GBBC* 2009

february-13-2009-013-21This past weekend was super busy. There was Valentine’s Day, offspring visiting in Knoxville, GBBD (Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day) and GBBC* – the Great Backyard Bird Count. Click here for the link to find out how to help count the birds in the US. This last event was our second year participating in the counting of the birds in our area for the numbers to be used jointly by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon Society. To view the 2008 post about counting the birds click here. It was easy and fun. We were especially pleased to be able to count the few cedar waxwings that stopped by, a rare treat.february-13-2009-006-2 The weather on the day we had set aside to do the count, Saturday was misty, moisty and drizzling, sort of a mizzle. It is hard to see the birds clearly even with the binoculars when the light is low. Better to wait and see if the sun will show his face to help us out. A pair of mourning doves enjoyed the black oil sunflower seeds scattered on the deck to entice the birds closer for photos and counting possibilities.february-13-2009-011-2A pair of American robins weren’t interested in the seed, but came close enough for a poor photo and inclusion in the census. Many birds visit the pond but this year we have placed black plastic netting over it to keep the leaves out and protect the fish from predators. The birdbath has to be maintained to provide water for our visitors and robins really enjoy a good splashing bath there.february-14-2009-014-3Several woodpeckers live around us and visit the feeders and multi trunk silver maple tree. The light was poor, as is the photo, but this is a red bellied woodpecker.september-2-2008-006-2This shot was taken last September and has been waiting for the right moment to be inserted into a post. The moment has come. Can you identify our fat friend?september-2-2008-017-2Hard to believe this is the same bird, but it is. It sat there for the longest time, I was a bit worried. They do on occasion fluff their feathers and appear much larger than normal. This is our friendly mockingbird whose series of songs serenades us on summer mornings.december-18-2008-049-2This also seems like a good time to show the birdhouse gift from sister of The Financier, Lynn, hanging proudly by the arbor. Soon there will be a little family housed safely inside we hope. The house hunting has begun in these parts.december-31-2008-051-2No post about the birds would be complete without our most numerous feeder customers, the cardinals. Seeds were placed on the deck table to lure these colorful friends closer for a better shot.
Here is our count for 2009

Locality: 37303, Athens, McMinn County, TN
Observation Date: FEB 14, 2009
Start Time: 9:30 AM
Total Birding Time: 1 hour
Party Size: 1
Skill: fair
Weather: fair
deciduous woods
coniferous woods
Number of Species: 16
All Reported: yes
Mourning Dove – 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Hairy Woodpecker – 1
Northern Flicker – 1
Blue Jay – 1
Carolina Chickadee – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 3
Carolina Wren – 2
American Robin – 4
Brown Thrasher – 1
Cedar Waxwing – 5
Eastern Towhee – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 6
Northern Cardinal – 9
House Finch – 2

If you would like to join in the count next year you can sign in at the link above and they will email you with reminders as the time draws near. Fun for the entire family.

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48 Responses to GBBC* 2009

  1. It was great fun seeing your garden from a birds point of view Frances. We also did the GBBC. Not much going on in our garden. My DB actually did the work of reporting. I love your photo of the Cedar Waxwings. They are one of my favorite birds.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. I always think of you when counting the birds. I wish you were here to help me, for my vision is poor and I cannot see the little brown ones very well in the trees so they don’t get counted. The Cedar Waxwings are among my favorites too, with the bluebirds, well I love them all. The Waxwings are still around, I saw some more yesterday. Must get the birdbath filled, it is 23 degrees here at the moment.

  2. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I do like your bird box – my son has rashly offered to make me some new ones (the old ones are coming down in a revamp) so I am looking for pictures of one I like, this is at the top. Poor boy he is going to be in for a surprise!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)
    Thank you for commenting on my guest post at and especially for your encouragement.

