Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wood Aneome

Sharing the beauty found along a woodland trail: Wood Aneome.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rose- breasted Grosbeak for Saturday Critters

This Grosbeak is still hanging around bird alley and its favourite choice of food is black-oiled sunflower seeds. I found him feeding on the ground just in front of our bay window and I was able to get some close ups that show a few of its markings
 that I had not noticed before. Under each wing at the front is also a patch of its beautiful rose colour and down each side is a line of black dashes.  how interesting! In the picture below you can also see the rpose wing patch and the black dashes!

Today I am linking to Saturday Critters hosted by Eileen. Thank you Eileen for hosting this meme. Why not join the photo party with Eileen at

My apologies as I first called rhis grosbeak an evening Grosbeak, but I actually knew it was a Rose breasted grosbeak, I just made an error when tying in its name.  Thank you for the correction in the comments section!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Its warbler season again and I love finding these little birds.  sometimes one will wander into bird alley but often I have to go further a field to find one, which is what I did yesterday. The little warbler I found was a familiar and a favourite one.  My husband has nicknamed this warbler "the Lone Ranger" bird as it wears a black mask across its eyes. You can see its  black mask in the picture below! Only the male of this species has the black mask.

  1. Its real name is a male Common Yellowthroat which is prominently displayed at its throat.

This warbler is a very pretty little bird , don't you think?!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tree Swallows

I have a mental spring checklist and this morning I decided to check an old unused electrical box where in recent years I have found Tree Swallows nesting.  And at the first look at the electrical box I saw no swallows, however about 5 minutes later when passing by again I saw that there was a Swallow peering out of the hole in the electrical box.  Great,! the Swallow have nested there again for this year.  For some reason we no longer have Tree Swallows nesting in our swallow house and we miss them.  We saw this swallow species circling around our bird house earlier this spring but none decided to nest there.  We have had nesting swallows faithfully for many years until the last 3 or 4 years.  We are not sure why not, but we do wish they would return. I shall continue to moniter this nest site until the end of June when the new babies will be leaving their nest at about that time!

the abandonded unused electrical box adjacent to a newly plowed field.
 Tree Swallow peering out from its chosen nest site in an old, unused electrical box
 The Tree Swallow appears to be quite contented in its chosen location for nesting!

Next on my spring checklist is to locate more swallows.  perhaps Cliff Swallows or Barn Swallows.
I am also watching for Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I just got a glimpse  of this creature yesterday and I thought I had seen a short haired cat near the back of our garden shed.  When I saw it feeding on my lawn this afternoon I knew

it was a 
groundhog I had seen instead.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More Recent Arrivals

All three of our recent arrivals have been expected, although to our way of thinking the chipmunk was really late in showing up.  We had seen a female cowbird a couple of weeks ago but yesterday was the first that we had seen male Cowbirds.  The Cowbirds were here today, but no females were seen the last couple of days, only the males.

        two brown-headed male Cowbirds

And saving the best for last, we had two male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks feeding at our feeders yesterday!

                two rose-breasted Grosbeaks in a Birch Tree
                      an interesting back view of a Grosbeak at the feeders
This is the feeder that they fed from the previous year also.  I was quite sure that they would arrive at this same feeder and they did!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Evening Grosbeak in Bird Alley

The  pleasure of spring bird watching seldom ceases in Bird Alley. Earlier

 this week my husband had commented that it had been a long time since we had seen Evening Grosbeaks.  There have been times when they seemed to arrive in droves, and yesterday what did I see in the afternoon ?,but one handsome male Evening Grosbeak.  It seemed as if it was just passing through as it  just perched on a branch before flying off.  Unfortunately its face was obscured by an opening leaflet.  but the yellow cap can be seen.  A black shadow is misleading on its breast as that is not part of his natural colouring.  
 I really like  grosbeak picture with the semi blurred background with blue sky highlights.  Nature is so beautiful!!! The use of a lower f stop at 5.6 causes the semi blurred background in the picture.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

