdwatching) and we played in the yard. We weren’t the only ones. Three black capped chickadees played at my birdfeeder. I took some fun pictures of them. These are not tame – but I call them mine because they reside in my yard and feed quite often at my feeders.
Chickadees are in the passerine family – perching birds. They only briefly perch, however, being busy little creatures. They dance from tree to tree in groups. My birds call me – dee dee dee. When I hear that I know the feeder is empty. A few years ago I read an article describing how nuthatches learn the language of chickadees and respond to their alarms. The more dees involved the more serious the situation. A couple of dee -dees are just conversational.
In my neighborhood the chickadees hang out with sparrows and juncos. It’s a lively crowd, but well behaved. Starlings hang out around them as well, in separate groups. This set of chickadees is on its own, though. They are very cute stars.
After about 5 minutes of posing for the paparazzi the chickadees move on. It is time for me and Maggie to head inside. But later, we go to a rural street in our city and find lots of ducks – mallards, wigeons, and pintails swimming in the swampy fields. Canada Geese stroll in their family units and a blue heron flies up out of the water. There has been a hawk, which I have been watching, on this street for weeks. She is probably a female, a dark morph, but I don’t think she is a red tail. She poses for her picture calmly. The tree I usually find her in doesn’t have a nest and I wonder if one is nearby. I haven’t identified it yet.
A kestrel is further down, on a fence post – not doing nutting, as my cat Alex would say. He moves along as though the ducks were not tempting him to dinner. His flight sets off another blue heron who soars away despite his bulk. We walk along, snapping pictures and sniffing the interesting smells (that’s the dogs). Water rises up over the road, but not too deep. One of the farms, as well as nearby Emerald Downs, is reflected in the water, as well as Mount Rainier. It is a pleasant New Year’s Day, walking my dogs and enjoying the birds. Stay tuned for another adventure on Thursday 01/10/19! Check out myyarncraftsplus.weebly.com/birding-gallery.html for more bird pictures. Happy birding!
I love birdwatching. It's relaxing and fun. Even though I've been birding for over 10 years I classify myself as an amateur birder. I plan to write a blog each month about my experiences. Hope you enjoy them!