    Hi Sylvia, thanks. That is exciting to be getting new bird boxes, your son must be a good woodworker! I love visiting Pomona and also when you have written her a letter, like I am eavesdropping on personal correspondence. πŸ™‚

  3. Gail says:

    Frances, Delightful…I love all the bird shots…The Cedar Wax Wings are wonderful; such personality with their tilted heads and black banding. The mockingbird is a good capture , another bird with great personality. Really, all the birds have their own personas! That’s one of the reasons I like to watch them. A very full list of birds for the bird count…Keep warm out there…I see frost everywhere. Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. I was beyond thrilled to get a photo of the waxwings and even see them here at all. Of course there are a million birds out there today since I am not trying to count them. It is quite cold still, but they are calling for 50s, then super cold later. Spring is not here. And my computer seems to be taking a nap. I am complaining! πŸ™‚

  4. tina says:

    You just are so organized to find the time to even do a bird count then to type it all up nicely! I am ashamed to say I am not so organized and did not bird counting:( Yes, maybe next year. Those waxwings are so special. I could not id the mockingbird from behind. Sure could from up front. Have a great day! Garden day for me. Leaves to rake, patio to build and still some cleaning up. Urgh! ttyl

    Hi Tina, thanks but it doesn’t take much to do the count. Just setting aside the time. I got a little notepad and started writing the names of the most common birds before beginning, then just put a mark by the name as I saw them. You have to see them at the same time to count them, so you don’t count the same one over and over. I was nervous about doing it right last year, but this year just did the best I could. I am sure some were missed, the light was not very good and it was drizzling. I should have been outdoors to see more, but it was cold too. Not a very good counter, but that’s okay. You should do it next year, I will email you when they start sending the reminders, or you could sign up yourself. Bundle up to work outside, it is frozen tundra here.

  5. Sunita says:

    I love your Cardinal (well, the birds I mean). I’ve never seen such a fiery-looking creature. What a pity that we dont have them here.

    Hi Sunita, thanks. The cardinals are pretty wild, they are so territorial, like hummingbirds, they spend way too much time chasing each other away from the food instead of just eating since there is plenty for them all. I do think you having parrots is a good substitute! HA

  6. Daphne Gould says:

    That birdhouse is fantastic. I really need to get some birdhouses in my yard. I’ve never put any up. Maybe I should make some.

    Hi Daphne, thanks, we really love it too. I have made many birdhouses using old auto tags as a nice metal roof, so easy. You could make some for yourself and some for gifts too, people love to get them.

  7. Frances,
    You had such a successful bird count! Lovely photos.


    Hi Cameron, thanks. It is so fun to try and count them and help out the big guns with the numbers. We have so many birds all the time, we are very fortunate.

  8. kerri says:

    I’m happy to see your list, Frances, and how lucky you are to have the cedar wax wings! And robins…and a mockingbird! I didn’t recognize his rear view πŸ™‚ I’ve only seen one here, and then for just an instant.
    I did the count too but also had a busy weekend as we were away for most of it, visiting the kids for our youngest grandson’s 5th birthday party.
    I’ve never seen a Carolina Wren here and only one (Rufus-sided) Towee, which was an exciting sight πŸ™‚
    You got some great photos. I especially love the cardinal and wax wings, but those mourning doves are sweet too. Well, they all are, aren’t they? πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing your interesting report. It’s fun to know what you counted.

    Hi Kerri, thanks so much. I know your interest in birds makes you a great counter too. I am so impressed by the chickadee eating out of your hand! We usually don’t see the mockingbirds much during the winter, but they stay in the brush and trees surrounding the property. We are lucky to live in an older neighborhood with many mature large trees and people who aren’t that neat with keeping things cut back. Plenty of berries and cover for many birds. I love the Carolina wrens, they are quite cheeky and will come right to the window for seeds so the cats and I can get a good look at their pretty colors. We are seeing goldfinches too now, but not the day of the count. I like to watch the males turn yellow, the surest sign of spring! πŸ™‚

  9. Marnie says:

    Loved your bird photos! You got a nice variety at your count. It will be a long time until the Cedar Waxwings pass through this area.

    Hi Marnie, thanks so much. According to my records, the waxwings are over a month ahead of when they usually come through, the end of March in previous years. Last year I missed them altogether so don’t really know about then. They are still hanging around today, so exciting to just watch them instead of trying to count or photograph, just enjoy the moment. πŸ™‚

  10. Darla says:

    I so wish I would have known about this earlier, we saw so many birds in our front yard over the weekend. May just have to sign up for it next year. I adore that birdhouse!

    Hi Darla, thanks. You should sign up to be notified next year. I would never remember without the emails from them. You can do counts anytime and submit them though. Do check out the site. πŸ™‚

  11. Jean says:

    Hi Frances, I had almost the same list as you! But add a bunch of Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches. I also had a very busy weekend and then managed to get the flu late Sunday, so I didn’t spend much time watching. House hunting has begun in my neck of the woods as well. I can tell by the rather vocal robins and the Red Bellied Woodpecker who keeps hammering on the flashing near our chimney.

