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Sunday, 31 March 2019

Damn!

     Spring was coming along nicely. Snowdrops were blooming, narcissus were poking up out of the ground, temperatures were rising.
    Then, BAM! This morning this was the scene on our deck.



     Just two days ago Miriam and I were sitting out there having afternoon tea and cookies.
     The backyard looked quite beautiful, but this is February beautiful not last day of March beautiful! The word "beautiful" did not figure in the words muttered under my breath when I got out of bed and glanced out the window.




     I was supposed to take my friend, Anne Godlewski, birding but we cancelled. The areas we planned to cover would have presented difficult driving - and there will be other opportunities.
     This squirrel took it all in stride.


     The feeders were no doubt especially welcome to our feathered friends this morning. As soon as I finish this post I will go out and top them up.



     In the first shot you will see a long mesh feeder with peanuts in it (courtesy of my friend, John Sanderson). I wage a constant battle with the squirrels (who are patently smarter than Stephen Hawking) to keep them away from it, but this morning nine Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) visited the back yard and four of them ganged up on the squirrel and drove it off the peanuts. How do I let the grackles know they are welcome to take up residence here? 
     Despite my best attempts, I could not get a decent picture of a single grackle in the open.


    We have seen several Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) this spring, but this morning they paid us a visit.



     At least five Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) romped in the snow, nothing to worry about for these little winter warriors.


     An American Robin (Turdus migratorius) was pretty stoic about it all.


     And I suppose I must be too. I can tell you one thing though, I am not shovelling the damn driveway! The sun will melt this late season intrusion soon enough.

62 comments:

  1. hehehehe, were you expecting this or was it a total surprise!! it is "snow beautiful" and it surely brings the birds out!! i hope it melts off quickly and you can resume tea and cookies on the deck, that is much better!!!

    the junco is so pretty with that bright pink beak. i did not see many this winter, now all of a sudden i am seeing them. everything is "off" in my neighborhood!! good to fill the feeders, the little birds will appreciate that!!!

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    1. We were expecting a "light dusting!"

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    2. that looks about right, you can't trust those weather people!!

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  2. Oh gosh David! now I see just what you mean - that is a proper snowfall.

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  3. Hello, I am expecting one last snowstorm. I have seen snow here on the opening day for the city's baseball game in April. It's not over yet. We had temps in the 70's yesterday and today it is 50's tonight we will be in the 20's. I feel bad for the nesting birds and the spring flowers. Pretty captures of the Junco, Song Sparrow and Robin. I hope the snow melts quickly. Enjoy your day and new week ahead.

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  4. Hari OM
    If it is any comfort at all, David, we have been told to batten down for a freezer of a start to our April... though today, I have to say, is the first properly spring day we've had over The Hutch and am praying it stays till take off on Tuesday! YAM xx

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  5. Oh, I feel sorry for you, David. Snow is not ok now. Here it's a awful wind who is like ice. I hope you have seen the last sign of winter. Enjoy your trip to Panama.

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  6. Por aquí casi no llueve, los rosales necesitan lluvia. Los jilgueros, ya sacaron una nidada en mi árbol de laurel. Besitos.

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  7. The bird on your header photo is very familiar to me. The weather is thankfully much less familiar in the UK. At least the snow shouldn't stick around for too long at this time of year.

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  8. Congratulations! We also had more snow at night.

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  9. Du vet väl att våren är opålitlig David? Jag vaknade också upp till ett rikligt snöfall i morse. Men vid lunch kom solen och allt smälte snabbt bort. Här varnas nu för väldigt låga grundvattennivåer så varje lite droppe eller snöflinga tas tacksamt emot.
    Trist att du inte kom iväg med din vän för fågelskådning, hoppas ni får ett nytt tillfälle med vårsol och värme i luften.

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  10. It's beautiful in January. It's not beautiful at the end of March. And that's a lot. It was snowing big flakes when I left Rick's this morning but doesn't seem to have materialized and I hope it doesn't. The cold is bad enough. Well, you're right -- it can't last and as long as you can get out of the driveway for any significant road trips (safe ones, please), let it go -- melting will happen. Considering you didn't do a bird walk, I think you found a number of friends to share here today!

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    1. As it turns out, Jeanie, I wound up clearing the driveway. I went out to fill my bird feeders and decided to clear a spot where friends will pick us up tomorrow to go to the airport, then I decided to do the sidewalk and finally wound up doing the whole thing. Miriam is happy!

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  11. ¡Vaya nevada! Por mucho que queramos el buen tiempo aún está por llegar, hay que tener paciencia, mientras me ha gustado ver a los pajarillos aguantando la nieve y el frío.
    Un abrazo.

