14 November 2006

Soggy days without birds

Beginning to wonder if it's ever going to stop raining. November is usually a fairly dull and a grey sort of a period but this year it is plain soggy. Every day, and especially weekend days, at the moment it seems that it pours and this birder is beginning to worry that the next lifer will be an
Albatross in the garden pond.

There are those who feel this is good as while it rains the snow don't fall but I would welcome some of the white stuff right now - at least we'd be able to get outside, look at some birds, take a little exercise etc. If we wanted weather like this we could have stayed in Europe …. or gone to live in Vancouver.

So ...... some recent bird pictures from the garden as part of our ornitho-education outreach project. First are a couple of pictures of "small" woodpeckers taken within minutes of each other on the same feeder so that you will be able to compare their features and their relative sizes. Lots of friends have problems with these guys and so the first picture is female Downy Woodpecker :


..... and, for comparison, this is a larger male Hairy Woodpecker :


The third picture is not a work of art ..... it was early morning, gray, wet and low light plus the shot was hand-held but it is one of four Purple Finches that visited Sunday - we haven't had these in the garden for at least a couple of years and then only rarely. The definitive ID was made on the females (the differential species being a House Finch) as they are very distinctive, but that photo was even worse.

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