    This bird count is a very worthwhile and easy thing that everyone can do. I highly recommend it! Love the birdhouse, btw!

    Hi Jean, thanks for visiting, in spite of the flu, hope it is of short duration. The goldfinches came the very next day by the droves. I cannot tell the siskins from the female goldfinches either. The mourning doves were just this morning *making babies* on the deck. I was a voyeur.

  12. wiseacre says:

    It’s easy to see why the Cedar Waxwings are one of your favorite birds. I’m hoping to get some more photos of them today.

    I only put feeder goldfish in my garden pond so I’m not upset when a great blue decides to stop by for a fish and frog meal.

    I have a hard time getting a full shot of the woodpeckers because they always scurry to the opposite side of the tree when i get my camera out.

    Thanks for adding me to your blog roll even if it was a case of mistake identity. I’m not Billy, you have me confused with the Garden Wiseguy.

    Hi Wise…., I am mortified about this, but at least you both have wise in your names, or I would have to see a doctor about losing my faculties. I should delete the whole mess, but won’t. Your waxwing shots are fabulous. If I had a great blue visiting, he might be welcome to the fish, but we have only two and they have sentimental value. Thhhhaaaaatttt’s all folks!

  13. Racquel says:

    What an adorable birdhouse your sister-in-law gave you! Any bird would be lucky to have such a cute dwelling this spring to raise their young in. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. This birdhouse is a real presence in the garden, being larger than all the others we have. It will be exciting to see who chooses it for their own. πŸ™‚

  14. oh, Frances, the WAXWINGS!!! Something about them make me instantly happy, and i don’t know exactly what it is. They don’t come up here in large numbers, preferring the Valley for its somewhat more accommodating climate, but we do get them visiting the fruit-bearing shrubs and occasionally poking around the suet feeders. They’re just so pretty.
    I hope one day to visit an area that has mockingbirds (preferably your garden!) …none of them here, and they’re delightful too.

    Hi Jodi, thanks so much. Times like these are when I wish I had a better zoom on the camera, and knew how to use it. I wish for you to visit here also. Whenever you want, but April and September are both peak months for the garden’s charms. πŸ™‚

  15. VP says:

    Hi Frances – the bird’s have started house hunting over here too. Another sign that spring is on its way.

    We have a GBBC here in the UK too, but at the end of January. Ours is called the RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch. We spend an hour birdwatching over a specific weekend and then submit the results to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It’s the 30th anniversary of the count this year and they’re hoping for half a million individual garden counts this year.

    I managed 13 species in my hour – not bad, but down on what I usually see if and when it’s a sunny day. That makes a big difference.

    HI VP, thanks for visiting, that is a good number for your bird counting. I participated in a UK bird count last year in January too, Shirl let me know about it then. These countings are so worthwhile and fun too. I agree about the sun really helping the counts too. Today, a sunny day, there are many more birds out and about in my garden.

  16. Phillip says:

    I thought about late Sunday at 4pm and rushed out to take a quick count. I wasn’t as precise as you were and I even guessed at one bird that I wasn’t familiar with. I would love to have cedar waxwings but I’ve never seen them in our garden.

    Hi Phillip, that’s great that you did a count too. I think they figure some of us don’t know all the birds and take than into account. It still helps their numbers though. Several little brown jobs are always about, I used the binoculars to be sure about the sparrows, as they are so similar. The cedar waxwing visit is a big deal here, it is only for a couple of days in the spring and fall. We are surrounded by bushes with loads of berries, including native cedars, their favorite. Last year I missed them, you have to be watching all the time and I was blogging! HA They come to my yard for the water, the pond or several birdbaths or even water in the gutters.

  17. Diana says:

    What a wonderful treat to see your birds. We have many of the same ones here, though we don’t have the wax wings. We have several sets of Cardinals and lots of Gold finches and House Finches, along with Titmice, Carolina Wrens, Mockingbirds, Doves, and Blue and Scrub Jays. I don’t know that I have either the patience or the ability to capture many of them in photos, so it’s great to see yours!