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  12. Our weather is also very unstable this March. Two days ago it was snowing and temperature dropped so much. David, you are not alone. It seems that this spring I am waiting and waiting for warm nice spring days.

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  13. Bueno amigo David, seguramente será la última nevada del año. Ya empezabas a ver el verde y llega de nuevo la nieve. Como prestación has tenido unas hermosas visitas. Aquí en esta zona del levante español después de meses sin llover, esta noche empezó y toda la mañana del domingo poco a poco como se suele decir es una buena lluvia no la que suele caer de golpe en media hora. Da gusto ver todo bien regado y refrescado.
    Un fuerte abrazo querido amigo David.

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  14. Oh I don't miss this white stuff! Luckily you are helpful to the feathered ones out there. The chubby birds are adorable. We don't see grackles down here but up north they were around all the time, bullying the other wildlife! Right now we have a huge bumble bee living around our deck. He seems to think the deck plants are his. We love how he is bullying the wasps and hornets away to protect "his" plants. So he is very welcome to buzz around our heads.

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    1. I don't really mind winter. It is just when you think spring has arrived and then suddenly you get hit again that it seems so cruel. I am glad to hear that you have a dedicated pollinator hard at work.

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  15. Ouch!! That must have been a real disappointment - but, yes, it does look pretty! I hope that it all goes soon and life returns to a 'spring normal'.

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  16. Spring is a constant flirt - the world over.
    And yes, it is a pretty scene. Thank you for topping up the feeders. I am sure it was much appreciated.

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  17. Oh wow I hope we do not wake up to that!! We have not had any snow this year and I must admit it, I have not missed it at all. Taking photos of birds in the garden, I was over the moon this morning when I spotted a Little Owl in one of the trees in our garden. Quite far, and I was lucky that the cherry tree in front did not hamper my view to take a photo. Made my day for me 🦉

    Hope you and Miriam have a good week

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    1. An owl in the garden would make anyone's day! Even a disinterested observer would have to respond to that.

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  18. Ah, I thought it was spring, but, it is snowing. Beautiful photos.

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  19. "Oh mince alors!", as we would say in French to express both surprise and disappointment at the sight of a white blanket like this one which could ruin the first flowers of spring. The little bird themselves seem to disapprove of winter's comeback.

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    1. Il y a d'autres mots que je pourrais utiliser en français!

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  20. A taste of spring then a blast of snow is cruel indeed! Hopefully it will be gone asap. :)

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  21. Hi Both,
    Not what you want to wake up to this time of the year and as you say the sun will melt it but then everything is wet again, not an ideal Spring as it appears you were previously experiencing.
    Good to see the birds are not over bothered with this glitch in the weather.
    All the best, John

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  22. Hi David,
    Oh, dear...that is a pitty! We all want spring now!!
    Unfortunately, you must still have some patience!
    It looks pretty nice, anyway!
    Regards, Maria

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  23. Damn! This is not amusing at the last day of March, I would have been frustrated too! I hope April will start with lots of sunshine and that the flowers and birds soon will be present chasing insects and sing their spring songs. Good you still have the feeders and filled them up, your visitors were happy about it (well, the squirrel the most I suppose ;-) ).

    Kind regards
    Marianne

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  24. I think that weather is coming our way for tomorrow-or at least the cold. I don't think any snow. I hope. Today there were flocks of birds in the yard, singing up a storm. My phoebe is back too. That is official sign of spring in my mind. Hope your snow melts soon.

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  25. Oh no! Look at that snow!

    Nice to see your photographs though.

    All the best Jan

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  26. we, America Southern states experienced 22 C (70 F) degree few days ago, but today, drop to 13 C (55 F) degree.

    Have a great day

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  27. Damn is right! This is not April weather! Hope it goes away soon! Poor birds.

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  28. Wow! All in one night it seems, how delightful to me to see those photo.
    Can't imagine shovelling snow from the drive-way, a good way to keep a bit warm I expect.
    The birds are sweet and fluffed up to keep warm.

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  29. My goodness, Spring is a flirt. One minute bright sunshine and then SNOW!

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  30. Ah you were so close! It can't be far away for you now i'm sure!

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  31. Hi David.

    The snow is beautiful.
    And the Squirrel and the birds are also nice in the snow.

    Greeting from Patricia.

