The Homestone

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hummingbird Arrival

Our newest arrival.  Sunday afternoon; our first hummingbird of the season made his appearance. Very exciting.  By late May and into early September we enjoy well over a hundred hummingbirds at our feeders on a daily basis! It’s absolutely magical.

David is incredibly in tune with our wild birds ~ he observes, listens and communicates with them.  Somehow, he knew it was time! I was sure we wouldn’t see a hummer for a few weeks yet, but David insisted on hanging a feeder about 4 days ago and sure enough, on Sunday afternoon ~ our first hummer arrived!!
Here’s our Sunday arrival on the tree outside our kitchen door that we sometimes refer to as our Christmas Tree because it’s a bird magnet.  During these next few months it’s almost always completely decorated with hummingbirds and other wee birdlets.

For all you fellow bird lovers; May 9th is 'Global Big Day' under the wing (haha) of Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology.  Go birding wherever you are, for any length of time on May 9 and enter your lists in ebird. Here's a link to the Global Big Day 2015 site.   

Their primary goal is fundraising for their excellent work with birds, but May 9th is about finding as many species as possible for the Global Big Day tally and to have a worldwide show of support for the birds! I hope you enjoy your birds wherever you are and if you have some time on the ninth of May ~ please count and record any that you see.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

April has arrived

And here's a post from David for a change of pace : )

News from the meadow ....
Our early spring runoff peaked today and the high spots on the meadow started to reappear. This morning, a half dozen green winged teals worked the edges of the nearest shore with a pair of mallards. They would be on their way north and taking advantage of our temporary lake to refuel. At noon a pair of mature trumpeter swans dropped in with last years cygnets and made their way to the little island to rest and preen where they felt safe, providing a wonderful opportunity for some video footage.
Our robins have begun to arrive en masse, Nicky counting seventy eight without moving off the deck. Three pairs of tree swallows have checked out their nests and are working the edges of the meadow for insects. The flickers are beginning their mating rituals, flashing their bright colours from side to side in unison as they watch the sky for interference.
And then there is old yellow legs who is taking advantage of the large population of birds in the area and making his terrible presence felt ... The thicket that Nicky had Vince build helps the junco and blackbirds escape his sudden appearance, however he gets the slow and weak and keeps everyone on their toes!
Its been a bird filled day ... but not without critters. Nicky saw a big healthy coyote in the mill yard today and the squirrels have been risking the open ground to the bird feeder to try their luck again.
We keep our beavers fed to protect our local aspens, and it always gives us an easy viewing and photographing opportunity. Vince puts new trees into the holes he has made for the purpose at the edge of the beaver pond, and they come and fall them at dusk.
They wintered well and are fat and sassy, cruising up to us then disappearing in a noisy shower of water.
Hope you enjoy the pictures : )

Green wing teals and mallards ...

Green Winged Teals headed north

at noon, four swans arrive for a rest

trumpeters and last years cygnets
the cygnets are still learning but the male is feeling his independence ...
Mature trumpeter swans ... The largest swan in the world.
a cruise downwind so the wind is in their favour for takeoff ...
We get robins!
They gather in the fall by the hundreds and then disappear ... I don't know how far they migrate but I assume they go somewhat south and toward the coast. Too cold for them here, and they forage for insects mainly. The forest here supports a lot of robins, but when the arrive, they work our lawns for earthworms and leather-jacket larvae.
Flicker Ritual
Mom standing (four or five) and two year old daughter
our ubiquitous geese who keep their distance but tolerate us ...
This aspen trunk lasted a couple of days ...

Momma gives us the eye ...

and her warning slap ...
and the swans are on their way ...

Happy April one and all ... 
And be warned :) t'is the season of a billion pics from the meadow folk.