Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Local Patch

On Thanksgiving morning I took a walk around the patch of riverine woodland that abuts our subdivision. 

Part of My Local Patch

When we first moved here, six years ago, I regularly saw 30 or more species on winter walks through these woods. However, the surrounding area is more built-up now and the numbers and diversity of birds have definitely declined. In an hour I saw only Black and Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawk, American Crows, Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Eastern Phoebe, Blue Jays, Chipping Sparrow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, White-winged Doves and Pine Warbler.
Black Vulture

Our Yards
After returning from Bear Creek on Friday morning, I spent some time watching our front yard, hoping that the cold front passing through would bring in some new winter residents. At first, all I saw were our normal visitors: White-winged Doves, Northern Mockingbird, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpecker, House Sparrow and House Finches. 

Downy Woodpecker
They were joined by the Chipping Sparrows that arrived a few days ago.

Then our first American Goldfinches of the season put in an appearance, soon followed by my first-of-season Orange-crowned Warbler.

Later in the day, we walked out to go to the store and I heard a familiar chipping call: a Yellow-rumped Warbler was flitting around in our elm tree.

So most of our regular winter resident species have started arriving. The only ones that haven't turned up yet are Pine Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. 

We had a beautiful male Roby-crowned visiting our feeders all day every day last winter and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll be back again soon. Maybe by the time he returns I'll have got my regular camera back from the repairer. In the meantime here's a photo of him from earlier this year.


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