One of my favorite things to do when it gets warm enough is to prepare for a backyard sit. It doesn’t take much effort, but it does take some thought. The idea is to prepare well enough that you don’t have to get up until you want to. That can be harder to do than you think. (for me anyway) As it was I forgot a camera battery and my glasses, and had to go get them but it didn’t ruin my afternoon.
I start with putting the hot water on and while it’s heating I gather my gear. Ideally; binocs, (my sweet new Swarovski’s), both of my cameras, reading material which today was my favorite birding magazines, phone (sometimes both my cell and house phones), and glasses. Then making my drink I head outside to have a seat on the patio and a good read.The first yard bird to join me was this Robin. I get buzzed daily by Robins as they feel quite at home here. “Um.. the mealworms are gone again, more please?”This Chickadee has been snitching mealworms from my other oriole feeder, but having eaten them all checks out this feeder too.. no mealworms here.My view from where I’m sitting.To my left.. I’m not getting much reading done.Next to visit was this sweet Downy female.Sneaking in behind the rocks a Mourning Dove.So much for peace and quiet! They’ve found me.. Reina, Winnie and Barbie – The Weenie Girls.
Amazingly enough, most of the bird in my yard are used to these gals and don’t flee when they are in the yard.
Don’t let our size fool you. We’re tough.
But don’t tell Chet Baker – we have a crush on him. Those eyes..I tried to pick up a magazine, really I did, but then was visited by this lovely American Goldfinch.One of the Robin pair that frequent the yard dining on Russian Olives. Robins love these old trees and their fruit. Oddly enough my little dogs eat the olives too.And then the Warblers came. At this point I gave up on reading and watched as several warblers began hawking and picking insects off of the trees. Yellow-rumped Myrtle variety was the most common. A subtly colored Orange-crowned joined them for awhile. At least a half dozen moved through the yard while I was watching.Mama squirrel showed up and began taunting the mini’s.
“cchchhcchh”Who fell for the challenge…..and the game was on again.Here is a picture of our old Russian Olive trees. Now I know Russian Olive trees have become invasive along riparian areas and would not plant them. But, I have these trees in my yard. 5 trees, 6 large trunks and they are dying. What to do? The birds absolutely LOVE these trees, and none seem in danger of toppling. Every day up high in the dead branches (not all the trunks are dead, only 2-3 so far) birds take a break from eating or bathing and commence to have community up there. Preening, breeding, lookouts, sleeping. The trees still bear much fruit which the birds (and my dogs) have continued feasting on all winter through this spring. At some point they will have to come out, but I hate to do it. (it’s not cheap either! $1500 to remove all and grind the stumps) We’re considering taking the left grouping out first and putting in something like a ponderosa or spruce. Then in a couple of years take the right side grouping out and put in some aspens or something like that. Any ideas are welcomed. I don’t know if we can even do it this year. The birds love them.Thus ends my beautiful afternoon. Clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped, my hot chocolate is gone so I headed inside. We’re expecting more rain and a bit cooler weather. That’s spring for you.