I have been sitting at the window which looks out to my bird feeder for the past few mornings, and patiently waiting for birds to come. The usual suspects, the chickadees, the cardinals, the finches and the titmice, come faithfully.
On some observation days, the turnout's great. Some days are quiet. I know it has to do with the time of the observations, the weather and the level of activity of the surroundings. But I wished I could spot a few more different ones!!!!
I did see two new birds I'd never come across:
Brown headed Nuthatch
I grew a little restless. I wondered if the reason for the quiet feeder could be the fact that two doors down, my neighbor has fancy birdhouses, feeders and birdbaths. I was even considering buying a birdbath to attract more birds.
Then early morning yesterday, I, for some reason, decided to look out the window at the opposite end of the house. This window faces a field, not a particularly large one, but a decent open space. And there, to my disbelief, I saw not one, not two, but THREE BLUE JAYS squawking away, pecking at the ground! I have never seen more than one blue jay at any point. So i thought, this must be my lucky day!
I sat, uncomfortably, on the edge of my couch for a few minutes, but the effort paid off. A pair of cardinals that seldom frequent my feeder were hanging out right here. And a mockingbird scuttled by. Then, my eyes widened as 3 little brownish-black birds speckled with white flew onto the ground, right outside my window. I had turned the slats of my blinds just enough for my binoculars to look out, so I bet the birds couldn't really tell anyone was watching, unless I made a sharp movement. I am proud to say, however, I always move. ve-ry. slow-ly. when. i. bird. watch.
These birds looked like they've been splattered with white paint. I took note of a few identifying marks like color, shape of beak, size of bird and distinct markings, before running to grab my ID tools - my trusty Cornell Lab website and the book i got from the library.
This is the bird I'd seen!
A European Starling!! My starling darlings!
Then i quietly took my place back at the window only to gasp in shock!
THIRTY-SEVEN FRIKKIN' GRACKLES pottering around in the field, their black iridescence glistening in the sun! WHERE DID THEY COME FROM??? I'd seen 5 or 6 or 8 maybe, at one time, but 37??? (Yes, i did count them, and they were pretty good at staying relatively still)
I was wa--aaay excited. I was having a field day! *pun totally intended!*
I guess that's just it, i've been sitting at the WRONG window!
I think i might have to switch my feeder around. However, on this busy side of the house, there isn't a good sheltering tree for the feeder birds. They need a place to take cover if anything startles them. I don't have a good "feng-shui" feel for the feeder here, but I'm thinking it doesn't hurt to try. Anyway, I'm already seeing so many birds without a feeder. It might make sense to keep them separate. I just have to dedicate two separate sittings for my observations.
I also just found out my HR manager is an avid birder too. She has invited me to our county birding meetings. I looked on their website and had seen birding field trips on weekends. I CAN'T WAIT!!!
Eeks, I hope I don't sound like a total birding dork here, but I'm brimming with excitement!!!
Does anyone have suggestions on how to enhance a birding experience, or what should i do to attract MORE birds?
Have a great week!