Sunday, December 21, 2014

Evening Grosbeaks on this First Day of Winter

Since our last snowfall, on Wednesday last, the birds have been slow in arriving at our feeders in the morning.  So I was delighted this morning to see some little Goldfinch arrive and I noted them in my daily bird list which I keep.  Whereas Bird Alley is at the side of our house, we also have feeders at the back  of our house which we watch from our dining room window.  Having just seen Goldfinch from my living room I then went to our dining room to check out the feeders there.  A white church feeder is hanging on a Plum tree outside this window and I saw several  large birds there with Goldfinch colouring.  I thought, OMG, those Goldfinch sure are big!!!  and I said that to my husband.  Then it dawned on me.  Not Goldfinch but often desired, and hoped for Evening Grosbeaks!!!!!  These big birds are not beautiful, but   they are impressive, especially the colourful males.  The sunflower seeds in the church feeder were rapidly being devoured.  Oh Happy day!!! even if it is  the first day of winter!  These birds have added a colourful excitement to my morning!!!  Welcome!! winter wanderers!!

                                                  above is a male Evening Grosbeak!

             I have since been out to refill the feeders and  I have spread sunflower seeds on a patio table on our  back deck in an attempt to entice them back.  Grosbeaks apparently like to feed on a flat surface such as the table offers.  I do so hope the Evening Grosbeaks return!!  Back to my window watching!!  Have a wonderful day everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blue Jays for Saturday Critters

We have had a lot of Blue Jays visiting Bird Alley recently, especially just after a snowfall on Wednesday night.
Blue Jays can be quite noisy and loud especially with their loud , piercing cries .
This Blue Jay above is just considering the possibilities of choice.
The peanut feeders are a very popular feeding location for these huge blue birds.
Today I am linking to Saturday Critters, hosted by Eileen at:

Friday, December 05, 2014

A Pansy Blooming during December in my garden!

I  found an AMAZING SURPRISE!!!!! in my flower bed! A BLUE PANSY was in bloom there yesterday morning! This is quite an unusual  find for New Brunswick, Canada! The latest I have ever found pansies in bloom in our flower beds was at the end of October. I had always hoped our blooms would last until the Canadian Thanksgiving. and we achieved that goal this year. Perhaps we can now hope for a Christmas bloom? However to find a bloom yesterday has really surprised me! Last week at this time that flower bed was under snow and yesterday had been a day of freezing rain. This morning the outdoor temperature read at -3 degrees Celsius. All this to say we have been experiencing a bit of harsh winter weather extremes already. Bloom on hardy flower friend, Bloom on. Your beauty and endurance is much appreciated and esteemed!!!. I shall check on your progress each day. My cousin  in the Boston area reported having a pansy in bloom in her garden just a few days ago, and I was envious, No. more envy ,  as we now have our own astonishing Pansy bloom!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


We have two Nuthatch species that visit daily to mostly feed on our peanut feeders. These little birds are delightful to watch as the often feed upside down. The do not migrate and are here year round.  The Red-breasted Nuthatch most always arrives first and visits frequently throughout the day. The White-breasted Nuthatch sometimes does not show up until late afternoon, but sometimes it changes its schedule and is seen at the peanut feeder in the morning hours.Their descriptive colourful names serve to identify one from the other.  The red-breasted Nuthatch with a rufus coloured breast  and with a white stripe on its black head easily sets it apart from the white-breasted one.  Looking at the photos included easily helps you identify which is which.
 Welcome to December, the first winter month.  Brrr..


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tree Sparrow for Saturday Critters

The quality of these photos is not the best as I have just taken them from my window and it is not fully light yet.  These little winter sparrows, Tree Sparrows are busy and actively feeding at our feeders early, as are the Chickadees and the one Song Sparrow which seems to have chosen to overwinter with us.
One characteristic that I rely upon to identify  the little Tree Sparrows is the bicoloured bill, The lower portion of which, as the photo below illustrates is yellow.

And if I don't see a bicoloured bill I then search for the dark breast spot which is characteristic of this sparrow species.  This little sparrow this morning appears to have a double breast spot, but that is okay as its bill is bicoloured, so it is a Tree Sparrow.  You have to look carefully when you are id'ing
sparrows especially when both Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrows are at your feeders as the Song Sparrow also has a dark center breast spot.
Look carefully at these two Tree Sparrow photos above and you can see the yellow portion of the bill, so it is a Tree Sparrow despite its double  breast spot!

Today I am linking with Saturday Critters which is hosted by Eileen at
Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A White-throated Sparrow with a dark center breast spot!?

Huh? A white-throated Sparrow with a dark center spot? I have seen this sparrow before and have wondered why it has a dark center breast spot??  Unusual?  I think so!