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  32. Hi David - I saw this last night and thought ... nope I'll wait til the morning to read and look at. We're about to get some cold and no doubt snow in the northern parts ... but I am so glad I don't have this to deal with ... and I hope that beloved sun has thawed most of it. It does look really pretty ... but not what one needs when Spring should be here. You've still given us some great bird photos - and I'm so glad you label them ... beautiful colouring of the song sparrow. I hope Spring returns for you ... cheers Hilary

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  33. Hello David, I hope the snow will disappear soon..
    Your birds are beautiful, it make me so happy to hear them sing again,
    Have a lovely afternoon.

    Ida

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  34. Hopefully it will go as fast as it came...you got some good birds to come calling!

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  35. giggling. Seems like my place exactly :) We got some X-mas snow yesterday morning. In the afternoon it was "spring" :)

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  36. Veo que la nieve continúa por esas latitudes, por aquí parece que ya ha entrado la primavera con alguna borrasca que otra. Bonitas fotos de esos paseriformes con el fondo nevado, me han gustado mucho. David un fuerte abrazo desde España, deseo que os llegue pronto la primavera cargada de aves y naturaleza. Todo lo mejor amigo!!!

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  37. Menuda nevada. El tiempo está un poco loco David. Este invierno en Béjar ha sido más bien cálido, no nos ha caido nada de nierve. Ya veremos como se presenta ahora la primavera. Los pájaros de la 10, 11 y 13 te miran muy atentos :))
    Buena noche.
    Un abrazo.

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  38. It was the last snow David, for sure. It's no problem, sun will warm, snow will melt at all. The birds look well especially sparrows,

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  39. We went through the snow surprise in February but thankfully not in March. Haha … a squirrel smarter than Stephen Hawking! That’s a delicious thought. :)

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  40. Hi David,
    Certainly yóu must be aware of the fact that nature is full of surprises, whether you like them or not. I can imagine that you were astonished seeing these hugh amounts of snow. Fortunately the strenght of the sun is a good help. Just sit down and relax and let it happen. Fill the feeders and enjoy watching the birds (and the smart squirrel).
    Greetings, Kees

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  41. Ugh! Not a nice surprise when you are craving spring birds!

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  42. Oh my thats something else to find out after opening the curtains David!!!! Snow and not a little bit so to see. Hope it will turn out better the coming days to restart the joy of Spring for birds, animals and humans.
    Warm regards,
    Roos

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  43. Wonderful Spring weather---and we are having warm sunshine--Sorry! Even the birds are looks a bit miffed.
    MB

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  44. You're exactly right. As long as the cold drags on, it simply is the way things are. But once the warmth has begun building, to be plunged again into obvious winter is no fun. I so loved your photo of the robin. When I still was in Iowa, late snows often would surprise them, as well as surprising our tulips, which sometimes were forced to bloom while up to their necks in snow -- even in early April!

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  45. David - that Mother Nature - she is a sneaky one! As my Mother is wont to remind me, we are typically not out of the woods for snow and frost for quite some time yet! I am not a huge grackle fan, but I can be convinced if they chase the squirrels off the feeders!

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  46. A great time to escape David. Enjoy your time in the sun.

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  47. Hola David.

    Si te sirve de consuelo aquí en Galicia hasta hace 2 días teníamos unas temperaturas algo más elevadas de lo habitual pero han caído bastante: hoy a las 3pm teníamos solamente 9ºC y a las 10pm sólo 6ºC ¡casi 10ºC menos! Pero claro, al ver tus fotos parece que estamos casi en el trópico (jajaja).

    Un abrazo,

    Rafa.

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  48. It is a beautiful sight all that snow David.
    Although it is a pity about spring with the snowdrops and daffodils.
    They will come back when the sun is out ;-))
    Have a great weekend, greetings Tinie

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  49. Hi David,
    I can imagine your feelings when you saw this beautiful white backyard on the last day of March. I hope springtime is back with you now.

    Best regards, Corrie

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  50. I love these snowy scenes. I believe you are not alone in receiving late winter snow falls. My son on Prince Edward island is also clearing the garden path.

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  51. Amaiiiii !!!!! That is very special to wake up with such a huge amount of snow. Especially if you had not counted on it! But I still have to say that I think it's a beautiful sight :-)))))) Here in the Netherlands almost never snow so snow pictures are always very welcome to me hihi .....

    I am very late with responding but the relocation of number 2 is finally finished at the end of this week and then I can breathe again hahaha ....

    A big hug

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  52. Te deseo una buena semana David.
    Un abrazo.

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  53. Even snow doesn't shoo away such beautiful birds.

    Where are my cardinals??

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  54. Sempre tem um pássaro que poisa no nosso olhar.

    Logo, logo virá o sol e com ele outras asas e outros voos.

    Um abraço, David.

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