Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Mind Blown - *Tufted Titmouse* graces Backyard Feeder!


I have heard and seen Tufted Titmouse over the last 5-7 years of living at my current house (within south cameron woodlot) --- but on Dec 27th, 2023 - I had seen - for the first time in my life - an unmistakable Tufted Titmouse feeding from my black sunflower seed feeder! A nice male Red bellied Woodpecker was enjoying the feeder as well. 

I'm quite certain that this is the first time I have photographed a Tufted Titmouse (2+) on my back-yard bird feeder!

Tufted Titmouse is a special bird to me as its one of my sparkbirds  --- a bird that got me into bird watching! Also, its the official bird of Windsor

So - now I am going to have to keep my feeder well stocked and have this wonderful bird visit more often! Especially over the Winter Season.

Good Birding!


Some other birds seen today:

2 Red tailed Hawks

4 Black capped Chickadees

4 Dark Eyed Juncos

4 American Goldfinch

2 Tufted Titmouse

1 Downy Woodpecker

1 Red bellied Woodpecker

4 European Starling

25 Turkeys

1 Dove Morning

2 Robins

4 Cardinals

10 Blue Jays

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Looking back at 2023 - Year in Review


Least Grebes in Austin Texas

Merry Christmas! And wishes for a healthy, happy, prosperous new year!  I have been in poor health over the last few weeks - I "blew out my back" this week so I have been in great pain. Even still - I have a 10 year tradition of reflecting on birding and nature highlights so why not continue the tradition?

I have not had too many highlights this year.  But - I guess there are three events/categories that were somewhat noteworthy:

1. Trip to Texas

  • Black crested Titmouse (TX) 466
  • Snowy Plover (TX) 467 
  • Neotropical Cormorant (TX) 468
  • White tailed Kite (TX) 469
  • Least Grebe (TX) 470

2. Western Tanager near Belle River

3. Greyling MI trip

4. Swallowtailed Kite in LaSalle

5. Noteworthy Backyard birding

Texas: This was my first time visiting Texas and it was quite nice. Its big! I had 10+ birds that I was hoping to see but only caught up with about 5 birds. They highlight bird for me of the five was a small flock of Snowy Plovers that I was able to see in a naturalized beach area on Galveston Island.  I was able to convincingly see a Neotropic Cormorant, Least Grebe, Black crested Titmouse as well as a White tailed Kite. 

Western Tanager in Belle River

Greyling MI trip

Swallow-tailed Kite in LaSalle ON:

Noteworthy back-yard birds:  My backyard continues to give exciting birding opportunities, and this year, I was able to pick out a couple of neat birds. A Grey-Cheeked thrush and a Golden winged Warbler absolutely blew my mind. Even a small flock of Eastern Bluebirds made my heart skip a beat.... I am still a few years away from retirement --- so I appreciate what I have seen considering I'm still grinding out a living!

Butterflies and Astronomy-  

While I was in Texas, I attempted to see an Astronomical phenominon called "OMEGA Centauri" --- the largest globular cluster visible from earth. I have seen a handful of these globular clusters of stars - and they are incredible! There is a theory that globular clusters are small galaxies that have been absorbed into our galaxy - The Milky Way.  Comet E3 ZTF was seen and photographed in Febuary of this past year. 

Texas Butterflies:  (Austin area - March 2023)
Southern Dogface, Henry's Elfin - as well as many other species that I had seen previously such as Funeral Duskywing, Dainty Sulpher, Varigated and Gulf Fritillary, common buckey, red admiral, monarch, Giant Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger, Pipevine Swallowtail.  Reakirts blue was seen as well. 

So this concludes some of my highlights from the last year of bird-watching and naturalizing. Thanks for reading this blog - nerdy for birdy - and all the best in the new year!



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