    Hi Diana, thanks so much. The wax wings only stop here briefly on their journey to wherever, twice a year. They are drawn to the water, pond and birdbaths, so I have to keep those full and clean since the pond has netting on it and they can’t get a drink from there. Maybe I need to make a space that is open to the water with the netting.

  18. Wonderful, Frances!!! You saw quite a variety of birds!!! I wish I had seen an eastern towhee or a cedar waxwing. I love the waxwings…and I have a photo of one that stopped here last fall–and that’s the only one I’ve ever seen! You actually saw more in one day than I did, I think. Although, I did the count for all 4 days, so my entire count is fairly high. I saw a pileated woodpecker one of the days. I just love to watch them!! You have a great yard and setting for the birds and a natural habitat! Do you have your yard certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat? It sounds like you provide everything needed;)
    Well, looks good! Have a wonderful day:)

    Hi Jan, thanks so much. Like you, the waxwings only stop by for a drink on their way to someplace else, so seeing them at all, let alone getting a photo was a big deal. Lucky you to see the big guy, the pileated. Ours is over in the pine trees, not where my feeders are. That is the trouble with my yard, you cannot see the whole thing from any one spot. I have thought about the habitat thing and probably could qualify. But we might move in a couple of years so would the new owners maintain it? Sadly, my experience has been that new homeowners dig up gardens and plant lawn.

  19. Hi Frances~
    Wow! Sixteen different species in one hour is great. I like the birdhouse hanging by the arbor. I wonder what kind of bird will nest in it?
    Lovely pics.
    Happy day~

    Hi Karrita, thanks. We normally have more than that but it was a rainy day when I was doing the count. I am wondering about that birdhouse too. Our other birdhouses are small, for bluebirds and chickadees, although any are welcome. Maybe some larger birds will think it is a good home, that would be cool! The mockingbirds always nest in that vine, I don’t know if they use houses or not.

  20. oops, I forgot to add my observation of your ‘mystery’ bird: definitely a mockingbird–I’m sure you already knew that:) I had one stop by this year, and he was the only one I’ve seen so far this year. He didn’t hang around long. Last year, I had one stay for at least a month. Maybe the guy I had this year was the same one? I guess he found a better place to hang out ’cause he’s not been back to visit.

    Hi again Jan, yes, it was a mockingbird. He looked so funny all puffed up, maybe he had had a run in with a cat or something. I walked around to get the front shot and he was normal size. HA We don’t see the mockingbirds much during the winter although I too spotted one this year. Come spring the air is full of their song, I love it.

  21. LindaLunda says:

    GOD JOBB!!!!
    I would like to se a cardinal someday in real life. They look so exotic!

    Hi Linda, thanks so much. Come to my house and you could see loads of them!

  22. VP says:

    Hi Frances – I’ve left you a long, rambling answer to your comment just now over at my place.

    The short answer to your question re worrying about the site is ‘it’s up to you’! It really depends a) how strongly you feel about being used in a game b) whether you want your blog associated with a site that looks so awful and c) whether you want your links assocaited with a site that’s still gaining revenue via your blog (even though it’s not stealing your content) as they do have site advertising on there.

    Unbelievably that’s still a shorter answer than over at mine! πŸ˜‰

    Nice to see you over there – as usual πŸ™‚

    Hi VP, thanks for clarifying that. I think it is annoying, but that is all for me. They are not passing off my work as theirs, my number one gripe. It seems exactly like that *what is your blog worth* thing. I see my blog was added to their list last November, that is about the time that blog worth thing came up and I visited to check it out. I think they are related. The old blogger Faire Garden is still worth more than the wordpress site with new content, so that shows how much they know! It is not about real value, but artificial computations on nonsensical criteria. Meaningless, really. That is the price of freedom with the internet, the yin and the yang, the good and the bad, well you get the idea. πŸ™‚

  23. Monica says:

    Love the cedar waxwing, which I’ve never seen IRL. Here’s my info (note that when it says excellent skill, I don’t mean for IDing birds in general, just the ones on my submitted list!):
    Locality: 48108, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, MI
    Observation Date: FEB 16, 2009
    Start Time: 4:00 PM
    Total Birding Time: 1 hour
    Party Size: 1
    Skill: excellent
    Weather: excellent
    Snow Depth: Less than 2 in (5.1 cm)
    deciduous woods
    Number of Species: 9
    All Reported: yes
    Mallard – 3
    Mourning Dove – 3
    Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1
    Downy Woodpecker – 1
    Black-capped Chickadee – 2
    White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
    Dark-eyed Junco – 5
    Northern Cardinal – 2
    House Sparrow – 10

