Sunday, March 29, 2009

PFW - Last Weekend Count

Very strange weather this weekend. It ran the gamut from flip-flops Friday to snow boots Sunday. Pretty much all of the typical birds showed up at the feeders, but even though it was the last weekend to count for Project FeederWatch, I didn't maintain a list. My focus was concentrated on the Louisville Cardinals basketball teams.

The games started out great with both the men and women winning the first games, but unfortunately, the men didn't advance to the Final Four. They had a great season, but just couldn't get it going today against Michigan State. The women play tomorrow night. Maybe they'll make it to the Final Four which will be here in St Louis! If they make it, I'll have to find tickets.

Even though the guys lost, it was still a great weekend since I had friends and family in from Louisville to watch the games and have a fun. We decked up the apartment with banners, balloons, and pom-poms, and everyone was decked out in their Louisville Cardinals gear with pride.





On a bright note, I found what looks to be the perfect house last week and I made an offer on it today! I don't want to jinx it, so more to come later if the seller and I can reach an agreement. Wish me luck.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

PFW - Week 20: Hummingbirds Heading North

Spring is finally here so the hummingbirds will be here soon too. hummingbirds.net tracks the spring migration and it looks like the Ruby-throats have made it to Arkansas and southwest Tennessee this weekend.



NOTE on 4/11/09:  This map has been updated since I originally posted it so you can see how much further north the hummingbirds have made it.  To see the progress to the east, click the map to open in a separate window.  They are showing up all around St. Louis, but I still haven't had one visit here.

I didn't watch birds much this weekend, but instead decided it was a good weekend for house hunting. It's a little early, but I did stop by Ace Hardware to pick up a hummer feeder. You never know when an early migrant will show up.

The count for the weekend:

  • Mourning Dove 1
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • European Starling 7
  • Song Sparrow 1
  • Dark-eyed Junco 1
  • Northern Cardinal 2
  • House Finch 4 (0 with eye disease)
  • House Sparrow 3
And March Madness is going well for the Louisville Cardinals. They have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen after close games with Morehead State (through the early part of the 2nd half) and Siena. The Cardiac Cards always keep it exciting. The Lady Cards, as a #3 seed, are playing their first game tonight against Liberty.

Go Cards!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

PFW - Week 19: Otherwise Distracted

March Madness has begun so I didn't have much time to look at the feeders, but overall the count was decent.

  • Mourning Dove 2
  • Carolina Chickadee 1
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • European Starling 10
  • Dark-eyed Junco 2
  • Northern Cardinal 2
  • House Finch 4 (0 with eye disease)
  • House Sparrow 4
Now onto the most exciting news: my Louisville Cardinals were selected as the overall number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament after winning the Big East Conference outright, and outlasting a very tough Syracuse team to win the Big East Conference tournament last night. My hat's off to Syracuse that hung through six overtimes Thursday night to oust a great UConn team.

"Sadly" the Big Blue Nation is calling for Billy Gillispie's head as the University of Kentucky missed the tournament for the first time in 17 years! I shouldn't be so gleeful, but UofK fans get under my skin with their "little brother" comments toward Louisville. It is a great rivalry so I expect attitude and just ignore it as much as I can. And this year it is so much easier!

Up next:  the Women's field is set tomorrow night.  Will the Louisville Lady Cards get a #1 seed as well?  A #2 seed would be good.


Go Cards!

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

PFW - Week 18: March comes in like a lion

March is living up to its reputation with wind gusts up to 30 MPH this morning and afternoon. For the most part, the birds must have been hunkering down in a sheltered place. Only the Starlings were determined to brave the gales for the suet cake, but more times than not they had to give up.

video

Are you wondering why the pole and feeders didn't tumble over?  Well, Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!  NO, that's not it.  Bungee cords.  I secured the pole a couple of months ago after it did topple.

Despite the high winds, there was still a decent showing of birds throughout this weekend's count.
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
  • Mourning Dove 3
  • American Robin 1
  • Northern Mockingbird 1
  • European Starling 5
  • White-throated Sparrow 1
  • Dark-eyed Junco 6
  • Northern Cardinal 1
  • House Finch 4 (0 with eye disease)
  • House Sparrow 3
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Birdscapes has been blogged

The English Clergyman over at "The Thinking Grounds" came upon Birdscapes while checking out other blogs and it caught his attention.  I have to thank him for the kind words and it would be great if all two of my loyal readers would jump over there to see what he has to say.  I'm flattered that a young, intelligent, Canadian male would take an interest ;) 

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good vs Evil

My suet feeder filled with the homemade "suet" cake that is known to be a bird magnet around the country (ask anyone else on PFW) has largely been untouched all winter except when an occasional (rare) Downy Woodpecker shows up. That has changed I'm happy to say! A Northern Mockingbird has finally discovered it. That's the Good.

Northern Mockingbird


The flip side is that the "evil" starlings (or as a friend has so aptly named them the "snarlings") have also been enticed to the suet feeder. UGH!

European Starling (through the vertical blinds & a screen)

It's not that I categorically do not like starlings. They are great parents (very attentive to the young ones) and they are pretty cool looking. But when a starling arrives, it brings ALL of his aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. And just like in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" they all talk at once and have to be heard. What a racket! At least in "MBFGW" the characters have charm. Starlings are simply obnoxious in a crowd.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

PFW - Week 17: Happy Bird Days

Saturday morning, as I was brewing the coffee, Lucy created her own blind to hide behind for bird watching. Bird activity at the feeders was finally up, at least between 7:00 and 10:00.


Friday night, my Mom called all excited to tell me about the three Flickers that showed up at her feeder that day. She must have brought me good luck as a Northern Flicker also showed up here. I had only seen one once before and that was the first weekend of PFW. Later in the day, a Downy Woodpecker after a long absence.

Northern Flicker


Downy Woodpecker

American Robins are in the area quite often, but I've never had one visit the feeder area for the purpose of eating until Saturday morning. I had crumbled an older suet cake made of, among other things, peanut butter and raisins. One or two Robins showed up throughout the day to feed upon it. Remembering how much they enjoy raisins from my days at the house, today I placed some on the railing and the Robin continued to come back.

American Robin

Another rare visitor also stopped by for a while. The American Goldfinches are getting brighter and brighter ....... Spring will be here soon! Another sign of Spring .... the Cardinals continue to sing throughout the day.

American Goldfinch


Northern Cardinal

Full weekend count for Project FeederWatch:

  • Mourning Dove 2
  • Downy Woodpecker 1
  • Northern Flicker 1
  • American Robin 2
  • European Starling 1
  • White-throated Sparrow 6
  • Dark-eyed Junco 1
  • Northern Cardinal 2
  • House Finch 6 (1 with eye disease)
  • American Goldfinch 1 (0 with eye disease)
  • House Sparrow 7

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