On a cool, dark, and drizzly day in our back yard:
Northern Mockingbirds are all over our neighborhood, but they aren’t typically seen much in our back yard. Yesterday, however, I saw one at two of our feeders, the suet feeder and the mixed nut feeder. I was thinking about putting the the wire cover back over the mixed nut feeder–which is designed to keep the larger birds off the mixed nuts. This morning, though, I saw a Brown Thrasher, which is a larger bird, on the mixed nuts, the first time I’ve seen the Brown Thrasher in quite a while. Then I thought: well, maybe I’ll leave the mixed nuts open for a while longer. Plus a Gray Catbird is partial to the mixed nuts, and it’s been making itself conspicuous over the past couple of weeks. But this morning the Northern Mockingbird is back, along with a Blue Jay. So it may be time.
Speaking of the mixed-nut feeder, as of yesterday the Ruby-crowned Kinglet is still hitting it regularly, though it’s about time for it to migrate north. I haven’t seen the Yellow-rumped Warbler in the last few days (and it definitely liked the mixed nuts), so it’s probably already left. But speaking of small birds that do like the mixed nuts . . . the Carolina Wrens are firmly in that camp, though they’re agile enough to cling to and eat from the suet feeder if a Northern Cardinal or Red-bellied Woodpecker moves in on the mixed nuts. And in the last week or so I’ve noticed a Tufted Titmouse partaking of the mixed nuts, too. Generally the Tufted Titmice (and Carolina Chickadees and House Finches) are seed eaters, but maybe this one is expanding its palate.
I’ve known for a while that there are plenty of worms in our back yard. When I spray out the bubbler, they come wriggling to the surface of the yard. In the last few days I’ve seen two different birds nab and fly off with a worm. The other day, a Red-bellied Woodpecker surprised me by alighting on the ground–which I’ve never seen–and plucking out a worm. This morning I watched the Brown Thrasher capture one, too. It carried and dropped the worm across the back yard, then finally flew off over the retaining wall with it.
Two male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are still vying for territory in our back yard. When one drinks nectar at the feeder, the other will dive bomb it. This morning, when one of them dive bombed the other, it actually thumped the breakfast nook window. Both flew off, neither apparently worse for wear. I think I’ll put a second nectar feeder up in the pergola.
Finally, in the Reptile Report . . . both my better half and I have been spotting Broad-headed Skinks in the yard. Today I startled one that was sunning next to the lantana.
Spotted this Hooded Warbler in the woods behind our back yard this morning:
And here’s the Brown Thrasher
Mourning Dove during a rain shower:
Saw the first-Swallow-tailed Kite of the season soaring overhead above Atlantic Boulevard. Later, at Westminster Woods,Gram and I saw lots of Eastern Bluebirds and Palm Warblers patrolling the grass for tasty meals. I also saw two Green Herons, a Little Blue Heron, and an Osprey.
A Yellow-rumped Warbler is still hanging around our back yard. So is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but it’s a lot harder to photograph!
First female Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season at the nectar feeder today. Here’s a Downy Woodpecker in our back yard this afternoon:
Saw the first American Goldfinch of the season in our back yard today. At least one male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has also shown up again. And, though neither shot is sterling, here are two holdovers from winter:
One of the American Goldfinch visitors:
And here’s a House Finch, a year-round resident:
Late this afternoon I saw the first Northern Parula of the season–taking a bath in the bubbler, of course!
First back-yard sighting of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird! I just put the hummmingbird feeder up yesterday. A Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet are still coming to the mixed-nut feeder. It’s raining right now, and the Kinglet’s ruby crown is gleaming.
Outside with Gram at Westminster Woods:
To Westminster Woods, where Gram and I spotted this Snowy Egret: