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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Birthday Birding in the Rain! Yellow-rumped Warbler

It's my birthday and raining so I am doing my favorite activity, birding, but from my front porch. Some of the best birds seen so far are Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Pine Warbler. Three days of rain ahead so maybe after that more migrants will arrive. (Photo of Yellowrump from another time).

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Belted Kingfisher in Flight, Exciting!

Two Belted Kingfishers flew right by our deck this morning! Had one return from migration March 24th, but now there are two. Possibly one is chasing another off a breeding territory. They breed across almost all of North American and winter in the middle and southern parts of the country. They nest in a long excavated tunnel along a river bank so be on the lookout for them. (photo from another time)

Life With Corgis, Cute!!

#LifeWithCorgis  Here is Abby cleaning Andre, did someone say “cauliflower” and Andre’s chin rest.
We so enjoy living with our sweet Corgis.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Scarlet Tanager Happiness! Coming Soon!

Scarlet Tanagers bring cheeriness, which is much needed in New England right now. We have had March-like rainy, cold, windy, weather and not letting up for several weeks! Looking forward to seeing Tanagers in May.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Blue-headed Vireo, First of the Year yard bird! They are migrating now.

Blue-headed Vireo, FOY (first of year), check! Yesterday's new yard bird. Such a lovely vireo and one that we commonly get here in our NH yard.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

65 Tree Swallows, 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Wow!

 65 Tree Swallows are on perch and all over ground

 Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Wow, there are 65 Tree Swallows resting on the ground and on the perch we supplied plus a lone Northern Rough-winged Swallow hanging in a tree. It is cold and windy so they are resting and warming up and waiting for insects to fly. Provide perches, build it and they will come! Meanwhile Andre is doing his own warming up in sun. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Stokes Pollinator Garden Plant A Pollinator Garden for Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, celebrate it! Here's a good Earth Day idea - plant a pollinator garden! About 75% of the vegetables and fruits we eat depend on pollinators but pollinators are facing big declines. While bees are the big pollinators, there are about 4,000 species of wild bees in the U.S., including bumblebees, mason bees, carpenter bees and sweat bees, there also are other pollinators as well. Here are some photos of my pollinator garden and a link where you can get seeds for pollinator friendly plants. Other tips are - don't use pesticides, go for diversity and single flowers (they provide more nectar) and also leave habitat for nesting of dry grasses, brush piles and dead wood.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sapsuckers sound like the Psycho movie shower scene

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male

Remember the music from the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psyco" movie? Well that is what we are reminded of when we hear the calls of the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers who nest here every year. We hear them more than we see them and they make other calls and drumming noises than the Psycho one, but that is the call that gets our attention every time! Go to this link and listen to the second call down, recorded in Maine,…/Yellow-bellied_Sapsu…/sounds
(photo is of female, male has red throat)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Red-tailed Hawks Are Migrating, be on the lookout!

Yesterday here in NH we had 5 adult Red-tailed Hawks in a "kettle" (rising group) as the sun warmed the temps up in late morning and thermals rose, a good time to look for migrants. My impression was that some were migrants, but a few may have been breeders as I saw one bird drop its talons and descend towards another bird, possible a breeder that was reminding migrants of its territory. We also had an Osprey hunting the pond and several Bald Eagle sightings. A good raptor day! Photo is composite of my images of adult (top and right) and juvenile Red-tailed Hawks from our The Stokes Essential Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America.…/…/0316010510

Friday, April 17, 2020

Beautiful Palm Warbler Migrant Today, look for them!

Hey, hey, pretty FOY Palm Warbler migrant this morning. It was the eastern subspecies, the "Yellow Palm Warbler" Setophaga palmarum hypochrysea (breeds QC and east) which is more colorful than the "Western Palm Warbler" Setophaga palmarum palmarum (breeds Hudson Bay and to west). It was foraging on the ground, not in Palm Trees, ha-ha, here in NH. This warbler was actually named years ago by a naturalist, J.P Gmelin, after a specimen collected on a palm tree filled caribbean island (Hispanola). Palm Warblers breed in bogs and cut-over jack pine woods in Canada and the far upper areas of the eastern two-thirds of this country. They winter in the southeastern coastal states and the Caribbean. FOY means first of the year and is a fun thing to record of birds coming to your yard since you, and we, are in isolation during this crisis time. We keep a daily journal of birds seen in our yard. (photo taken another time)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hermit Thrushes have returned!!

Yes, Hermit Thrushes are back in NH and New England we had one several days ago. What a beautiful song they have! They are one of the earliest arriving thrushes. Wood Thrushes have barely made it to NH so far. Listen to Hermit Thrush song here,

To learn more bird songs try Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs

Monday, April 13, 2020

American Redstart, The Warblers are Coming Soon!

The warblers are coming! Just keep telling yourself that on this bad weather, stormy day here in the Northeast. (American Redstart, male)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter Bunny everyone!

I photographed this Eastern Cottontail rabbit on our property a few years ago. Rabbits are not common where we live. We have seen cottontails and also Snowshoe Hares, but only rarely.
Have a Happy Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Pied-billed Grebe, rare bird arrives plus more!

 Pied-billed Grebe

Wow, look what the storm brought in during the last few hours, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Bald Eagle, imm. The Pied-billed Grebe is the rare one here for NH (state listed threatened). In addition we had FOY Hermit Thrush and Chipping Sparrow arrive. Low clouds, rain and coming storm which will bring snow north of us had birds on the move. (photos all from other times).

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Pine Warblers Have Arrived, they come to bird feeders so be alert!

Pine Warbler just now in, of course, a pine tree by our bird feeder. Pine Warblers are one of the earliest warblers to arrive back here in NH. We always listen for their sweet musical trill song. Pine Warblers often come to bird feeders for suet, especially if the weather is cold, as this one did a few years ago, so keep your feeders supplied. Always exciting to welcome a newly arrived species.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Swainson's Warblers arriving!

Swainson's Warblers are now arriving in the South, have gotten as far as North Carolina. This skulky, rare warbler breeds in the Southeast in wooded lowland swamps, canebrake and also rhododendron thickets in southern Appalachians. Best place to see it is on migration hotspots. This was photographed on Sanibel Island, FL.