Monday, February 2, 2009

Birds were Scarce Today-Think they are all with Larry

Another day of gorgeous weather and I was rearing to go. Granted I only had an hour for lunch, but I was feeling lucky. Off to Institute Park I went with a spring in my step and camera in hand. The weather was so warm I was convinced the birds would be out celebrating the day. Boy was I wrong. The only thing I saw were about a dozen squirrels acting as frantic as they did this past November. It was really bizarre to watch them jump from tree to tree and chase after each other. They have been like this recently in my yard too, but not as bad.

I did get a good photo of the mute swans though. The last time I was there I only saw one so it looks as if these two have become a pair. There were also these ducks that didn't look like mallards, but I can't figure out what they are even with my Peterson Field Guide. Doe anyone have any idea, even with the lousy photo?

The only song birds I saw were a pair of cardinals. The male was jittery and didn't want any part of me. The female stood still for one brief moment so I could get a photo. She did not do me the honors of coming in a little closer and away from the branches.

The biggest excitement of my day were the squirrels. This one here has me mystified. While walking past this large tree, I could hear the pecking of wood so I automatically assumed it was a wood pecker. To my bewilderment, it was this squirrel here. I walked along the park for about 45 minutes and when I returned to the tree, he was in the same exact place doing the same exact thing. I couldn't get my camera at an angle to look at what he had in his hands so I am assuming he is eating bark?? Do squirrels do this when they are extremely hungry and food is scarce? Sorry for all the questions but it was a very odd day indeed.

I am convinced that all of the songbirds from Central Massachusetts have ventured down to Connecticut to go hang out with Larry. It's the only thing that makes sense at this point. I identified 37 count them 37 bird species in January and he got to 100. That's a lot of birds I tell you! Larry can you do me a favor and send me some of your crossbills, kinglets and redpolls please! ;o)


Shellmo said...

I hope you get a red poll next Kallen! I'm sending them to you! I enjoyed seeing your swans - it seems perfect when you find a pair!

Richard said...

Thought for sure Shelley would have a say on your ducks.

My guess is that it's a male and female Mallard. The one on the left is the male with the dark head and the right the female with the blue wing bar.

Richard said...

LOL...forgot to tell you it's mating season for the squirrels.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hmmmmm--so your birdies went down to Connecticut huh???? Maybe Larry feeds them t-bone steaks and carrot cake... Ya think?????? ha ha ha

Just be patient, Kallen... Your babies will be back!!!!

Love the Cardinal pictures..

Kallen305 said...

Shelley, I so hope you are right. If I see a red poll I will stop compaining and whining. Seriously I will!!

Thanks Richard, I too thought it was a mallard but was hoping it was something a little more exotic! I am LOLing here about the squirrels and mating. I would have NEVER of thought of that on my own. You learn something new everyday here on the blogasphere! ;o)

Betsy, I bet that is his secret!! Who doesn't like cheesecake!!! I will have to try that this weekend. ;o)

Ruth said...

I like your picture of the mute swans. Your pictures in the last post are really good too! I really like the Titmouse because I never have seen one.

dAwN said...

Hi Kallen,
I love the photo of the Swans...very strange about that will be interesting to know what it was doing..
maybe drinking sap?

Deborah Godin said...

The swans are sooo elegant. I'd vote for Mallards for the ducks, too.

Kelly said...

...your swans are very pretty, and I didn't know it was the squirrel's mating season. I'll have to keep an eye on my squirrels!

Rich said...

I am just glad that it was warm enough for you to get out and walk around. Getting pictures is always a plus too. The birds will return, hopefully sooner than later.

Kallen305 said...

Ruth, I had no idea that the tufted titmouse didn't live in Canada.

Dawn, I too thought that perhaps it was drinking sap. Whatever it wsa doing it was certainly strange.

Deborah, yes they are indeed mallards. I zoomed into my photo a little more and noticed the distinct marking of the mallard. So much for the exotic species.

Kelly, take a good look at the squirrels in your yard and see if they are acting really hyper.

Yes Rich, the birds will indeed return and I can't wait! HA!

Jayne said...

Just wait a few weeks Kallen... things will explode! :c)

John Theberge said...

Great shot of the female cardinal. I've been hearing a male cardinal calling in the neighborhood but I haven't seen him yet. I hope he comes to my feeder so I can get a photo of him.

Alan said...

Hey Kallen,

I've also heard squirrels tap on trees. I've heard that it was the sap that they were after, but not 100% on that. Glad the weather warmed up a little for you. Great photos!

Mary said...

My squirrels have been pretty active, too. I haven't seen them peck on bark, but mine are Fox Squirrels....and I give them lots of food :-)

Kathiesbirds said...

For a new birder in Massachusetts you are doing well! 37 is wonderful! Congrats! I think your ducks are mallards, but watch for black ducks when spring returns. They all look like female mallards! Love the swans. I don't get to see any down here in Tucson! BTW, I've added you to my blogroll. Keep on birding! You are learning fast! As for the squirrels, it may be mating season already. Thus the frantic chases. In a couple of months there will be babies, and then more matring for another brood before winter comes 'round again!

Leedra said...

You mentioned something here I have noticed some too. The female Cardinal will sit more than the male Cardinal.

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