Tuesday, March 14, 2017

snow makes the birds hungry

 Snow covers the ground and the birds become anxious. Today's blizzard -- named Stella- was a nasty one. I figure the feeders would be hopping with birds.As I approached the feeders, snowshoes on my feet, I estimated over 50 birds turned the feeders into their winter smorgasbord.

A good diversity was observed at the feeders.Among 22 RED WINGED BLACKBIRDS split between the feeders and the ground loaded with WHITE THROATED SPARROWS, 4 FOX SPARROWS and 9 NORTHERN CARDINALS shared the feeding activity with the regular species. I remarked at though the very handsome male RED BELLIED WOODPECKER on the right feeder, a bird in full breeding plumage and its red mohawk head a beacon field mark
; even its back looked exceptional with its ladder like striations.

Onward to the Lake afterward to search for Dennis Hrehowsik' s GREATER SCAUP sighting.I had no trouble finding them as I scrunched the snow with my snowshoes. The SCAUP were halfway between Three Sisters Islands and the Peninsula shore. The four drakes and lone hen slept thru the windy conditions, never lifting their heads nor batted an eye.

A last stop before I left the park for home,I stopped by the three sweetgum grove by the West Island gazebo. I hope to find finches as sleet  pelted my face. But I caught sight of something in the right sweetgum. A medium sized accipiter I identified as an adult COOPERS HAWK looked hounded by the sleet and snow; it simply perched quietly, but looking around warily. It's reddish breast and dark cap with wet feathers made this bird a delight to watch.Snowflakes landed on this Cooper's, but the falling snow didn't bother the resigned hawk. It didn't look hungry though.