Mid-November Monarchs

Maybe they’re the kind that are always the last to leave the party, or perhaps they are perpetual procrastinators, or maybe it’s just that they simply refuse to accept the reality that summer has ended – whatever the reason, this trio of Monarchs seems determined to remain until the last blossom on the butterfly bush has either faded or frozen!

I must say – enjoyed getting to take their pictures in the afternoon autumn sunshine. Mid-November Monarchs are just fine with me!

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Red-bellied Regular

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are regular diners in my backyard.

One of the reasons they are frequent feeders is because of the plentiful supply of peanuts that is usually available.

When I really want to spoil them, I load up the cavity in the Dogwood tree with nuts for them to discover…which is also known as “picture bait.”

These guys, along with the Downy Woodpeckers, are year round residents here in the outskirts of Atlanta.

Backyard beauties for sure, Red-bellied Woodpeckers are always welcome at my feeders!

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Bird Break

Some days (Okay, most days!) I find I work better if I build in some rewards – like taking “bird breaks” to step outside and snap a few photos.

Here are the first five birds that made an appearance during my most recent “reward.”

Pine Warbler

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Eastern Bluebird

Carolina Wren

House Finch

Bird breaks are one of my favorite rewards…Doves dark chocolates are a close second!

 

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A Surprise Passerby

I was recently surprised by a visit from an unexpected passerby…

…a female Scarlet Tanager. These birds are not common visitors to my backyard.

The males, with their bright red bodies and bold black wings are easy to spot, but the females tend to blend right in with the leafy tree-tops.

At first, I thought the male Pine Warbler (below) who had been posing just minutes before had returned…

…but she is slightly larger and her gold is not quite as gleaming as his.

She only stayed a moment or two, and then flew off out of sight.

Funny how brief visits can feel like big blessings.

 

 

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Happy Hour

The birds must have decided that it was “happy hour” in my backyard yesterday, as several showed up to enjoy a drink.

Some were sippers…

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Pine Warbler

Carolina Chickadee

…some were drippers…

American Robin

Tufted Titmouse

Brown-headed Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

…and all of them were lousy tippers!

But hey – they enjoyed their fresh water happy hour, and I enjoyed a happy hour of taking their pictures.

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A Mob of Monarchs

I pulled into the driveway this afternoon and as I glanced over at the garden at the edge of the yard I saw a mob of Monarchs flitting about the blossoms. Okay, “mob” might be a bit of an overstatement, but there were at least eight to ten of these beauties just begging to be photographed, so I happily obliged!

Some were enjoying the aptly named Butterfly Bush…

…while others were lapping at the Lantana.

Several more were sampling nectar from the remaining Zinnias.

Butterflies are often uncooperative subjects when it comes to sitting still, and frequently they would flit away before I could focus. But hey, some of those shots ended up being fun too.

While Swallowtails seem to beautify the yard during the summer months, Monarchs tend to make their appearance in the early days of fall.

Their visit is always a welcome distraction.

 

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A Friendly Fall Favorite

The temperature dropped twenty degrees overnight, and the almost fall-ish weather brought in a flurry of bird activity – including a visit from one of my favorites, the Brown-headed Nuthatch.

These friendly little birds are quite inquisitive and incredibly cute, and are always entertaining to have around.

They love munching on peanuts (hence the name!)…

…and are not shy about enjoying the fresh supply of water.

Besides the food and water, I think sometimes they drop in just to be social.

Love these little guys!

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