Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Evening at home

Things have really calmed down now and settled into a nice routine.  Evey morning and every evening I spend a few minutes on the patio taking in the scenery and watching and listening to the birds.

In the mornings a robin will stop for a quick dip in the birdbath, splashing in the fresh water.  The finches, grosbeaks, and buntings stop for a sip.  The chickadees are very busy now, both mom and dashing to and from the birdhouse where tiny "dee-dee-dee" sounds can be heard.  They'll fledge soon.  It was a year ago today the last little chickadees fledged from that house. A hummingbird tries to stand guard over all three feeders despite a wide spacing of a good 20 feet each.  He can't stop them all and the other hummers manage to get a sip or two before being chased off.

In the evening, it can be a little chilly and I like to sit in the last bit of sun.  Lesser goldfinches cling to the thistle feeder.  The Black-headed Grosbeaks seem to take turns at a favorite black oil sunflower feeder--mostly.  Two young males sometimes squabble and once I saw the older male step in and break them up.  The House Finches and Cassin's Finches fill every possible perch on the tube feeders also filled with sunflower seed.  The Lazuli Buntings find their favorite white millet on the platform feeders.  The doves also like the millet and like to sit in the middle of a platform feeder, causing some disruption to the community.  On the ground, the California Quail cluck as they clean up all types of seed dropped from the feeders above.  The robins are ever present and somewhat aggressive to the other birds, despite having no interest in the feeders.  I think a nest is nearby and they are troubled by all the activity.  The Scrub Jays come looking for peanuts; and if they find none, content themselves with sunflower seed.  Sometimes a little Downy Woodpecker will work his way up the tree trunk finding bugs to eat.  Hummingbirds make a few more visits before dark with the same guy standing sentinel.  Even after the sun goes down, the bird activity continues while there is still light.  And then it is quiet.

With a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night, it's tranquil way to begin and end these beautiful summer days.