Monday, July 22, 2019

A Morning of Bird Watching

Jan here with a moving update.

Do you remember last week's boxes?

Gone. All gone. The furniture, too. And the rugs. Packed into a storage locker on the south side of the city.

We're on hiatus for the next month, and four weeks from today we move into our new home.

Meanwhile, we're staying with friends - a week here, a couple weeks there.

This week our spot is in Mel and Mike's beautiful home in the Hills.

Yes, the house is up there. It was built to blend into the forest.

We were pretty wiped out when we arrived here on Friday afternoon after days...weeks...months of preparing for this move. The deck has become our favorite place to chill out in the mornings and evenings...and a perfect place for bird watching.

Even Maggie-Cat has made herself at home!

Here are some of our bird sightings:

The wild turkeys roost in the trees behind the house at night, then stop for breakfast under the bird feeders before heading into the woods to forage for the day.

A pair of western bluebirds have a brood of young ones in the bird house. The father flies back and forth endlessly to feed the hungry babies. Once in a while the mother comes out, but not for long. She flies to a nearby tree to grab something for herself, then it's back to the nest.

I caught this trick with my camera on Saturday morning:

The father bird perches just outside the opening of the house, poking the moth or worm that he brought into an open mouth, then flips and plummets toward the ground. Before he reaches the grass, he swoops up and lands on a nearby branch before heading off to find more food.

Other frequent visitors to the feeders are red crossbills. I was able to get this picture of a female. In this picture you can get a good view of the crossed beak.

They use that specialized beak to pry open pine cones to get to the seeds.

The nuthatches are frequent visitors, too, both white-breasted and red-breasted. They love the seeds in the bird feeders and the insects under the bark of the Ponderosa pine trees.

This one is a red-breasted nuthatch - even though this particular one has a white front. You can tell which one it is from the black line across its eye.

Here's another one, hunting for his breakfast.

To get extra oomph, they do this fun move:

We've also seen chipping sparrows...

...and chickadees!

My camera has certainly been getting a workout!

We've also had fun watching these two on Saturday morning:

This mule deer doe was waiting for us to go inside the house so she could hide her fawn for the day. We all know where she hides it, but we let her think it's her secret. :-)

On Saturday evening, mama deer came back and the fawn ran to meet her.

There's nothing more relaxing than watching nature, is there? What's your favorite way to enjoy watching the world around you?

Jan Drexler spent her childhood dreaming of living in the Wild West and is now thrilled to call the Black Hills of South Dakota her home. When she isn’t writing she spends much of her time satisfying her cross-stitch addiction or hiking and enjoying the Black Hills with her husband of more than thirty-seven years.


  1. Oh, Jan. I'm so happy you have such a beautiful, restful place for this week. Everything is so green and lovely. You had me until this line - "There's nothing more relaxing than watching nature, is there? What's your favorite way to enjoy watching the world around you?"

    For some reason, nature makes me anxious. Probably has something to do with the various wildlife members trying to make my home theirs. I'll be sharing what's restful to me on Wednesday. :)

    1. LOL! I'm not sure I'd call vermin invading your home "nature!"

      I'm looking forward to Wednesday's post!

    2. Ha -- vermin is the city slicker's version of nature.

  2. Replies
    1. You know exactly how beautiful and peaceful it is! I'll be waving to you as we take our walk this morning!

  3. You must be soaking in the tranquility after all the turmoil! What a lovely spot. You must be longing for your own 'lovely spot' but I like that you're seeing the beauty around you while you wait.

    1. Yes, we're soaking it all up! And the setting is just right for quiet contemplation and writing. :-)

  4. Oh, this is so fun, to see this through your eyes and the camera's lens. Wonderful, Jan! My chickadees and nuthatches are a joy, and that sparrow shot is gorgeous! But those bluebirds, oh what fun!

    Well done!!!

    1. The birds are so much fun to watch, but you really have to be the early bird to catch the...well, not the worm. To catch the action. I didn't get out to the deck until after 8:00 this morning, and the birds had all moved on to their daily activities. I need to get out there earlier tomorrow!

  5. Wow -- so many beautiful birds and not ones I've seen around here. Mind you I'm right in the city and I know we have more of a variety in the greenbelt around the city. We have a whole convention of cardinals on my street this year. Every couple of houses seems to have a nest. I love watching and listening to them. Robins and sparrows, of course and the ever annoying grackles who seem to have a gang mentality. lol But I haven't seen any blue jays or woodpeckers this year at all. Strange. Ah well, it's been wretched hot so maybe they've opted to hang out closer to the river this year.

    I get most of my nature zen moments working in my garden. I find it relaxing even though I'm weeding or watering. And we have so many creative gardens in my neigbhourhood -- I really enjoying them on my walks. Pretty tame compared to your sightings! Love that you let mama deer have that false sense of security, by the way. :-)

    1. One bird we don't have around here are cardinals, and I miss them. We're just too far north and west for them, I guess. They are my favorite, especially in the winter. That bright red against the white snow is lovely!

      And your garden is your own private bit of nature. Enjoy. :-)