Friday, December 05, 2014

A Pansy Blooming during December in my garden!

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I  found an AMAZING SURPRISE!!!!! in my flower bed! A BLUE PANSY was in bloom there yesterday morning! This is quite an unusual  find for New Brunswick, Canada! The latest I have ever found pansies in bloom in our flower beds was at the end of October. I had always hoped our blooms would last until the Canadian Thanksgiving. and we achieved that goal this year. Perhaps we can now hope for a Christmas bloom? However to find a bloom yesterday has really surprised me! Last week at this time that flower bed was under snow and yesterday had been a day of freezing rain. This morning the outdoor temperature read at -3 degrees Celsius. All this to say we have been experiencing a bit of harsh winter weather extremes already. Bloom on hardy flower friend, Bloom on. Your beauty and endurance is much appreciated and esteemed!!!. I shall check on your progress each day. My cousin  in the Boston area reported having a pansy in bloom in her garden just a few days ago, and I was envious, No. more envy ,  as we now have our own astonishing Pansy bloom!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nuthatches

We have two Nuthatch species that visit daily to mostly feed on our peanut feeders. These little birds are delightful to watch as the often feed upside down. The do not migrate and are here year round.  The Red-breasted Nuthatch most always arrives first and visits frequently throughout the day. The White-breasted Nuthatch sometimes does not show up until late afternoon, but sometimes it changes its schedule and is seen at the peanut feeder in the morning hours.Their descriptive colourful names serve to identify one from the other.  The red-breasted Nuthatch with a rufus coloured breast  and with a white stripe on its black head easily sets it apart from the white-breasted one.  Looking at the photos included easily helps you identify which is which.
 Welcome to December, the first winter month.  Brrr..



                                           

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tree Sparrow for Saturday Critters

The quality of these photos is not the best as I have just taken them from my window and it is not fully light yet.  These little winter sparrows, Tree Sparrows are busy and actively feeding at our feeders early, as are the Chickadees and the one Song Sparrow which seems to have chosen to overwinter with us.
One characteristic that I rely upon to identify  the little Tree Sparrows is the bicoloured bill, The lower portion of which, as the photo below illustrates is yellow.

And if I don't see a bicoloured bill I then search for the dark breast spot which is characteristic of this sparrow species.  This little sparrow this morning appears to have a double breast spot, but that is okay as its bill is bicoloured, so it is a Tree Sparrow.  You have to look carefully when you are id'ing
sparrows especially when both Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrows are at your feeders as the Song Sparrow also has a dark center breast spot.
Look carefully at these two Tree Sparrow photos above and you can see the yellow portion of the bill, so it is a Tree Sparrow despite its double  breast spot!

Today I am linking with Saturday Critters which is hosted by Eileen at http://viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.ca/
Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A White-throated Sparrow with a dark center breast spot!?

Huh? A white-throated Sparrow with a dark center spot? I have seen this sparrow before and have wondered why it has a dark center breast spot??  Unusual?  I think so!

I have seen Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and Tree Sparrows, all with a dark center breast spot , as was expected, but not  White-throated Sparrows, such as this one seen in bird Alley this morning.  What has been your experience?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goldfinch Days

Each day our feeders are  being visited by many, many, American Goldfinch and I love seeing these little birds. I am especially attracted by the warm sunlight tones still remaining on some of them.  The big attraction is the Niger seed feeder and at times it is difficult to count how many are on the feeder at one time as they are constantly shifting position and arriving and departing. The yellow leaves accent their yellow tones and it is in its total appearance a delightful scene from my window.



                               

We are never lacking colour here in Bird Alley and the arrival of this handsome , colourful male Cardinal is always a big treat!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lots of American Robins in our yard!

The Robins are here daily feeding on rosehips and oranamental crabapples in our yard.





 This is a daily delight as their beautiful red breast really light up the overcast dullness of these darker November days!