May’s journal focuses on activity in and around backyard feeders one afternoon on the north end of the neighborhood. We were invited over to see Rose-breasted Grosbeaks who had been showing up to recharge on good food in a wonderful wooded setting before continuing on their migration. For one hour we sat quietly with our friends and watched. This is some of what we saw.
It’s been a warm, dry fall so far. With the drought, birds and critters have appreciated the water in birdbaths and the pond. But the drought was broken as reported in our previous post, and we have started hearing toads again at night.
A flock of several hundred grackles passed through a few days ago and we have started seeing Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Surely colder weather is not far off.
There’s been much nesting activity in April, as there should be. Three of the four houses on the Peachtree Park Nature Trail have occupants and there is a Red-bellied Woodpecker pair nesting in a snag on the trail: (see the recent post Nesters on the Nature Trail). The bluebird house in the Darlington Road triangle is occupied, and Bluebirds are competing with Brown-headed Nuthatches for a box three houses down. Birds are nesting in shrubbery in multiple locations in our yard and Carolina Wrens in the oven vent. This is occurring all over the neighborhood, and most likely in your yard.
Also, Goldfinches descended in mass in the trees inback of us for several days and emptied the thistle feeders every day for a few days. The morning chorus at sunrise continues to be quite loud; some singers go on almost all day, like the Brown Thrasher below. It’s a great time of year.
Mild weather continued in March. It actually felt like Spring as we passed the first official day of the season. Last month we told you we heard frogs. This month we’ve been hearing them more and seeing them, as well as lots of tadpoles.
March’s photos include nesting birds, native bees and two butterfly species: Sulfur and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Also both of our native honeysuckle vines are blooming coinciding with the arrival of hummingbirds. So be on the lookout.
As you can see below, the Cooper’s Hawks are still here. This one had just caught a Mourning Dove.
Our wildlife photos for December are mostly of birds. Of the 22 species shown below, some are migrants, some are winter residents and some are here year-round. With all the unseasonably warm weather there have been lots of ladybugs. We were unable to get a photo of our pal the opossum, but take it from us, he’s a handsome guy.