It's still chilly in the mornings, but Spring is advancing nonetheless and the Spring and Summer birds are starting to show up and the year-round residents are molting into their Summer finery. Walking through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on the way to the grocery store this morning I heard and saw a greater variety now that the season is setting in. The songs of Cardinals, Redwinged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Eastern Towhees, White-throated Sparrows, and Nuthatches made a gorgeous chorus in the woods and the wetlands. I was patiently waiting for a White-throated Sparrow, a male Eastern Towhee, and a White-breasted Nuthatch to settle down long enough to get a shot, but no luck. I did manage to catch a Song Sparrow and a male Eastern Bluebird, though, as well as a shot of some sleeping Mallard drakes.
Back home, I've switched the food in my feeder station in an attempt to get rid of the crowds of House Sparrows who had taken over the place and kept a variety of other birds at bay. I seem to have been mostly successful; I'm using seed and nut mixes that don't have millet in them, and include safflower seed, which House Sparrows hate. So now I'm getting a multitude of Finches (House and Gold) as well as Nuthatches, Chickadees, Blue Jays, and Cardinals, as well as a Redwinged Blackbird the other day. I'm also making my own suet these days in hopes of drawing more Woodpeckers and Wrens, and hopefully a Bluebird or two.
In any case, here are the birds I managed to capture with the lens today, both in the woods and at the feeder station. Enjoy!
|A Song Sparrow singing away in the Dykeman Spring wetland|
|A pair of Mallard drakes sleep-drifting on the north duck pond|
|A male Eastern Bluebird along the upland Trail in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park|
|Goldfinches and House Finches at the tower feeder|
|A male Goldfinch at the tower feeder|
|A Blue Jay chowing down at the flat feeder|
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger