Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Disappearing Wreath

In my second post, which hasn't been too long ago, (12/04/08), you can see a picture of the Seed Wreath that I hung for my birds - the photo will give you an idea of how big it was.
In the post entitled, "HELP!" you will see what happened to the Seed Wreath - that was a sad day - but I came up with a solution in the post, "New Visitors in the Morning".
The whole idea of the wreath didn't seem to impress the birds until I had that incredible 'fly-in' on Christmas morning! Since the 25th, its been noticeably disappearing everyday!
Sometimes, I've counted as many as 36 birds at the feeders - and of course, you know there are more, because they keep flying in and out and you can never get them all in one place at one time and what I've noticed, and thoroughly enjoyed, is that they seem to be very comfortable in the wire basket. They will sit there and eat and eat and eat - sometimes a half dozen or more birds for longer periods of time, compared to the feeders.
Well, today, I went out and took a photo of the Seed Wreath - IN ONE WEEK they just about cleaned it up! ! ! WOW!
Instead of replacing the wreath, I'm thinking about putting a tray in the basket and filling it with seed (the wreath was $14.00 - gone in one week!) and see if they behave the same way - staying longer.
Anyway, this is all part of the stuff I don't want to forget, so I just had to post the final act of
"The Disappearing Wreath" - - -


I said that "This is a blog dedicated to my discoveries (good and not) in developing a Bird Sanctuary...", and so far there have been only good discoveries. But, today, I have a 'not good' discovery to journal.
On two separate days this week, I have found a little pinesiskin dead on the ground - one right under the feeders and the other about two feet away.
I've been perplexed and have studied the situation - trying to figure out what is happening.
I can only think they had flown into our dining room window. The feeders, situated right in front of the kitchen window, are 5 feet from it. This is within the 'safe' range recommended by the lady at WildBirds Unlimited. But, the dining room window is set back another 4 feet or so...
I will be taking measures to correct hazard. Meanwhile, I'm sure you know how I feel.
On a happier note, tho', the birds have just about devoured all of that seed wreath that has received so much attention! I am amazed!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Eagles Gather

I was just thinking, "I haven't had anything of note to post in the last couple of days." Its been raining on top of ice in our yard, so its tricky footing, to say the least. I opened up my email and a friend sent me these photos. Someone from Eagle River, Alaska took the pictures, in -5F ! I found them to be awesome and thought I'd share them with you! Imagine putting out feeders for these guys! WOW!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Presents

It is a wonderful experience to have a friend who really knows you because they pay attention to what you share with them in conversation. But, it is the most incredible experience to have a friend who, not only pays attention to who you are, but can read your mind!
Since beginning my Bird Sanctuary Dream, I have purchased very little 'stuff''. I don't spend time pouring over Bird Catalogs or websites or constantly talk about this or that gadget. I've only been to the WildBirds Unlimited once - with my friend.
So, on Christmas Day, when we were opening gifts, I was in for the surprise of the year!
My friend gave me a large box, wrapped in red wrapping paper. I could NOT imagine what was in it! When it was time to open it, it was a pretty generic brown cardboard box - no real clues yet, and even when I OPENED the box, my mind could not register what my eyes were seeing. I had NO IDEA for several seconds what I was looking at - it was a mess of unrecognizable 'stuff'. I 'cautiously' reached in to lift out something that looked safe :) - and SCREAMED in DELIGHT at what was in my hand! I ended up tossing the thing in the air in the process!
It was a Nest Building Ball! ! ! and of course, I figured out, in that instant, that the box was full of 'Bird' things! (which was very cool, in and of itself!)
There were 2 Nest Building Balls (which won't go out until Spring), a red Christmas Stocking to be filled with Niger Thistle seed - there was a bag included! - and a Water Bath/Feeder apparatus.
It is amazing that, except for the Nesting Balls, my friend did not know that these were things I was thinking about from time to time, and planning to get someday! I don't think I ever mentioned them to her. "WOW!" Thank you, Rebekah!
The best part is my whole family gets to enjoy these presents too! All of us spend lengths of time standing in the window, watching the birds and their activities at the feeders. So many happy experiences, thoughts and emotions! It is absolutely delightful!
As you can see, it didn't take long for me to get these presents out to the santuary.
Can you tell I'm dancing inside?
OH YES! and don't miss the video that follows this post!
Rebekah recorded it on Christmas Morning. Enjoy!

Christmas Morning Flittering Delights! - courtesy of Rebekah and guaranteed to make you smile!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Gift From My Birdies

These were the very first Christmas visitors this morning.
It was snowing - big, slow, beautiful flakes!

THEN SUDDENLY, they started coming in sooo FAST!
It's difficult to see, but there are 9 birds in the seed wreath basket!
See the one hanging from the bottom?