    HA Monica, you really do deserve the HA for this comment! You should have done a post. πŸ™‚ The mallard is impressive too. Excellent is not a word I would ever use to describe my own bird ID skill, even though I am sure of the ones I listed. HA

  24. RobinL says:

    I’ve never actually seen a Cedar Waxwing, but I sure want to! They remind me of birds in super hero suits! LOL

    Hi Robin, they are so cool. I remember the first time seeing one for real, I had to look it up in the bird book. They are still around today, I was just out admiring them. Lots more fun when you aren’t trying to count them or photograph them. Much less stress! πŸ™‚

  25. skeeter says:

    Your bird count looks similar to what our backyard holds. Right now the Gold and Purple Finches are consuming most of our seed. I took a quick video of the activity and you will soon see it. I need to take time to sit and count one day but blogging seems to take up all of my day light sitting hours! Arg, I must prioritize but I do so enjoy the computer. I see mocking birds fluffed up a lot also to the point that I must look twice to ID the bird! lol, The bird house gift is perfect for the Fairegarden! SIL knows you well πŸ™‚

    Hi Skeeter, you should do the count next year. It is easy and fun. Just a pad of paper and pen and binoculars if you want to really get a good luck for ID purposes. Isn’t it funny when the birds fluff up? I have seen the cardinals do it when they are really cold, poor things. Yes, that was a perfect gift from dear Lynn.

  26. Melanthia says:

    Lots of lovely birds, Frances. I didn’t spot anything new around our home until AFTER the count. Go figure.

    Hi Melanthia, thanks. Your big visitor probably had something to do with the birds hiding out. HA

  27. MrBrownThumb says:

    What cool collection of birds you got there. I need to add more plants & trees to attract birds.

    Hi Mr. Brown Thumb, thanks and welcome to the alternative universe of wordpress. This is what I always say to people who were on my blogroll on the blogger blog when they first visit wordpress Fairegarden. πŸ™‚ I was too lazy to transer all those links, so have added them as people visit. And yes, you do need lots of bird and bee and butterfly friendly plants. We all do.

  28. Catherine says:

    You had a lot of interesting birds! I like the idea of seed on the ground to entice the birds closer. I had a hard time taking pictures. We had lots of Robins here this morning taking baths in the waterfall and bird bath. Cardinals are so pretty, wish we could see some here.

    Hi Catherine, thanks, so do you! πŸ™‚ I learned last year, but not well enough I’m afraid, to put the seed all in one spot, not all over the yard like I normally do for counting and picture taking. I could not count and take photos at the same time either. I have given up on getting the great bird photos because it would mean buying a new camera. Mine only has a 6x zoom although it does a good job on the macros. The flower pictures are more important so I will settle for less than stellar bird shots. I am surprised you don’t have cardinals. Do you have bushes with berries? They really like hollies and pyracantha.

  29. Brenda Kula says:

    Ah, I meant to participate. Life got in the way somehow. Maybe next year. I so love the bird visitors to my yard. Brightens my day considerably.

    Hi Brenda, do sign up and they will send you an email to remind you next year. It is so easy and fun to do. There are still counts you can make now also.

  30. patsi says:

    Did it and submitted !
    Haven’t counted since last year so I was really surprised by the numbers of Juncos we get. Do you think I should post my count?

    Oh, by the way…your pic looks like a Junco.
    Wonderful pics….love seeing them !

    Hooray for you Patsi, that is wonderful. Do a post if you want, a few others have. It might inspire more people to participate, it is so easy and there are several days to choose from to do the count. An hour is not too much of an imposition I don’t think. The bird on the pole is a mockingbird. We sometimes get juncos in the winter here, but not for my count day. Thanks for the kind words, my bird photos are not that great, the waxwings were a lucky get. My poor camera only has a 6x zoom and the birds will not let me get close enough for crisp shots, but they can still be identified from these photos. Maybe someday a 20x zoom Canon will come my way. πŸ™‚

  31. Ratty says:

    This all makes me want to go on a search for birds. I’ve had such trouble getting pictures of them in the past. Now that I know how to make it easier with my camera, I haven’t seen any birds.

