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2010 Journal


Winter  Spring  Summer  Autumn

Mainly it is about the wildlife whose existence around our home follows a somewhat predictable pattern from year to year but still manages to be full of surprises with no outcome  guaranteed. Since the first sighting of Flying squirrels in 1993, we have been fascinated by the variety of the wildlife to be observed and studied right here on our half acre. I have chronicled some of that activity for the last few years in a number of different formats. This year the schema will be simply a page or multiple pages for each of the four Seasons. Follow the adventure by selecting each Season from the menu.

Winter  Spring  Summer  Autumn


At last came March and not a bit too soon for me. Right on cue the Crocus blooms appeared, this year just a little bit later but a sight for these sore eyes and by March 10 were in full exhibitioner  plumage. They are always the first real signs of the glory to come and followed closely by the daffodils .






Viburnum Budding



The early Spring days bring a noticeable change in the feathered co-habitants and the pairing has begun. Here a Northern Cardinal pair seem to be an excellent example of the Spring time ritual.




Hear the Cardinal Song






Tufted Titmouse

 The camera I take still pictures with also allows me to take Quick Time movies. This Titmouse was singing right above me so I gave it a try.
 Titmouse singing Quick Time Movie






The irascible Mockingbird who believes he or she owns the place gets a gulp of water between peanut butter visits.




March 17, 2010



This Hawk arrives just about every day to attend the bird feeder feasting. Only problem is that it is the feeder birds he or she is here to dine on. Most of the time they are wise to him and manage to out wait or outsmart this fierce hunter. I have not yet  witnessed any successes on the Hawks part and no corresponding disasters on the feeder bird's part.



March 20, 2010  -This Downey Woodpecker enjoys a substantial helping from the suet cakes


The overseer Mocking Bird is always keeping a close tab on all the bird feeder activity



March 22 - This Junco still feels it is cold enough for it to be here. Won't be long before it will be seeking cooler locations though.


Watch Out Junco


March 23, 2010 - No Bird signifies the arrival of Spring any more than the American Robin. This one was quite neighborly and practically posed at arms length for this mid March photo-op.



This Robin is very friendly even caught a quick wink .


I had never noticed it before, but appears the beak gets a bit roughed up from the constant search for food and beak sharpening on tree limbs.


It is march 27, 2010 and have not yet spotted any nest building activity on the premises but the time is right


House sitting by Gray Squirrel


April 1 and in the 80's at last

The Forsythia is in full bloom




And the Dogwoods are just about ready to pop


The Pear trees are just beginning and soon the whole world around here will be in full Glorious  Display






The Upside Down Bird



Later that day

 That Hawk is still on the prowl

Most likely either a Cooper's Hawk or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk



Mr. or Ms Gray Squirrel should also be cautious when this Hawk is around although most of its diet would be of  small birds or smaller rodents.



This Dove, however,  should be afraid, very afraid.


April 7, 2010

The Redbud and Dogwood in full bloom



April 7, 2010 - A Red bellied woodpecker and a House Finch enjoy the feast



April 7, 2010 - A Towhee allowing me to get closer than usual eyeing me from a Holly



April 7, 2010 - A White Throated Sparrow feeding below the hanging feeders


Goldfinches after the sunflower hearts

April 8, 2010- As luck would have it, I glanced out of the window and spotted this rare Albino Blue jay. My camera was downstairs and I just knew it would be gone by the time I retrieved it. Raced down the steps and was lucky enough to get a shot or two through the Kitchen window before it flew away. Lucky indeed because I have not seen it again.



The Redbird in the Redbud

Hear the Cardinal Song


April 8 and the early Spring is just so many shades of Green



April 9 -- Put the Hummingbird feeders out

By April 12 the Redbud, Dogwood, Crab Apple and Forsythia, can be seen still blooming together and the Azaleas are just beginning to bloom,  while the Viburnum blooms are still a few days away.





April 20, 2010 -- It was bound to happen and today I spotted a completed nest very cleverly hidden in that holly shrub about midway down the side of the house.  I could not see into the nest but held my camera over the nest and just look what the camera revealed.  I believe the fourth egg was just laid today because there was no adult Robin activity around the nest. 


Also tonight I spotted what I though was a bird sitting in the entrance to a ceramic wall bird nest fixture on the side of the garage. This morning though the bird was still there and had expired sitting there. Cause unknown. Relocated this Starling to the rear of the yard for natural clean up.


April 22, 2010 -- Robin mother to be is on the nest and incubation is underway. Hatching will probably be around May 4 or 5.


April 27, 2010- April has certainly been the month of the Spring blossoms and by now they are all beginning to fade. But not to worry, by Mother's Day the Roses will be in full bloom and the summer annuals will brighten the  days and the spirits.