White-tailed Deer

I can see deer every morning if I am up early and looking out the window.  They come up from the river and cross the street near our property, then they run up our neighbours long gravel driveway and cut across the bottom of the  neighbours lawn diagonally and then  follow a path to the woods behind our properties.  The deer are the main reason we have fenced in most of our property.  My husband loves his hosta garden and  our cedar trees and so do the deer and so he built this fence shown below.

 why we have fencing.  You can see the deer legs through the fencing.
                                  this deer walked up our neighbour's long gravelled driveway
 our side lawn is still unfenced and I watched two deer stop to feed there this morning. 
 My ornamental Juniper on our unfenced front lawn has lost most of its attractive ball shaped foliage, so I have my own reasons for approving of fencing. although it is still a treat to see the deer as they are such beautiful creatures.

Monday, May 12, 2014

White-crowned Sparrows

I cou,d set my calendar by the arrival of this handsome little sparrow species.  I have been watching for them and as I looked out my window a few moments ago there they were, two of them!!

Their stand out white  striped head is very obvious and you really cant miss them as they are scratching about the ground in sparrow fashion.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ruby-throated Hummingbird today!

It seems very early to have hummingbirds at our feeders in Bird Alley.  we put our feeders out today around 8 in the morning and by noon we saw two hummingbirds cautiously approach our feeders.  It is a handsome male as you can tell by the Ruby-red patch at his throat.  I love that you can see its little eye in the pictures. I think this is a magnificent bird!
A happy Mother's Day to all.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Osprey at Oromocto

It has become our habit over the past few years to note locations where certain bird's nest and so we watch their nests each year for their return.
Wwe have been anticipating the return of Ospreys to Oromocto.  Earlier this spring we had noted that the old Osprey nest at the Douglas Hazen Park along the Oromocto waterfront had not survived the harshness of our winter weather this year. We had assumed a returning Osprey would rebuild a nest at that location. we waited and kept checking weekly and we didn't see any Osdprey there until this weekend past.
On Sunday May 4th.)

We saw an Osprey at the park in the usual location sitting on a nest!!
The nest appears to be a heler
skeltor stick affair, but whatever works! Above are a few pictures of the Osprey on its nest

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Beautiful Wildflowers

We are delighted to have an early wildflower growing in our flower gardens in two different locations and they bloomed at the end of April.  My daughter always has a Coltsfoot in bloom about two weeks ahead of us. We have had so many overcast rainy days that I feared our Coltsfoot would not bloom until May , however we had a bit of sunshine and blooming before the calendar page changed. and here are a couple of Coltsfoot pictures found in our own yard.

I always used to mistake early Coltsfoot for Dandelions, and now I realize my error.  The Coltsfoot does not have leaves as does Dandelions.  When my daughter was just a little girl I used to drive out to a railway crossing near Temperance Vale each spring to show her the early Dandelions in bloom.  I am sure now as I recall that memory, it was probably Coltsfoot that I was showing her..   Some spring I would like to return to that location near Temperance Vale to verify my hunch.  Maybe next spring?!

Also I have a favourite Mayflower patch and on our way home yesterday from Saint John we stopped to check there for Mayflowers in bloom, and yes, we found some of their beautiful, delicate scented blossoms.  I found the Mayflower patch years
ago when , every spring I used to see an elderly lady picking something off the ground in that area and I had decided to check it out myself the following spring. and I have been finding Mayflowers there every spring. 
In the first picture below, you can see the potential for many more beautiful blossoms to open.  I think I shall return to this location today to find more beautiful blossoms as it is a very fine, sunny day. here today I have also already seen Dandelions in bloom and I'm sure I could find some Dandelions in bloom today..  The next wildflower find will soon be Purple Violets or Wild Strawberry blossoms and soon Dogtooth Violets.  Isn't spring great!!