    Hi Ratty, thanks for stopping by. My bird photos are not at all good, but do show examples of what we counted for the GBBC. The birds around here seem to know immediately when I am trying to photograph them rather than just watching and enjoying their antics and hide from me. Or turn their backsides towards the lens. I look forward to seeing your birds too. πŸ™‚

  32. Your birds is so exotic “ower there”
    Here in Sweden they are for the most small and gray.
    But we love our birds, they are a big contrubiution in the garden on the winter.
    I like birdnest in all shapes.
    It`s a nice feeling when you hear them in there nests in the spring.

    Hi Ken, thanks for stopping by. The birds in winter do seem to help cheer us with their quirky personalities as they brave the elements to come to the feeders and flit about in the trees. In the mornings when I hear the bird songs I turn my lazyboy around and open the blinds to watch them and the sun come up each day. They are my alarm clock. πŸ™‚

  33. Jon says:

    Frances, Of these wonderful bird photos my favorite is the one of the cardinal….something about their personalities makes me very fond of them..I love how the red berries behind this guy make a perfect background for him.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    Hi Jon, thanks so much. My camera is not the right type for bird shots with a solution of bringing the birds closer. The table on the deck had an arrangement of evergreens and nandina berries around a log with a hole in it that fell from the maple tree. I put a candle in the hole and it was my yule log for Christmas. I wondered if the birds would eat the berries and tried to entice them with sunflower seeds. The cardinals went right to it and the window was only a couple of feet from the bird, but the photo was taken through the glass. Those male cardinals are so full of it, they chase each other all the time, like the hummingbirds do. Very comical.

  34. Shirl says:

    Hi there Frances and how great to see the birds that visit your garden. I love the Waxing photo too but your Robins always catch my eye as they are so very different from ours. Do yours ever make it to Christmas cards?

    Ah… now that is a nice nestbox! Fingers crossed you will get interested and sucessful tenants. Great stuff πŸ˜€

    Hi Shirl, thanks so much. The idea of bird photo Christmas cards might be a reality if I get a better camera! HA I love the idea of having a nestbox day to remind people to put up places to attract and house our feathered friends. And thank you for letting me know about these bird counts last year when I was a new blogger and had no idea of such things. πŸ™‚

  35. Randy says:

    What a nice selection of birds you have! Ours is slowly growing. We had a huge hawk perched on top of our feeders a couple of days ago. He had his eye on a sparrow in the carolina Jasmine.

    Hi Randy and Jamie, I can hardly type after reading your anniversary post. I sent links to the Fairegarden clan to share the triumph of goodness your story tells.

    Hawks send a chill down the spines of the little birds. We once saw a hawk with a baby mockingbird in its beak flying over our garden with the parent mockingbirds swooping and attacking with all the other birds making a racket you can only imagine. I know it is nature’s way, but it is disconcerting at the least. I hope your little sparrow survived. Like you guys did.

  36. Barbara says:

    I think those waxwings look like superheros. Great photos & what a lovely birdhouse – heck, I’d move in!

    Hi Barbara, thanks, my SIL did a great job selecting a unique piece of art and a home for birds. I think the waxwings look like the Lone Ranger! Just showing my age there. HA

  37. Sweet Bay says:

    Gorgeous picture of the Cedar Waxwings. I love them. They are so sleek-looking, its almost otherwordly.

    I covet that bird house. πŸ™‚ It’s beautiful.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks. The waxwings are so distinctive, I am always thrilled when they come by here. The bird house is a beauty, I agree.

  38. Kathleen says:

    I LOVE this post Frances. Why I don’t participate in the GBBC I don’t know?? Someone needs to stamp the date on my forehead, so I don’t forget each year! I really would like to. I love that you have photos to go along with many of your sightings. Just beautiful.

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for that! You should sign up for the reminder emails at the link I provided. I would never be able to remember to do it without the reminders they send. I cannot take photos and count at the same time, but try and have a few photos to go with the post. My camera does not have the good zoom to get good photos, but people get the idea of what we have here. πŸ™‚

  39. Rose says:

    Great photos, Frances! I found last summer that taking a good photo of a bird is a much more challenging task than a close-up of a flower:) I had read about this bird count and seriously thought about joining in, even though I can’t identify all the species I see around here. Good for you for helping out! Now that I have a new bird i.d. book, maybe I’ll join in next year.

