I finally have material to write a post like Mary of Mary's View does soooo well, a post with backyard birds and dogs and critters. My backyard does not have a pond, and I just have a couple of feeders. All summer, I kept only one feeder with nyjer seed as the squirrels will not stay away from other types of feed. The weather forecast is calling for snow this week (we'll have to see!) so I decided it was time to put sunflower seeds out for the birds. In the winter I get Chickadees, House Finches, Juncos and Sparrows (usually HOSPs only :-( I am afraid), an occasional Cardinal and that is about it. Downy Woodpeckers are around, but they are far more interested in my neighbour's wood siding than my suet offerings.
The House Finches came right away. After seeing a female or immature Purple Finch two weeks ago, I was hopeful that I would be lucky like Jayne and have a male around the house too.
Maybe next time...
The Chickadees are plentiful and so cheerful. I think they could be tamed into eating from my hand this winter if I sit out on the deck (in the cold!) I put some seed on the bench right at the back door and sure enough, this bird came right over.
The squirrels did not take long to appear. This little red squirrel was hardly bigger than a chipmunk and was on the feeder very quickly. The birds simply will not come when the squirrels are around. A big grey squirrel and a black squirrel were waiting on the fence for a turn to invade. Time to call in the Squirrel Patrol.
Dakota likes to be useful and his favourite task is chasing squirrels out of the yard. He did his job well and then sat at the edge of the deck vigilantly watching and daring them to return. He would not leave his post for a long time. He doesn't bother the birds and they don't mind him being around. The feeders were quickly filled again with our feathered friends, including this
Red-breasted Nuthatch! I have never had one visit before but I had a pair around all afternoon. They are not very common around here and usually migrate south in the winter months. The White-breasted Nuthatch is seen most frequently. I have only had a fleeting glance at one of these birds in the past, but these ones posed for many photos even when I was on the deck. They were not timid at all.
Mary's latest post has dogs and birds and pasta and ponds, and Jayne will be taking care of some of our migrants in all winter. But my backyard birding gave me pleasure this day too!