Sunday, April 13, 2008

Close encounters of the bird kind

It has turned out to be a nicer weekend than anyone anticipated. Yesterday was sunny and warm. Today, not as sunny but at least warmer than it has been.

Yesterday was suppose to be cold and pissing down rain all day, so I had made plans and decided to stick with them. These plans did not include gardening, since it was suppose to be pissing down rain. I did however get out the old pasta machine and made a batch of fettucine and a pot of sauce bolognese. I also had a delightful lunch at C's house. He had made fresh pea soup and it was the perfect spring day lunch.

Today, I dragged over to the garden to start a rather late clean up and was amazed at the number and variety of the birds that were out.

These handsome fellows are every where at the moment.

People think that grackles are a type of crow, but they are in fact icterids not corvids. Which means that they are relatives of blackbirds and orioles.

These guys were also singing their hearts out.

I was working away when there was a huge commotion in the big magnolia a couple of gardens over. At first I thought it was some robins fighting over territory. They are vicious bastards during nesting season and I have seen them get into fights to the death.

Looking up at the tree I saw that there were a large variety of birds in the tree, all agitated. Something had upset the neighbors. It was this guy. This one had obviously seen some form of rodent life in one of the neighboring gardens and was very intent on lunch.

This brave soul was actually attacking the hawk.

Better him than me. It seems like a bad idea to me.

A really bad idea.

I'm so glad I bought the new camera. I might not be much of a wildlife photographer, but hopefully as I learn the camera the pictures will get better. Even if the garden doesn't turn out that well this year, it looks like there will be plenty to take pictures of this summer.