It's fun to go places but it's always good to get back home. The birds have returned, although I thought for sure I heard the Carolina Wren giving me a scolding for being gone!
Pine SIskins have come in to use the feeders on colder days. They were hopping around looking for food or grit to help digest their food last Friday, 2/9/18.
A species that has been challenging for me to photograph is the American Crow. They are very wary birds. I heard them come in one morning and stood very still behind the camera, just waiting and watching for them. However, a surprise came instead and perched nearby. It was a Sharp-shinned Hawk looking for a meal. This was my first sighting of the hawk this year and it didn't stay more than 15 seconds before zooming off to the west.
My patience paid off and one of the crows came down a bit later. I had put just a small amount of bark butter out for the Brown Creeper, and of course, the crow spied it a mile away. The bird was thirsty and drank at the basin, at 'the bubble' and even from the pond before leaving.
Even though we've gotten small amounts of rain, it has been the driest winter in 40 years according to my friend, Wally George. The birds aren't the only ones who are thirsty. On Saturday night, 2/10/18 there was a real party going on.
Even a Barred Owl came in on Valentine's Day. We heard a pair later that night, crooning together.
The Brown Creeper finally found some bark butter and the first Song Sparrow of the year came in to bathe and look for food under the feeders. One of the Yellow-rumped Warblers slipped in on a cold day, too.
It seems that the Bubbler is busiest on the day preceding a storm and on the icy day itself. A female Hairy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker and a Northern Flicker made appearances on Sunday, 2/11/18. Temperatures dropped into the teens the next morning.
That day, this American Robin seemed to have the most sleet pellets of all the birds on its back .
By Thursday, 2/15/18 the high temperature here was 82.5 degrees, a new record. And less than 36 hours later, we had snow all morning. Gotta love St. Louis' roller-coaster weather.
More wet weather is promised this week to help break the winter drought. Birdsong is increasing, I'm seeing just a bit more color in the goldfinches and cardinals. Can spring be that far away? If one still needs a winter break, check out the birds that visit the Panama Fruit Feeders. The Live Cam is sponsored by Cornell Lab and the Canopy Lodge. Many colorful tropical species can be seen!