    Hi Rose, thanks. A good bird book is a necessity to learn your local bird visitor’s names. Hope you can join in next year. Maybe doing a practice run sometime would help, some time when there are no little ones around that need watching. πŸ™‚

  40. Frances, what a fabulous shot of cedar waxwings. I saw one here which surprised me at this time of year. The cardinal against the berries is so perfect; he doesn’t look real. Lovely GBBD post too. So much color! We are expecting more white.

    Hi Sarah, thanks. The photo is not that good, but the subject matter is fabulous. Ours are a month earlier than usual. Thanks too for the kind words from bloom day, the orchids saved the day with that one. πŸ™‚

  41. Monica says:

    Oh, I may still do a post on it… I’ll never be as frequent a poster as most, though! Normally I get a ton MORE ducks (a dozen to 20) at a time as I live 10 feet from a creek. Once (and only once) I saw a blue heron ON MY SHED! They are huge and gorgeous. Man, the pressure to be funny has left me… unfunny!

    HA Monica, my dear, you will always be funny to me. πŸ™‚ A blue heron on your shed is more than funny, it is way cool!

  42. Loved your comments to everyone. You are the most thoughtful blogger in the universe. And now you are a grand bird watcher too. These are pitiful photos of the birds as usual. I especially think the cardinal picture needs to be packed up and sent my way. Your birds are spoiled!

    Hi Anna, thanks so much. I love to watch the birds, especially in winter when so much more time is spent indoors. I hardly notice them in the summer even though they are still around. More places to hide when the trees have leafed out, I guess. We do take good care of the birds in winter, but come summer, the feeder are not filled for the birds to eat the insects! HA

  43. Your Cedar Waxwings hardly look Real, they are so beautiful!! (As are all the other birds!) Thank you for participating in this birdwatching venture AND for posting your birds! The new birdhouse is very cute! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Shady, thanks. The bird counting is easy and fun and they will send you a reminder is you sign up, it’s free. πŸ™‚ My camera is not the right kind for a good bird shot, not enough zoom power, but the waxwings held still and let me get close enough that day, I was very lucky. They are the most fascinating looking birds.

  44. Genevieve says:

    Oh, lovely, lovely photos! I so wish we had cardinals here, they are so dashed cheerful I can hardly stand it. What great shots.

    Hi Genevieve, thanks so much. We take the cardinals for granted, they are so common here, I forget some people do not have them. The males are by far the easiest to spot with their red plumage against leafless branches. They are quite bold too, the last to scatter when something scares the rest of the birds eating on the deck. Brave or stupid? Who knows? πŸ™‚

  45. Hi Frances, it was really interesting to see the birds you have in your garden ‘over the pond’. Somebeans and I are very jealous of the Cardinal – such a striking bird.

    Hi Happy, thanks so much for stopping by to view our birds. I know you have different ones over on your side, even robins that look very different. The red male cardinal is striking, he stands out so in the winter gardens. We are lucky to have him for the wonderful decoration he provides in the gray season.

  46. Rosella says:

    Lovely bird pictures! I love the fluffed out mocker! When I see his cousin the catbird I know that summer has come. Right now the catbird is wherever he goes for the winter — Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico? Who knows, and he won’t tell! But the mockingbirds are still here chasing the cats and squirrels, scolding me if I walk past the holly tree where they intend to nest! Thanks, Frances, for these lovely pictures.

    Hi Rosella, thanks so much. I love the catbirds too, although their songs are more of a Johnny One Note, HA The first time I heard that cry, I though a baby was crying. I don’t know where ours go either, Mexico, or maybe the coast of Georgia or Alabama, much closer. The mockingbirds do make a racket when they have a nest, but they are among my favorites for their singing voices. πŸ™‚

  47. Heidi says:

    Hi Frances.
    I really love your pictures of birds in your garden! We have some of them here in Norway, but not all… The first one we call “sidensvans”, and its quite rare here at this part of the country, up at the northern part they come in large flocks…
    We love feedeing birds both in our garden and at our cabin, and we often sit and watch them…
    And your birdhouse look just great!

    Hi Heidi, thanks and welcome. I am glad you have the waxwings too. Does that translate into something with a similar meaning? They are rare here too, only visiting on their way to and from their northern homes. Your vacation garden spot is a perfect paradise!

  48. Pingback: Some Birds* « Fairegarden

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