Flurries

We have seen quite a flurry of activity in our garden recently; birds flying south, and who can blame them, while critters get ready to hunker down for the winter along with the rest of us. Robins have flocked here by the dozens, attracted by the red berries in the shrubbery, that also appealed to some passing starlings.

My arch-nemesis, the rabbit, and his pals have been frequent visitors, as have the squirrels. The rabbits just get on with the job of eating whatever’s there, while the squirrels rush about like mad things, nibbling at tasty morsels and burying the rest, then looking around in puzzlement, scratching their heads and wondering where they left it. No wonder random plants keep popping up all over the garden! Squirrels are the first ones up to the buffet in the morning and the last to leave at night. They believe in getting their money’s worth.

Although I’ve often heard and glimpsed the flicker flying around the neighborhood, going from tree to tree, I’ve rarely seen it on the ground so I was quite happy to get this shot, even though he stubbornly refused to turn around so I could capture the black medallion on his chest.

Another fairly rare sighting in the garden was this woodpecker. We usually see the smaller downy woodpecker that shows up when I hang the suet basket out.

The blue jay caused a flurry as it usually does, squawking and making a fuss, so unlike the placid mourning doves that go about their business with just the occasional mild “Coo.”

Mr. & Mrs. cardinal arrived one afternoon, watched closely by a line of sparrows. Later, what appeared to be a dialog between the male cardinal and a male sparrow ensued. Perhaps they were sharing a joke.

Sparrow-: “Have you heard the one about the bishop and the actress?” Cardinal-: “Haha! Nice one!”

Sparrow-: “I figured being a cardinal, you’d appreciate that one. Know what I mean? Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.”

The juncos, goldfinches and purple finches snuck in when the sparrows were not hogging all the food. I think I identified them correctly but welcome any input if I didn’t.

Normally, at this time of year, if I saw these swallowtail caterpillars, I would bring them inside to await the emergence of some beautiful butterflies in the spring, but since the last batch produced almost nothing but parasitic wasps I decided to let this lot fend for themselves. Sorry!

21 thoughts on “Flurries

    • The cardinals always make a bright splash in the garden, especially on a dull day. We’ve enjoyed watching them throughout the year, building a nest and rearing young ones. I’m looking forward to maybe getting some pics of them in the snow, but not just yet I hope.

    • Thanks, Indira! One of the many reasons that I love autumn is the fact that there seems to be such a frenzy of activity amongst the wildlife. Everything is on the move which means good photo opportunities, even if it is only from the kitchen window.

  1. Amazing range of beautiful birds and delightful creatures- I know that uninvited creatures in the garden can be a nuisance but they are all so cute! Your birds seem to have more razzmatazz than our birds- those colours and markings certainly stand out! Great post and a good giggle too!

    • Thanks, Marianne! We normally see mostly sparrows here in the garden which is why I was so happy to be able to capture some other, more interesting species. And now that the foliage is starting to die down, it makes it easier to spot them.

  2. Great post and photos Sue! I wish we had cardinals around here. I guess we have the Meadowlark, which has a red breast, but no cardinals. Lots of bunnies too. They seem to like the neighbors yard quite a bit.

    • Thanks, Deb! I’d never seen a Meadowlark before so I Googled it and was surprised to see the amazing range of color from bright yellow to brilliant red. It has been a good year for bunnies here, which also means good hunting for the local hawk family. That has no doubt helped to keep the numbers down, although I did manage to rescue a squirrel that had become destined for the hawk’s supper the other day.

    • Thank you so much! Things have been very quiet here since then, as many of the birds have moved on to warmer parts of the country, so I’m glad I managed to get some shots of them when they were here.

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