Saturday, January 13, 2018

Snow Storm Fuels Bird Blitz!

My previous post featured my photographs and a video I made from the rare winter snow storm that fell in the Charleston area on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

I measured four inches of snow in my driveway but there was deeper accumulation in other parts of our property I am sure.

Jan. 3- I took this out a window as the snow fell
Another effect of Winter Storm Grayson was an increase in bird activity at our backyard feeders.

From Wednesday through Sunday Alesia and I noticed pretty continuous business at our array of tubes, suet and other feeders.

It was fun during this time to see other people in the region posting their own bird photographs on Facebook sites Carolina Birders Photo Sharing Group and Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association (CNPA).



Ruby Crowned Kinglet
The photo capture that most excited me was this Ruby Crowned Kinglet.

This was a "lifer" bird for me, in that I had never before seen or photographed one of these small songbirds.

It was especially satisfying after seeing many images of this bird posted by other folks in the region on the Facebook sites I mentioned.

The streak of red (or ruby) on the head (or crown) is a distinctive trait of this Kinglet.

To get a backyard lifer during the already special snowstorm made it all even more special!


Another surprise snow visitor was this Baltimore Oriole. I have a neighbor who for years has attracted Orioles with grape jelly. He lives not that close to me. So I joked that maybe this Oriole was lost looking for his jelly. We saw an Oriole both Saturday and Sunday mornings after the snowfall. I took these two images Sunday morning through a window. I wanted to get something before it flew way. Sure enough it did take off so I'm glad to get what I got! Orioles have come to my feeders only a couple times previously over the years.  

The bird's name, by the way, comes from the male's vibrant orange coloring that resembles Lord Baltimore's coat of arms, according to whatbird.com.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

A third nice surprise was seeing a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker come to this suet feeder. Sapsuckers, for several years that I've noticed, have come a peckin' on a dead tree in the back of my backyard. I have photographed them several times there. But this is the first time I ever saw one come to a feeder just a short distance from that tree. Snow can have some kind of effect on birds, it seems. Perhaps frenetic is the word.  



This is one of many memorable images from the rare deep January snow here. I took this out an upstairs window showing my backyard, the feeders in the forefront, covered in a white blanket of snow.  







Next, in this post, I'll show other birds I photographed in the aftermath of Winter Storm Grayson.  This is a Brown-headed Nuthatch. 








Also with brown in its name is the Brown Thrasher. 












I've always liked the Brown Thrasher for its size, speckled brown body and intense eyes. 













Carolina Wrens are regulars in my yard. They should be, I guess, since they are the state bird of South Carolina.  








A pair of Chipping Sparrows.  












A morsel of goodness being enjoyed by a Chipping Sparrow.  










The photogenic Red-bellied Woodpecker. Big and boisterous is this bird.  










I should have put this bird early in this post because it was a rare visit. 

This is the White-throated Sparrow.  It's a northern bird that migrated down south and surely didn't expect snow here!  

On Monday, warmer temperatures arrived and by nightfall most of the snow in the area was gone. 

Came in quickly and left quickly- that was a good thing in my book.  


The Pine Warbler was another photo capture that shows a snow setting. 









The bird activity added value to the entire snow experience here. 

From Mourning Doves and Northern Cardinals (and a Chipping Sparrow) seen in this shot to the others shown here, January 3, 2018 and the days that followed have already made this new year one for the books- and blogs!  







At the heaviest part of the Jan. 3 snowfall, this Muscovy, covered with a layer of the white stuff, swam across a nearby pond.  







It was nice to see so many birds, such as Pine Warblers, storing up on food at our feeders, as they endured the unseasonably several days of freezing weather. 



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