Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Precious visitors

Glistening hoar frost delights captured on a frosty, frosty, down right nasty its a darn cold out day.   
Precious visitors to warm the heart on cold blustery days have brought extra joy and excitement into my heart which helps offset the doldrums of the severe -21 temps. Joy shared is joy amplified so on that note I share these delightful images with you.
With the deep-freeze cold we have had extra visitors. This female Downey woodpecker has been coming on the coldest days to the suet feeder. The male has been to the stump out back pecking out native bee progeny but has yet to find the suet.

 Redpolls, were dining on the seeds from the birch this week. There have been reported sightings all over the city, it seems once the snow gets deep and the cold hits hard they converge in search of feed. Alas other than our birch tree we don't have the kind of seed they prefer so they moved on after a couple days. One foot on a step-stool and one on the toilet lid to view out the bathroom window was a feat of technical balancing and breath holding to get the shot as I was using pin-point manual focus to shoot between branches and freeze-dried leaves while at the same time trying not to fog up the window with my breath. And to boot they feed hanging downwards so I had to attempt to hold the camera stable long enough to get the bird with its head up; so about 200 shots later I got a few descent ones and the satisfaction of an afternoon well spent enjoying natures beauty right outside my window.

 A extra wonderful big surprise was a Brown Creeper. I once saw a creeper down in the ravine near the river but have never seen one on our trees, wow, what a precious gift. They feed by walking up the tree trunk searching the cracks and crevice for bugs and eggs, yum.

House Finch male, below female. These are our regulars. About twenty show up as a group throughout the day though when its real cold their numbers multiply emptying the feeders enforce.

 This sweet Blue Jay has been coming once in a while, though I believe its to pry the peanuts out of the suet.
 Love the varied blues to soft gray.
 An the best capture is a Yellow-shafted Flicker. He finally stayed long enough for me to get his photo. I recently purchased a good tripod and set it up by the window and for three days in a row I missed the shot as this fella is flighty. Any movement I made inside or if a dog walker or car pass by off he would go. Well perseverance paid off. I figured where he was likely to land before attempting to acquire the suet then set up the camera enabling minimal movement for when he showed up again, then kept vigilant while I sat in the recliner reading.
 We went for a saturday drive and took in the beauty of the thick hoar frost.

  This lone tall tree reminds me of an Emily Carr painting.

 Country Crew on break. We stopped to photograph deer who curiously looked up, they didn't seem to mind our presence till a truck pulled alongside to see if we needed help and then they took leave.

Another regular that comes for suet and black-oil sunflower seeds is the Red-breasted Nuthatch. Usually they come in two's but this fella has been coming alone the last few days.
 Female House Sparrow, an introduced species. A few come by but the Finches control the feeding station so the sparrows have to pick fallen seed of the ground.

 Black-capped Chickadee is another regular for both seeds and suet.

One more of the precious flicker.
Hope you have enjoyed the beauty.


Carol Blackburn said...

Simply beautiful, Tess.

Red said...

You have a lot of birds at your place. I've only seen creepers three times. Once was in my yard.
Have a great Christmas.

john said...

Some wonderful photos Tess. The redpoll photo was well worth the effort you put in. Great shot of the creeper, I have never gotten a photo of one. You have a grand old Christmas.

kate fern said...

beautiful photos, I love that red faced finch! Hope you're enjoying a relaxing christmas.