(There are a couple sitting in the middle, too!) It was a delightful morning watching them!
They were having a wonderful Christmas Feast!

I'm so thankful God made birds!
And, I'm so blessed by His gift of sending them to my feeders!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughtful Today

The mountains are glorious in my backyard.
My heart is blessed by their beauty,
but more so by their Maker.

"I lift my eyes up to the mountains.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
The Maker of heaven and earth!"
Psalm 121:1,2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Its Snowing and Snowing and Snowing and...

Merry Christmas to All
To All a Good Night!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Friend's Video of the Birds Before Storm :)

Its Beginning to Storm

So here they come!
I've never seen so many birds at the feeders at one time -
until this afternoon!
Its was like a busy airport -
I wondered where 'Air Traffic Control' was!
(How do they stay warm and alive until the storm
is over - especially if it goes on and on until tomorrow


Yesterday I was so jazzed about the little bird prints in the snow in our addition.
I was also very happy to spot 3 Spotted Towhee under the hedge out past our feeders. The distance was too great to get a photo - but I did enjoy them from my kitchen with binoculars.

BUT, THIS MORNING ---- AHHHHHHH! ! ! ! ! There was this critter at the feeders!

I have never seen a RAT here before, or had any indication that there were any rats here! Amazing what the snow will show up! AND, boy is HE BOLD! Jeff went out to 'do something' - not sure what he was going to do about IT, and the RAT didn't move (even with the sound of the doors opening and closing) until Jeff was down off the steps! I got the 'Get Away' photo, as you can see :) question is, to all my Birder Friends, "Have you had this experience before?"! ! !

Hugs to you all - we're supposed to get more snow today - they are calling it a BLIZZARD - never had one of those in Sequim either! (I wonder if we'll have any church services for Christmas?)

And all this happened BEFORE COFFEE! ! !

Friday, December 19, 2008

Visitors in my Home

We are building an addition on our home - it is not finished by any means. The night it snowed, the door came open (its not secure) and some snow blew in on the floor. To my GREAT delight, it showed that some of my little visitors came in to explore where I live! ! !
"If I'd known they were coming I'd a baked a cake ..." (do you remember that song?)

Tongue Teaser

I know the proper name for the little black capped birds in my yard is "Chestnut-backed Chickadee", and they are a special treat to have here. But, they are very like the "Black-capped Chickadee" and I often slip in referring to them by that name, because before I was a Birder, I wasn't aware of the differences. Well, here's a Tongue Teaser for all my Birder Friends: (its my own species)
Chestnut-backed Black-capped Chickadee
See if you can say THAT fast 10 times :) - just for laughs!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Birds Zoomed In

I think the photos are getting better.


"Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
But the birds are so delightful...
and since I've no place to go...
I'm practicing with my camera!"

(I know, the last line doesn't rhyme, but I couldn't resist! :)
I've discovered some settings I can control and I'm hoping to get more color - so that all my photos don't look the same. ie. just all little dark birds!
But, I just had to post this - tho' blurry - I caught a bird in flight again!
I have noticed that the Chestnut backed Chicadee
is NOT very social! They come, grab a seed, and fly away to the trees!

They're Having a Party!

Rebekah is my dear friend who lives with our family. She is a photographer and this morning she took this photo. I think I've gotten everybody in my home excited about birds!


I woke up this morning to see a fresh covering of snow and then realized that a fine powder was still coming down! My dad used to say, that the Indians used to say :)
"Big snow - little snow. Little snow - big snow."
(which interpreted means) - If the flakes are big, it doesn't snow very much. If the flakes are small, it will snow a lot!" So, you know what I'm thinking? :)
Anyway, I looked out at my feeders and saw little Black eyed Juncos on the snow, scuffing around because the seed that had been there was covered - and covered deeper than they could scuff up. They all flew off, except one little guy, who sat there with snow in his beak and looked directly up into the window at me! We looked at each other for a few seconds (which seemed like a long time!). It was if he was saying, "HELP! ! !"
I went outside (in my pj's!) and threw some seed on the snow for him. My family laughed and said they should have taken a picture of this devoted birder. :) I only wish I had been able to get the photo of that little guy.
Snow... lots of different emotions, but, it quiets my heart from the rush, rush, rush because so many things will not be able to be done. I think I will finally get to paint today!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Morning Everyone!

