THERE'S GOLD IN THESE HERE HILLS!
David and I had a finch feeder up for the winter, feeding an occasional house finch. Then one morning I looked out and much to my surprise a GOLDfinch was on the feeder! Jenny was here and we both freaked out because the creature was such a lustrous yellow. I didn't wait for the computer to warm up to send David my usual e-mail news but rather just called him with the old fashioned phone. Then I went back to admire the beautiful bird, hoping he'd at least stick around until David got home. Well, he did. And he stuck around the next day, and had a lady friend with him. Then another male. Then on Easter morning we had SEVEN at around the feeder. Each morning I'd look out thinking they may have moved on but those gorgeous things were still out there. For my birthday David gave me a 20 perch finch feeder so we have two stations. My top number so far is twelve. They seem to be absorbed in their eating when they are on the feeder, so I 'm hoping to sneak up on them and get photo (I'll put it in the photo gallery if I manage it), Even though they've been here over a month now, I still stop and am amazed by the gold outside the window!
A TRAGIC FOOTNOTE TO THE JOY
One morning I went out to gather temperatures for my skywatching duties . There on the sidewalk, in several pieces, was one of the beautiful finches. My best guess is that our resident kestrel nabbed the bird and my skywatching disturbed it (the pieces were still warm when I got out there). Other suggestions are a neighbor cat, but we don't have a lot of visitors and I think I would have seen it (again since the deed had just happened before I went out). I got out a shovel (after sending in the temperature readings, of course) and scooped up the pieces and buried them. While the food chain is always hard to watch, I at least understand why it happens. But this seemed to be an unnecessary violence since no one got eaten. As with most losses, this one made me cherish the remaining birds all the more.
A VERY GOOD HOUR OF BIRDWATCHING
One morning as David & I were admiring the goldfinches, a flash of blue went by and landed on the giant satellite dish. Upon closer examination (binoculars are never far away these days), David saw it was an eastern bluebird. How cool! So when he saw a flash of blue again, this time landing on the grass, I looked and saw an indigo bunting. Double cool! Then as David headed out to work, I looked out (to admire my finches, if nothing else) one more time -- this time a flash of orange/yellow and a female Baltimore oriole was sitting on my clothes line pole. Triple cool!
Now THAT is one very good hour of birdwatching!