Saturday, 18 January 2014

Day 79 - Riverbend Park

Having joined the Northern Virginia Bird Club last week, this morning at first light we were on the banks of the Potomac river at Riverbend Park, above Great Falls, for our first 'Bird Walk'.

The scenery was beautiful but with an air temperature of -2, even in the sunshine, and a biting wind, we were glad for all our warm gear!

The 'birders' were very friendly and happy to share their extensive knowledge and impressive scopes, enabling us to see and identify many different birds both  on the river, flying above - apparently including a Bald Eagle - and alongside.

In the trees and bushes we were pleased to see a number of birds that frequently visit our garden feeders and some new ones too such as this brown creeper..

We also saw, at a distance, a Pileated Woodpecker like the one who visited our feeders.

This bird group arrange several bird walks each week at different places in Northern Virginia, so we will look forward to the next one ...

Friday, 17 January 2014

Day 78 - 'Squirrel Buster'

Today we have acquired an addition to our bird feeding paraphernalia in the shape of 'Squirrel Buster plus' - a very large seed feeder..

It is designed to appeal to Cardinals and other similar sized garden birds, as well as to keep the squirrels out.

The time from setting up to first visitor was less than five minutes - a Tufted Titmouse, closely followed by a Chickadee..

However, after 20 minutes the male Cardinal was checking it out..

It takes more than four times the amount of seed of the other feeders so should keep quite a few birds happy...  

It remains to be seen whether it lives up to its name or whether we end up making the squirrels very fat indeed!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Day 77 - January Day

The start of the day was quite misty and chilly.

Later it cleared, the sky was blue and the sunshine was quite warm.

This evening it is cold again and hence a good excuse to light the fire and sit by it..

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Day 76 - 'The Awakening'

I wasn't able to join David at National Harbor but he took these pictures of  'The Awakening' - a large iron sculpture on the foreshore of the Potomac river which depicts a giant struggling to free himself from the ground.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Day 75 - Quiet Day

It was very wet here today and only a few birds visited between the showers.  This House Finch or Purple Finch (not sure which - they are very similar) is quite a frequent visitor.  

Whilst this male finch is quite a spectacular raspberry colour, his mate is rather more dull with brown stripes - as in this photo taken when the snow was on the ground.

There have been flocks of Canada Geese flying over and a few days ago when it was very wet they were settled very happily on a playing field along the road where there are some very large puddles.
As soon as I can walk straight I will see if I can photograph them!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Day 74 - National Harbor

Unfortunately I have not been able to go to stay at Nationsl Harbor with David where he is attending a conference this week.

However he has sent a few pictures and I hope to be able to go later in the week.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Day 73 - Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Unfortunately our usual blogger is in bed with Labrynthitis so the stand-in is on the case. 

After yesterday's damp and dreary weather it was a real pleasure to wake to bright sunshine. The warmth seemed to bring out the birds in droves such as the flock of Bluebirds in the following photos. Juliet said that in the past she had only seen one or two.

In addition to the birds I had great fun today with my head down the sump pump, trying to repair the joints the frozen pipes had popped during last weeks cold snap. Can't find any sump pump photos you will be glad to hear.

Hopefully by tomorrow our ace reporter will be feeling a little better and normal service will be resumed.