Coming in for a Breakfast Landing!
Can you see the little Black Caps in the branches
of these last two photos? (clue: there's only 1
Black Cap in each photo) :)
Its getting milder - raining at present - and so I think our snow is soon to disappear. Regardless, its still a beautiful day at my feeders :)
I just read that you can mix lard, peanut butter, & bird seed together and press it into a pine cone. The birds love it? The suet cake I have out there is peanut butter - but they don't seem to relish it. What say ye? :)

Its a busy time of year and my attention is not only on taking care of the birds, but also on taking care of people. Our church is filling stockings which some of our people will take to Seattle in the next week to distribute to the homelesss. Jayne has a wonderful story on her blog this morning:
and I have an article on my website which I posted on Dec. 1st:
I think of all of you in the 'Storm Zone' and pray all your needs are met. Bless you all, friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome to My World

I've posted a couple of times already today - I hope I don't wear out my welcome ;)
But, I really wanted to share this evening's sunset with everyone and say,
"Welcome to My World!"
I am in awe over the colors and the design in the clouds. I think it looks somewhat like a dove.
What do you all think? I'd love to hear what your imaginations see :)
Many thanks to Rebekah for all the beautiful photos she took today!

Well. That Didn't Take Very Long!

First Visitor sits on a top branch! :)

Next one finds the seed wreath! :)

And, its all good!

Video Courtesy of Rebekah :)


Today is beautiful and FREEZING! ! !
I went out and got some clippings from our hedge (Jeff, my husband had pruned some earlier this week) and I proceeded to create a mini-woods :) for my little freezing visitors.
First I made a 'frame work' out of stiffer branches (fir, maybe?).
Then, I filled it out with cedar. Oh! and I put a ribbon on the squirrel baffle :) Now, I'll wait and see how long it takes the birds to figure out that the feeders are still there!
My hands were NUMB when I got done!
I've also included a photo of my backyard - complete with the view of the Olympic Mountains that were covered by snow clouds the other day. And I'm thinking, my photos are not turning out so great because my feeders are on the north side of the house - in the shade! :( Hmm...
And, here's a photo of 3 of My Very Own Song Birds :)
Andrew, Charisa and Halleleyah - practicing for a 'Christmas Surprise' Hmmm.... :)
Stay inside, my friends and enjoy the view! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Junco Portrait

My friend, Rebekah, gave me my first lesson using her camera. This could get addicting! :)

Very Cold Birdies This Morning!

I am definitely getting frustrated with the lack of quality of my photos! Hmmm....
What to do? I so enjoy the photos I see on all my Birders' Blogs!
Thank you for sharing them with everyone!
Anyway, these little visitors are so cold! They were puffed up and at one point, a pinesiskin was standing on top of the hook lifting its little foot and changing feet on that cold metal. I think, today, if I have time, I'd like to wire some boughs around the metal so its not so unfriendly.
Have a happy day everyone! and STAY WARM all who are in the Arctic Blast!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome to my Bird Sanctuary!

My dear, sweet friend, Rebekah took this footage for me this morning!
She knows how much I love my birds, so she made me a video that
I would like to share with you! Enjoy!
(I apologize for the 'noise' in the background - our heat pump turned
on just as the birds came. We're going to keep trying to capture
them without the extra noise - ;)

The Game That's Going Around :)

OK - I guess its my turn :) Its so interesting to see all the things that I haven't done yet!
Some things I'm pretty happy I've experienced - others . . . don't think I'd like to try - like having food poisoning! YUCK!
Thanks to Jayne for continuing the fun!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (actually hiked up a mountain)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job7
6. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Gotten a speeding ticket


AHHHH! ! !
Our daughter has a little kitty - about 4 months old. These prints were on our back porch (on the opposite side of the house as the feeders) I wonder what it looked like in real time?


I LOVE THE SNOW! and. . .
The added thrill this morning is . . .
EVEN in the SNOW! :)

AsTigger says, in Winnie-the-Pooh, "I'm so happy, I feel like bouncing!"

So, today's photos are brought to you by a VERY HAPPY BIRDER!

P.S. Thank you, EVERYONE, who has visited my blog in the last couple of days! ! ! You are a marvelous group and I'm having almost as much fun seeing who comes to my blog, as I am about who comes to my feeders! :) - just kidding! HAPPY DAY TO ALL!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Working on Identification Skills

Thought you'd like to see this little cutie!
I love the Black Capped Chickadee!

There are definitely TWO kinds of finches with
reddish coloring. The smaller ones with more color have
been here before. I looked them up and I believe
they are called 'House Finches'
Then these larger ones who came
today have less, but brighter color and their
beaks are thicker - 'Purple Finches'?

But, this 'little' visitor -
hmm... I think is a 'Gold Crowned Sparrow'.

I've been studying my 'Birds of the Puget Sound Region' book :)
and having fun learning to identify the different species according
to their markings and subtleties.
Thanks again everyone!
Your encouragement is so welcome here!