The weather has turned very cool for the last few days and the constant rain has kept our Robin Mother on the nest most of the time.  This nest is in the same spot as the 2008 nest reported in the 2008 Journal. That one ended sadly when a Hawk raided the nest just before two hatchlings were about to fledge.  While I will monitor the progress of this, so far the only nest spotted, I will not attempt to put a 24/7 camera on it.  I have documented Robin nests in 2003 A Robin's Diary, 2004 2004 Robin's Nest , 2005 Robin's Nest Blog 2005, 2006 2006 Wildlife Diary, 2007 2007 Wildlife Journal and 2008 2008 Journal , and have adequate research postings on our web pages, so this one will have my interest but not my soul.

Meanwhile no Hummingbirds have been spotted  but the feeders are busy with their larger kin- like the Chickadee below.

Meanwhile over at Phil's Canada Goose haven, the second set of parents to be appear to be moving in to the same digs just vacated by a pair and 8 goslings, just a week or so ago. Last report on those indicated a survivor rate of 7 out of the 8.  His floating dock has been home to  multiple occupants of gosling raising parents over the last few years.

Phil writes

Same as last year. Family one has hatched and left (a week ago - 8 goslings, last seen Thursday with 7 surviving). Family two is moving in. I think one of the number two pair, likely the goose, may be family one offspring from 2008. Last year this number two pair produced a clutch of sterile eggs.



 May 3 and the hatching in the Robin's nest is taking place. Not really a very good angle to catch a picture but looks like maybe two are hatched. Hopefully all four will be forthcoming by tomorrow.


 May 3- This Robin parent watches me nervously when I snapped the nest picture.



 May 4 -Bluejays are more plentiful at the feeders

 May 4 -Red bellied Woodpecker

 May 4 -Meanwhile the Robin Nest Hatchlings are requiring more care and feeding




 May 5 -Looks like all the Eggs have hatched

 May 5 Click on this link for the video




May 7 -Today's look in seems to reveal only two maybe three hatchlings. From this angle it is not conclusive but if true not sure what happened to the other  eggs. So hoping that in this case the camera does indeed lie.  By tomorrow or Mothers Day Sunday the eyes should be open.

 May 7 Click on this link for the video


May 7 - One more thing -- Tonight saw the first Hummingbird at the feeders.



May 11, 2010 This Robin Parent watches closely over the two chicks in the nest. If all goes well  fledging will be within the next 5 days.



May 12, 2010 - Photo confirms not two but three hatchlings in the nest.

May 13, 2010

I believe today the hatchlings are 11 days old. While today's photo plainly shows three chicks, I am not ruling out that there are four crammed into that nest.  Fledgling normally occurs from 12 to 16 days after hatching.



May 14, 2010

The hatchlings are 11 or 12 days old and they have that nest so well hidden in the holly by the windows that I still cannot determine if there are three or four of them.



May 14, 2010

One of the parents does a one foot stand and allows me to take this picture within arms reach .





May 15, 2010

Once again it appears that we will never know if it were three or four hatchlings. Today or Tomorrow would have likely been fledge day for these chicks and the half full glass side of me holds out a little hope for that kind of happy ending. There are several clues, however, that support the half empty side of me which once again indicates a tragic ending.  The nest is damaged, note the clump of straw falling away. There was no activity from early morning at the nest and no life could be detected. When I did check physically about mid day, one of the parents swooped at me as if trying to protect their chicks, but the nest was empty.  My experience has been that fledging of three or four does not happen all at once, but may take several hours or even a day or so for the last one to leave.  Once again with this nest location, I cannot say for sure what might have happened. In 2008 at this same location, a hawk was the culprit and I suspect this happened again . I will keep watch for any young Robins close by with the Male bringing food for a couple of weeks but really don't expect that to be the case.



May 15, 2010

In nature though there is always a new day and a new beginning. Here a Wren is busy making a nest and flew right in front of me with a beak full of nest building supplies.




May 16, 2010

Even though calendar Summer is still a month  away I will continue any new postings on the

Summer   page. If I determine any different outcome on the Robin nest story, I will post on both the Spring and summer pages.



Spring brings the frolic time to the neighborhood White Tail Deer

See the VIDEO


The 2010 Winter Visitors



Winter  Spring  Summer  Autumn

Note: unless otherwise specified ,all media content on these Backyard Wildlife pages were recorded and or photographed by HowPeg   for the purpose of sharing them intact with the web pages as presented. As such they are copyright protected . Permission to use for educational purposes will not be withheld if request include appropriate planned application . Such request can be made via the Comments Link.



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