Thursday, March 23, 2023

Signs of spring #1,055

Although some American Goldfinches stay all winter, they are not commonly seen at our feeders during the coldest weather. A small flock showed up this week on an unusually fair day with a temperature of 50°F (10°C). The males will soon develop their bright yellow plumage:

About a dozen Mourning Doves dominated the platform feeder, stocked with safflower seeds. I prefer to catch their images in the more natural setting against the granite outcrop just outside the door:

This dove was fluffed up against the cold after a light snowfall:

I failed to attract Evening Grosbeaks which, in some winters may irrupt far south of their northerly breeding range. The species has suffered a 50 percent decrease in their population since 1970. They prefer safflower seeds, but this winter i have seen none at the feeder. Although many moved down  into northern New England, very few were reported in Connecticut.

This is a beautiful female Northern Cardinal, another grosbeak which also favors safflower seeds:

Her mate, in the bare branches of the Aspen, awaits his turn at the feeder...

...and later, poses in the White Pine:

The suet feeder is popular with the Downy Woodpecker...

...the larger Hairy Woodpecker...

and the flamboyant Red-Bellied Woodpecker:

The Eastern Bluebirds are already exploring the nest boxes. 

This male  bluebird perched in the bare Aspen just outside the window, in unusualy good light. I cannot resist photographing the welcome visitor:

An American Crow roosted on the back fence:

Sparrows other than juncos were few in number as compared to last winter. White-throated Sparrows often appeared in groups of 5 or 6, this winter we  saw only one, and occasionally two:

The devoted pair of Turkey Vultures were warming their toes on a neighbor's chimney:

Yesterday, the wind had died down and the cold was tolerable, so we took our usual  walk in the neighborhood, down and along the lake. Our home is at 500 feet (152.4 meters) elevation while the lakeside homes are at 380-400 feet (~119 meters).  

The difference in elevation results in about 2.7°F (1.5°C) decrease of average temperature at our home as compared to those along the lake. The lake itself also acts to moderate temperatures, while we usually experience a greater chilling effect from much higher winds. There is a noticeable difference in the emergence of spring flowers. We are a week or more behind our neighbors in the valley.

Here are the Narcissus  (Daffodils, I think) in our front yard, barely emerging:

Those along the lake already have flower buds:

Up on the hill we have no flowers, but along the lake there were many clumps of Snowdrops, probably the earliest flowers to appear in the spring:

were popping up: 

Our most recent snowfall as seen through one of the back porthole windows:

There are no signs of green in the clear-cut. The huge brush pile is settling and should soon be even more attractive to birds and mammals:

This week's header: Fair skies over the preserve

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Linking to:

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Wild Bird Wednesday

My Corner of the World

Please visit the links to all these posts to see many excellent photos on display


  1. Lovely view through the porthole! I never tire of seeing bluebird photos. Such beautiful little birds!

  2. Hello :=) I agree! They are adorable,Your shots of these beautiful little Bluebirds are superb. Lovely spring flowers.

  3. Very nice pictures. We have signs of autumn, with fallen leaves, pigeons eating acorns and cooler, crisp mornings. Hope all is well. Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Wonderful scenes. 10degrees is unbearable cold for tropical people like us!

  5. Now spring has reached you too. How nice! I am again delighted by your colorful world of birds. We do not have pigeons with pink plumage on their head.
    Thank you for participating in Nature Thursday.
    Best regards - Elke (Mainzauber)

  6. Hello,
    I love that view out the window, it makes a nice frame too. I miss feeding the birds, You have a nice variety of birds. The Bluebirds are a favorite along with the Cardinals and all the woodpeckers. The Goldfinches and doves are so sweet, lovely visitors and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  7. What a beautiful view out the window. And I love seeing the pretty Sparrows and goldfinches. We have lots of goldfinches here now too but not bright yellow yet. Enjoy your weekend. I hope you are able to get out on a walk.

  8. Very nice pictures! I like how the view is framed through the porthole window.

  9. Great post! Spring seems to have arrived early here, but it may be April-fooling us.

  10. Once again, these close-up shots are exceptional!

  11. Fantastic pictures Ken. Really like all the Woodpeckers shots and that White throated Sparrow.

  12. Pretty birds! I especially enjoyed the bluebirds!
    May your week ahead be good! Thank you for taking time to share with us at IRBB.

  13. I follow and I subscribe but I no longer get your blog in my emails..Found you on another blog..Hope all is well..Beautiful pictures as always..Have a wonderful week..

  14. These are truly some outstanding signs of impending Spring, Ken!

    I'm jealous of your sparrow diversity. The toe-warming buzzard story you recently posted is still with me. My wife went so far as to order the series of books you mentioned. Great stuff!

  15. Gorgeous photos of some lovely birds!
    Thanks for sharing at

  16. They're all so beautiful it's hard to choose but I always love bright cardinals.

  17. What fab captures again so clear too good mixture :-)

    Have a colourfultastic week 👍

  18. It gives me a feeling of kinship with you to see some of the same birds we see here in your post from Connecticut. It's much warmer here, though, along the Texas Gulf Coast.

  19. The cardinals are stunners as are the white-throated sparrows - never seen the latter before. That was a nice dedication last week- as it was World Sparrow Day.

    The budding flowers especially Narcissus look gorgeous.

  20. I wish bluebirds can be spotted in my region, they are adorable birds. Dove is a common sight in my region. Thanks for sharing with Garden affair.


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