Friday, December 19, 2008

indoor distractions





I've finally had a chance to play with my camera (so much for producing and posting about art!), but because of the bitter cold (-7C right now) all my shots have been through the sliding glass door! It's been mostly the juncos and squirrels stopping by to feed and use the water dish that I thaw out with a hot kettle a couple of times a day, though I do have a pair of Steller's Jays perched on my deck as we speak. I'm getting pretty good now at identifying the amazing variation of birds that drop in but today I had a visitor I've never seen before. Bird experts: is this a song sparrow on the left? (More here.)

And from Rudy's Art as Entertainment Department:

22 Comments:

Blogger San said...

Oh, that squirrel photo is marvelous! That little paw reaching over the edge of the plate makes me smile. For all the world, he looks like he's posing for you, Andrea.

I'm no bird expert, so I can't identify your little sparrowy visitor.

19/12/08 1:10 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Bird? No idea! But I think the furry chap is a Carolina Grey. What did you do to Blackie? Bleach him?

In UK The greys have practically wiped out the reds.

19/12/08 2:07 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ummm... I hate to say it, but if it WARMED UP to -7 around here, we'd be practically SKIPPING outside with our cameras! :-(

19/12/08 2:45 PM  
Blogger carla said...

How funny - I just finished having a facebook conversation with Toni about birds and winter, and she directed me to her blog to see a wonderful post about nuthatches. I love your bird pics, but my fave is this fat squirrel with snow on its nose! He looks very well fed! Thanks for stopping by to see one of my "rare" posts... I'm hoping to be a better blogger and reader in the new year... must make more time for keeping up with my buddies! Have a happy holiday, Andrea :)

xxx-carla

19/12/08 5:39 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

San: The squirrels around here have distinct personalities and this guy's definitely an attention getter.

Dinah: There's room for everyone -- or so the burgeoning squirrel population keeps reminding me!

Heather: I have endless admiration for you hardy Winnipegonians. You're either tough or crazy or a little of both! Some of us (not me!) on the wimp coast don't even have boots!

Carla: I hope Toni reads my blog and identifies my little visitor. Good to see your face and looking forward to more in the new year!

19/12/08 5:54 PM  
Blogger Vickie said...

I'm not great with sparrow ID's so I'll leave that to someone else. I love your squirrel photo!

19/12/08 6:52 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I dunno, a thrush? Like I know. Those are great pictures, worth every penny. Also a good portion of those signs are Estonian, I'm a little embarrassed for my people.

19/12/08 7:02 PM  
Blogger Rrramone said...

what an eye you have.

19/12/08 7:31 PM  
Blogger Ponita said...

I'm sorry.... did you say bitter cold? Why, -7 is positively tropical by Winterpeg standards!

We are at -17 right now (and it is after midnight) and I was thinking how much it had warmed up as I was heading to my car after work. It was -27 earlier when I went to work (and -34 with the wind chill.)

As for the bird, it looks like some kind of sparrow, and there are numerous kinds.... I just don't remember them anymore, as my ex has the bird ID book that I used to use as a reference when living on the farm and watching all the birds at the feeder outside the window.

The juncos I am familair with - they used to commit suicide on the livingroom window with alarming frequency, despite putting up crow shaped cling thingies to scare them away. Quite a number of them became cat snacks.... :-(

19/12/08 10:22 PM  
Blogger Donn Coppens said...

Bitter cold....hahahaha good one!

Nice snaps but if you want to make it to the National Geographic you need to get out there and build a blind.

It's a shame that you don't have any Parus Major on your deck because photos of Great Tits always seem to attract a lot of curious onlookers.

19/12/08 10:52 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

You can rely on Prof. Coppens to come up with something!

19/12/08 11:48 PM  
Blogger JafaBrit's Art said...

That is a really wonderful shot of the squirrel. It's a great pose.

20/12/08 5:08 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Vickie: Maybe you can encourage Toni to pop by? :)

Ellen: If your people are anything like, say, the Kazakhstanis (I'm thinking 'Borat') then you should be proud. :)

Rrrrrramone: I have two, actually. :)

Ponita (love your 'new' name): Sparrow yes, but what kind? Yesterday a friend told me they're really tricky to identify sometimes.

Donnn: But if I'm blind how will I look throught the viewfinder? (I know: I deserve to be thoroughly punished for THAT one.)

JafaBrit: That one's the king of the local poseurs, too.

21/12/08 2:46 PM  
Blogger cbdeoro said...

lovely and the snow, it's everywhere ;)

21/12/08 5:10 PM  
Blogger Ponita said...

Andrea, it would appear you have sighted a Vesper Sparrow.

Check it out here: Birdblog

21/12/08 8:46 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

CBDeoro: You should see it now. We're under about 40 cm at least!

Ponita: The Vesper Sparrow is similar, but I'm pretty sure it's a Song Sparrow now, or, maybe a Swamp Sparrow, but the light parts of its head are grey and the dark parts are dark reddish brown and the Song Sparrow is more typical of this region. I've discovered that the plumage does change according to season and the markings/colouring are similar across the races, so I see why they're so hard to identify.

21/12/08 9:51 PM  
Blogger Chrisy said...

...it's like another world looking at your blog...i'm in australia and we're round 90 degrees...with evening storms...i've enjoyed your interesting posts...

21/12/08 11:11 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Little birds are sweet to watch but hard to id.

Love that squirrel photo!


Glad you getting to play with your new toy at last.

22/12/08 12:58 AM  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

I get stuck with some of the nuanced differences in bird varieties that frequent my feeders as well (there's at least 2 different varieties of chickadees, juncos and house finches - maybe more. I'm not that adept at bird identification). Something I may learn how to do better in the future..?

You are kind to thaw their water. I feel virtuous doing that for the chickens, I gave up doing it for the birds. Do they 'drink' snow, do you suppose? In the wild, they must.

I only own thin, little, suede, dress boots. Another thing I need to remedy with our current 9 inch + snow fall...!

22/12/08 2:34 PM  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

As a bird guy I love your birds. May you and yours have a wonderful one, my dear friend.

22/12/08 4:39 PM  
Blogger Andie said...

You should paint those birds. Sigh...so lovely.
a.

23/12/08 5:06 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Chrisy: Thanks for dropping in and I could use a hot day myself today. (I hope you mean 90F! :)

Caro: Tons of playtime the past couple of days. It's heaven!

Tara: You city woman you. (My favourite boots are also city boots with thin soles.)

Ian: And to you, too, my bird friendly friend.

Andie: I'm definitely thinking about it...

23/12/08 10:15 PM  

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