Grub’s Up!

Baldwin’s Birds


What a super change to the weather, giving us a lot brighter view of our lives and those of our avian friends. Their colours are now showing to the full and are a delight to behold,–when they let you! I say that because despite their bright plumages they are still surprisingly difficult to spot in the now green trees. A male Cardinal just seems to disappear as soon as he hits the trees, as do others like the Bluebirds and Goldfinches, but I must say that the latter can also give us a stunning view of themselves should they happen to perch on the branch of an evergreen  pine tree, at a lower level or even at the very top. Their contrasting brilliant yellow against the deep green pines make picture taking of them a sheer delight!

With all their added colour, many of the birds have also found their voices, as many of you who sleep with a window open will have discovered for yourselves! How many of you are woken to the sound of a House Wren or a Mourning (sounds like morning) Dove, who are giving their voices a really good airing from 6.00 – 7.00 am until late into the evenings? The first time we had the Wrens visit, it was a novelty, but that was a few years ago, and since then the novelty has passed us by, but they have at least moved to a nesting box a little further from the house or they just yielded the one they had to the Bluebirds who are a lot quieter neighbours to have!

Talking of quiet neighbours, we have been getting the occasional visit in the back garden from a lovely “fly catching” bird normally found by water where the “Mozzies” tend to congregate. This is a Kingbird, of course, and it will come and perch fairly high up on a tree branch and will then swoop down on any flying insects trying to pass by! We have a water feature in the garden where the bugs can gather so there is usually something of interest to keep the bird returning. The other day, I was sitting on our deck by our swimming pool, trying to get Wren and Bluebird pictures when I was startled to hear a very loud “plop” right by me in the water, and there was a Kingbird just flapping its wings on the water, having just pounced on a bug on the top of the pool water. I was lucky enough to witness it flying over the pool a couple of times, but it didn’t get to repeat its performance, seeing as one of our “human type” pools isn’t really the right environment for an avid “fly catcher”, is it!?

Having been slightly distracted from what I was doing by the Kingbird, I was still able to observe the comings and goings of the Bluebirds, as they went about their parental tasks of either feeding or cleaning up after their messy kids! I also continued watching the Wren, who is still trying to woo a young lady into one of the nesting boxes. This seems to take a load of singing and coaxing, but he never seems to tire from the task; he deserves a reward for all the enthusiasm he puts into it! Good luck “Little Guy!”

Stay safe and well,

John Baldwin


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