Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yard Birding: Nor'Easter Nemo - snowed-in for days.

So busy with grown up stuff all last week but watched the approach of Nemo (since when did Nor'Easters get names too ?) with interest.  Some of the locals got out birding on Thursday and Friday but didn't see much other than larger than normal numbers of Black-legged Kittiwakes out at Montauk Point.  I thought I might get out too over the weekend but any illusions I might have had of birding were quickly squashed when the storm actually hit.  We had 2-feet of snow overnight on Friday and, given my unplowed 150-foot sloping driveway, that was pretty much it as far as birding was concerned.  Nothing to do except stay in and relax all weekend.

White-breasted Nuthatch at the feeders in the yard.
On Saturday morning I got up early to look at the snow and shoveled a path to dig out and refill the feeders.  Two of the feeders had actually been brought down by the storm so I had to dig them out and re-hang them.  The effort was worth it though as I've had huge numbers of birds coming in over the weekend.  From nowhere we now have a flock of 80-100 House Finches at the feeders for the last two days (not quite Redpolls but cool nevertheless).  I rarely see more than a few House Finches out here so I have no idea where this multitude came from and they just appeared with the snow along with a flock of White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.  While I have no rare birds to report, we do have 200+ birds at the feeders at any given moment right now, and who knows how many Chickadees and Titmice are cycling through as like most people I think I vastly underestimate the numbers of roving birds that swing by once or twice a day.  It's really quite satisfying to realize that we're feeding this many birds.

The birds didn't seem to care that the feeder wasn't in it's usual place.  This
is the only suet feeder so as soon as I dug it out the woodpeckers appeared
and didn't wait for me to re-hang it.
So I've kept putting out pounds of seed and I'm hoping that we're making a difference in what must be a really tough time for the local birds.

Downy Woodpecker - we had 8 at the feeders at one time yesterday so who
knows how many visit during the day.
Still waiting for a Common Redpoll or a Crossbill at the feeder but in the meantime just feeling a real responsibility to 'keep the seed coming' as the birds seem to be so needy given the weather.  The finch flock seems to be spending the whole day close to the feeders and I've noticed Juncos roosting in the ornamental evergreens right up against the house (for heat?).   Hoping the finch and sparrow calls will attract other things that happen to pass through the neighborhood.

We tend to ignore House Finches but a flock of 100 is actually pretty neat.
We'd probably get all excited if this was an irruptive Northern finch.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from Montreal, Canada, Anthony. Your photos are lovely.