I have seen Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and Tree Sparrows, all with a dark center breast spot , as was expected, but not  White-throated Sparrows, such as this one seen in bird Alley this morning.  What has been your experience?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goldfinch Days

Each day our feeders are  being visited by many, many, American Goldfinch and I love seeing these little birds. I am especially attracted by the warm sunlight tones still remaining on some of them.  The big attraction is the Niger seed feeder and at times it is difficult to count how many are on the feeder at one time as they are constantly shifting position and arriving and departing. The yellow leaves accent their yellow tones and it is in its total appearance a delightful scene from my window.


We are never lacking colour here in Bird Alley and the arrival of this handsome , colourful male Cardinal is always a big treat!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lots of American Robins in our yard!

The Robins are here daily feeding on rosehips and oranamental crabapples in our yard.

 This is a daily delight as their beautiful red breast really light up the overcast dullness of these darker November days!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Robin Redbreast

"And we shall have snow! " Or so the weather forecast says.  I have been delighted to observe a beautiful Robin visiting in Bird Alley the past few days.My anticipation of the advent of spring is associated with the sighting of my first robin.  then  the rapid arrival of many of these red-breasted beauties dulls my excitement about Robin sightings . However this last glimpse of these season changing birds casts a winsome glance backward to summer and spring as winter approaches.  If this is my last Robin sighting  then  may the next be in the glory of spring.Some weather watchers have already reported snow falling today.  but not me, I would rather report Robin sightings. And I have already sighted another red coloured species this week. Thisspecies usually is more associated with winter:  and it carries a winter associated adjective in its namethe Northern Cardinal.  we had a visit this week from  
a female Northern Cardinal. She had a beautiful chunky red beak and a splash of red on her feathers mid way up her side.

 Our sparrow visitors have been reflecting change also this week.  Its seems that our little Chipping Sparrows have chosen to migrate and so now we will await the arrival of their northern (almost)look alike cousins from the north; Tree Sparrows. Perhaps with the approach of snow these wintering little sparrows will be hastening to our feeders.  I am also hoping to see some Pine Siskins at our feeders soon as we have Goldfinch feeding on niger seed daily now and their Siskin cousins often accompany the Goldfinch.
  On no!!!  I have just sighted snow on the roof of my car!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bluejay in a Cage

We had had  such success and good luck on trapping a Grey Squirrel in a live cage the previous day we decided to try it again as we had another Grey squirrel visiting today.  We set up the cage in Bird Alley and waited and waited for the squirrel to show some interest, but no, we did not

have an immediate result.

That is until my husband checked our cage and found a Bluejay in it! and the Bluejay was not too pleased about its predicament!!! Again we observed a very happy release!! We had baited the trap with peanut butter and sunflower seeds.

We have had many bird species visiting Bird Alley the past week Among  few surprises  and welcome visitors have been:  Goldfinch , Junco, White-breasted Nuthatch and a Red-winged Blackbird.
Yesterday I listed 12 different species in my Bird Alley daily journal.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gray Squirrel going on a Trip for SaturdayCritters.

 We found a Grey squirrel in our live trap cage yesterday morning. You can see its little paw holding onto the wire of the cage.  It seemed to be a bit upset and I felt sorry for the Squirrel but the live trap cage had done its job nicely, and no one had gotten hurt..  We have several large Grey Squirrels which have become a daily nuisance in Bird Alley, so we have decided to relocate the squirrels.  This is our first experience doing this. Yesterday morning we took the squirrel in the cage out to a wooded area and released it.  Wow,!!! did it ever move  FAST!! out of the cage  when the cage door was opened!  Hopefully, all is well that ends well and the squirrel has now adjusted to its new home and has found lots of food. "Don't worry little squirrel , if we are lucky, you will be getting company soon  as we hope to trap more of your furry buddies" and" DON'T COME BACK!"
Today I am linking to Eileen's Saturday Critters, 
Have a wonderful day everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Chipmunk... Just Sitting Around

Earlier this week, Bird alley got a visit from this cute little Chipmunk.  It was just sitting on a bird

feeder pole in the beginning, then it explored the top of a bird feeder but I don't think it got any food and this is the time of year that |Chipmunks are gathering food for their winter storehouse. Here are a few pictures to view.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Red-breasted Nuthatch returns to Bird Alley

Just recently I have returned to mointering Bird Alley daily and it is such a joy to see the old familiar  speccies returning,. Over the summer months I do not refill the feeders often as it only encourages raccoons to raid the feeders overnight. We presently have three sparrow species visiting daily: Song Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows and a few White-throated Sparrows.  Also a pair of Purple Finches, a pair of Hairy woodpeckers and one lone Downy Woodpecker.  Earlier this week we had many visits from a small flock of Grackles, and we also see Mourning Doves daily And the earliest and most frequent visitors are the little Black-capped Chickadees and Blue Jays.
Yesterday we had a Red-breasted Nuthatch visit several times. The big attraction for the Nuthatch is  is the peanut feeder.

i love the rufus colouring of its underbely breast and they are often seen in an upside down position.
The upturn at the end of its beak can be easily noted in the photo below. 
I I do hope we get a visit from a White-breasted Nuthatch soon.