Thursday, January 11, 2007

Winter's Finally Here!

Purple Finch, Female
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Now, before you laugh, remember that this is coastal California. We don't get a lot of cold weather here. It rains here all winter and keeps our redwoods looking beautiful.

However, it's cold and getting colder out there. Some weird collection of highs and lows has an arctic cold air mass settling in over us for the long haul. No rain in sight. In the morning, it will be in the 20s outside and tomorrow night in the teens. Brrrrr! I have my fingers crossed that the "rain" forecast to hit here around midnight won't actually hit us!

This cold air generated a FLURRY of activity at my front yard feeder today. I had new guests -- the Purple Finches arrived. It was very nice to see them. It's funny to me. The female is very brave and the male hides in the bushes until he knows its safe. I wonder if that's because he's so brightly colored and more obvious to predators. Although, that doesn't slow our Steller's Jays down at all!

Purple Finch, male

The squirrels were also stuffing themselves silly. This one was laughing as he stuffed his face on my squirrel proof feeder. Should I send it off the manufacturer? Sigh.

Squirrel-Proof Feeder?  NOT!

The regular feeder birds were storing up energy too for the cold night -- the chickadees were frantic in getting food. They were flying in at all angles and getting angry with each other for not moving fast enough. The Dark-eyed Juncos were pretty serious about eating too. This one wasn't satisfied with having to wait for the Chickadee Rejects (seeds they don't like, they just drop on the ground) and came up to get some top choice feed.

Dark-eyed Junco, Chestnut-backed Chickadee

I went out and refilled that feeder and the chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches scolded me the entire time. I could have reached out and touched the two nuthatches and several chickadees at any time while I filled the feeder. Silly things!

Also, just as an aside, I posted a couple of bird related poems on my writing blog. Take a look if you are interested.

Tomorrow, I'm off to MacWorld in San Francisco. It's been a long time since I've been there and gotten to be a techy for a day. I used to have to go for work and I miss it! This weekend, all my computer equipment will change out too -- no, I'm not getting a new computer at MacWorld. Greg got a new MacBook Pro last night and he's giving me his hand-me-downs. So, no idea when I'll be back online again what with setting them all up. Hopefully sooner rather than later!


Mary said...

Winter has arrived in NC, too. It was below freezing at night this week but guess what? 72 on Sunday! I just envy your feeders and all of the action you have. Enjoy your weekend, and come back soon!

Lynne said...

We've got winter here in MN too! I enjoyed your bird poems and the kisses poem was very nice. Good luck with your "new" computer, come back soon.

robin andrea said...

Ah, MacWorld. That will be a lot of fun with all the new stuff Apple is putting out these days.

I've been filling our feeders like crazy. With the yard covered in snow, the birds have been at the feeder constantly. Yes, the chickadees wait and scold me while I'm out there. I love it!

vicki said...

We say yes to Macs around here. I have a MacBook Pro because my g4 15 inch died and under the warranty they didn't have the part to repair it so they sent me this wonderful machine!
Have fun at MacWorld. Fill the feeders before you go!

Sandy said...

Your chickadee sure looks different than our black capped ones.

Can you take your camera to macworld? Sounds like an interesting day.

mon@rch said...

Good luck with the new computer and just love all these bird pictures! I love those chickadee's!

Susan Gets Native said...

A FLURRY of crack me up.

We have had rain, and will have some more rain, and just when we think we are sick of it...yep. More rain.
But at least winter is dragging in. And the birds are very appreciative of my suet, peanuts and "bluebird nuggets"...mealworms, beef suet, and peanuts blended into a tasty pellet form.
Hope the "new" PC works out for you.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Great day yesterday! The new "PC" is working out so far -- although it is "quirky" {ahem}.

I'll get the new Mac set up tomorrow hopefully.

Thanks for all the feedback on my birds and our cold weather! It's *only* 25 degrees this morning which is plenty cold enough for us and our warm-weather birds but since they were predicting 15-19 degrees, I'm glad. Poor things!