The Finest Winter Fashion

With the Atlanta temps mirroring those of Minnesota, the backyard birds are displaying their fluffiest feathers.

This Mockingbird was my favorite, all decked out in his winter finest.

Seriously though – I might have to get me one of these coats!

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Starting the Year off Right

As I sat drinking my coffee in the early hours of a brand new year, I jotted down ten things that I wanted to do more of in 2018, and of course, taking more pictures made the list.

So, as soon as it was light enough, I bundled up, filled the feeders, and took my camera out to the deck.

This Mockingbird was the first to arrive…

…flitting from feeder to feeder, helping himself to the fresh supply of food.

 Butter-butts (aka Yellow-rumped Warblers) darted here and there, too busy patrolling to do much partaking.

A White-breasted Nuthatch and a male Cardinal dropped in for a peanut…

…while a Blue Jay eyed me from the tree branch.

My Blue Jays (as of late) have been uncharacteristically reluctant to come to the feeders while I am outside, but this fellow decided the reward outweighed the risk and was soon packing away the peanuts with gusto.

With the temperature below freezing, a sweet Chickadee was grateful for the heated water dish…

…while others braved the icy water in the backyard fountain.

Several Pine Warblers of differing personalities popped in…

…as well as a Red-bellied Woodpecker, who made trip after trip to the Bark Butter Branch.

So here’s to a new year filled with the blessing of much beauty; mine is certainly off to a great start!

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The Calendar Crew

For the last post of 2017, it only seemed fitting to share the birds that got selected for the coming year’s calendar – a gift that I make for my folks each Christmas.

January – Blue Jay

February – Red-bellied Woodpecker

March – Cedar Waxwing

April – Northern Mockingbird

May – Tufted Titmouse

June – Red-headed Woodpecker

July – Eastern Bluebird

August – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

September – Blue-headed Vireo

October – Yellow-rumped Warbler

November – Pine Warbler

December – Northern Cardinal

Happy New Year – and may 2018 be filled with beautiful blessings!

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Annual Christmas Card(inal)

Wishing you a joyous Christmas celebrating the greatest gift ever given,
and a 2018 that is filled with the sweetest of blessings!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but
have eternal life.”
John 3:16

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A Fine-Feathered Phoebe

Although we have plenty of Phoebes in the area it is rare for one to come to the backyard, so it was a treat when this one landed for a quick drink.

These tail-bobbing birds usually perch on branches and then dart down to capture insects.  I guess this fellow got a bit thirsty.

I love how soft and fluffy he looks.  Definitely a fine-feathered Phoebe!

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Freezing But No Frosting

A week ago the ground was covered with a lovely layer of white, which somehow made the chilly temperatures easier to overlook. This weekend the snow has all but disappeared, leaving only cold weather, gusty winds, and little enticement to venture outside.  Freezing with no frosting just isn’t as fun!

The cold weather did, however, bring the birds to the feeders with their hopes high of finding food. Needless to say, obliged them with a plentiful supply and then bundled up and headed out with my camera hoping they would oblige me by posing for some pictures.

This stunning male Pine Warbler was the first to arrive, helping himself to some Bark Butter and a sampling from the seed tray.

A bossy-faced Mockingbird also made an appearance.  He is a frequent visitor and makes it a habit to shoot me an evil-eyed glare before he goes about filling his belly.

This poor female Bluebird didn’t seem too pleased with the wintry weather.  She perched with her feathers puffed up for some extra insulation, every now and then getting a bit disheveled by a gust of wind.

A pair of Cardinals flitted back and forth between the branches and the feeders…

…and a Carolina Wren and a Downy Woodpecker popped in to check out the food offerings.

I have to confess, I actually find taking pictures in the cold rather invigorating; it somehow adds to the fun!

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A Fortunate Mis-forecast

The weekend forecast called for a dusting of snow over the Atlanta area that ended up dropping nine inches in our neck of the woods.  It was a beautiful, perfect-for-packing kind of snow that provided hours of fun and memory making.  It also knocked out our power for about sixteen hours, which simply added to the adventure, allowing us to play “CodeNames” by the fire.

Needless to say, I took advantage of the opportunity to get some snowy bird photos, a rarity here in “Hotlanta!”  I took pictures til my toes were froze, my thumbs were numb, and the camera batteries had died!  Here are a dozen:

White-thraoted Sparrow

Northern Cardinal – Male

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird – Male

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal – Female

Carolina Chickadee

Eastern Bluebird – Female

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Downy Woodpecker

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler – Male

And now, we’ve had our fill of winter weather here in the south; you all up north can keep the snow til next year!

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