Elusive surprises


I’m seeing all sorts of flashes of colour.  “Quick look, before its gone.  Ah, too late.”

I have set up several bird feeders outside my kitchen window. It has become a very popular spot for the migrating birds seeking to rest for a few days after crossing Lake Ontario.

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The regulars include:

  • Hummingbirds
  • American Goldfinches – (always welcome)
  • Baltimore Orioles – (my new favourites)
  • Red winged blackbirds  – (this former city-girl didn’t know they liked feeders?)
  • White crowned sparrows – (adorable and very striking)
  • House sparrows
  • Robins and doves

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Grape jelly and oranges for the Baltimore Oriole

Grape jelly and oranges for the Baltimore Oriole

But there are others, timid and quick to take flight.  I only can catch a short glimpse of them before they are startled.  I run to my trusted Peterson Field Guide, but it’s not enough time.  I can’t remember all of the details.  What did the beak look like?  I don’t recall  if their crowns were a different colour.  Gone from my memory is the image of their breast feathers.  Was it the same hue as their throat?  Did they have an eye ring?

I want a bird expert with a good camera to visit my kitchen window for a day.  I need a lesson from a knowledgeable birder.    I need a better camera.

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I’ve seen a large white bird.  Very striking.  One time I thought it had some red on it.  Was it a Snow Bunting?  Was it a Red Breasted Grosbeak?

I want to know if that little red bird is a House Finch or a Purple Finch.  Are all of those yellow birds Goldfinches?  What about the light greeny yellow ones?

Out in my garden I see other quick flashes of colour. The birds are putting on an air show. They dive and soar at alarming speeds.  There goes a little tree sparrow with his lovely white breast.  It reminds me of the birds that helped cinderella dress for the ball.  So sweet.  There goes a Scarlett Tanager.  I’m glad I didn’t kill them all.

Back in the woods  something  purple catches my eye.  It was not there last week.  I stomp in closer.  Damn mosquitoes.  I duck over a branch and fight my way through the bush.

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The purple is coming from a lost and forgotten bed of Allium.  I guess in years gone past, before we owned the property, a garden existed here in the woods.

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Nice.  It is a lovely surprise.   They will only be in bloom for this week and then they will be gone until next year.

I like that.  It makes you want to get up in the morning and hunt down any other elusive flashes of colour.

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About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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5 Responses to Elusive surprises

  1. I haven’t yet put out any bird feeders, but I’d like to get around to it. We have so many different birds here in the trees. It’s been nice listening to them from the porch in the mornings.

    We have a lot of alliums too. They remind me of something dr Seuss would have made up.

  2. Lynne says:

    Good morning Diane, Paul and I have come to recognize the sound that the Oriole makes and of course the cardinals and the blue jays. Then there’re the woodpeckers. Are you going to leave the Allium where they are or move them to a more prominent spot in your garden? I had them where I used to live and I just loved seeing them in the spring. I do miss them, I’ll have to plant some in the fall. You were right about the Oriole Nectar from the farm store – the birds are ignoring it so I’m going to make my own sugar water – it always works!! Cheers….

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