Friday, April 22, 2016

Birding from a Window...


It's been less than a week since I've moved up to Parry Sound.  The boyfriend got a job (finally and thankfully!) in the area and I will be here off and on throughout the summer as I finish up my thesis.  Since moving my week has been tons of unpacking, reorganizing, and also data analysis and prepping for some conferences coming up.  Our new house has a beautiful little nook where I've set up a desk and it outlooks into our backyard (a maple syrup production forest) and the feeders we've put up in it.   There is no better way to celebrate Earth Day that experiencing it in your own backyard and as I write this I watch about 50 birds joyous over some fresh seed I put out and am listening to the adorable buzzy sounds from Pine Siskins.

Cole Lake, amazing view on my run!
Within the first two days our yard list was at around 40 species, something I would never have gotten at any of my other houses! It makes me so excited to explore the area around here and see some species that I normally don't get the chance to see.  

So here are a few favourite photos that I've taken over the last week...mostly from my desk window!   I can't wait to get out of the house a little bit this weekend and explore 

On the first day, the yard was full of Common Redpolls!  I saw a few of these while living in Peterborough, but none had been as handsome as this one!  It was really nice to get some up close looks.  In the last two days they seem to have moved out of our woods and soon will be up in the Arctic! 

The back woods have also been full of Kinglets, both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned, and also Brown Creepers!  These little guys have always given me so much trouble when it comes to taking photographs of them.  Luckily with so many around I was able to capture a photo of each. 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Brown Creeper 

A ridiculous number of woodpeckers have also been around the back woods!  So far we have had Downey, Hairy, Pileated, Northern Flicker, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers seen.  Almost every time I have stepped outside I can hear one of them pecking away on a distant tree, which has been really helpful in trying to differentiate between pecking sounds and rhythms. The most "eventful" sighting was this morning during breakfast where I noticed two Pileated Woodpeckers mating. I noticed this pair flying around the woods together and it seems like they will be nesting!

Pileated Woodpecker
The other night we put up a series of three feeders around the house and by about 7:00pm today all of the feed was completely gone!!  The first arrival to our feeder was a group of American Tree Sparrows, Goldfinches, and Juncos.  Early yesterday morning, the first Pine Siskin arrived followed a few hours later by a flock of about 30.  I've been trying to see Pine Siskins for the last few years and hadn't been able to pin point one up until this moment, so it was really exciting to get a new lifer (#237!). 

Pine Siskin on bird feeder
The Pine Siskins brought with them the arrival of dozens of Purple Finches.  These were such a nice sight to see as I am so used to seeing House Finches back home in Chatham. My feeders have been FULL of these guys over the last few days, and they assisted in emptying my feeders.  One finch in particular caught my eye (second photo) and after some consulting with banding friends we determined that it is a second-year Male (meaning he was born last year!). 

Male (right) and Female (left) Purple Finch

Second-year Male Purple Finch
Yesterday morning was the first time this year I heard one of my favourite sounds, the White-throated Sparrow.  They are one of my favourite sounds of spring.

White-throated Sparrow

 I hope that everyone has a fantastic Earth Day 2016.  Make sure to head outside and appreciate all that the earth has to offer us.

Pine Siskin (left) and American Goldfinch (right)