Friday, September 30, 2016

Black-headed Grosbeak - Friday Framed Finish

Design - "Black-headed Grosbeak"
Chart - "The Bird Collection - Part I"
Designer - Heartstring Samplery
Fabric - 30 count Wren Picture This Plus linen
Started - 24 April 2016
Completed - 14 May 2016
Framed - September 2016

The light is glaring on this photo; believe me it looks nicer. Once again Beth Twist did any amazing job - she captured the look of a male Black-headed Grosbeak perfectly.

Let's take a look at 'my' Black-headed Grosbeaks from the summer of 2016.

The birds returned in April - the males first and I was thrilled to see them once again.

Then the females showed up/

They wear quieter colors than the males.  

The males have a lovely song they sing as they defend their territory...

...and attempt to attract females...

...who aren't always that impressed.

By late August their work is done.

They finish off my elderberries...

...and everyone, including the darling juveniles, head south once again.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flocking Together

I pulled out "Flock Together" and got busy stitching. Finished the border, two gulls, and started a flamingo.

Not any birds that I see around here!
Here's who has shown up lately.

The hawks have returned and are attempting to prey on the feeder birds.
This is a small Sharp-shinned Hawk, or a Sharpie as birders call them. This is a very fast hawk that goes after small songbirds like the Goldfinches.

Fortunately my Scrub Jays and Steller's Jays are pretty good about sounding the alarm when a hawk comes by. 

Though last evening a larger Cooper's Hawk made a grab for one of my Acorn Woodpeckers!  I was glad I was outside so yelled and clapped to startle and distract the hawk which allowed the woodpecker to escape.

I would have told you that all of my American Goldfinches are in their muted winter feathers...

...but then this guy showed up!

He was only around for a day, but he certainly stood out.

I show you this male House Finch in the interests of education.  I participate in bird counts and one of the things that I can track is whether I observe Mycoplasma gallisepticum (a bacterial pathogen) in House Finches.
The disease spread nationwide by 2003, and active feeders can contribute to the spread of the disease if they are not kept clean. As my House Finches have just returned to the feeders after a break of couple of months, I am confident that I am keeping my feeders clean and doing all I can to keep the birds healthy like this male House Finch. 

The American Robins sing to me in the morning.

And the other day I had three Evening Grosbeaks come by.
Here's a male. 

And here's a female.  They never came to the feeders, but I found them high atop a Douglas fir tree as their crystal-clear 'chirr' caught my attention.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Last Walk in September

As September transitions into October the weather is changing from sunny and warm to rainy and cool.
Let's take advantage of one of the last nice days for a while and take a walk.

Many of the wildflowers, like the thistles have set seed and are done for the year. September and October are months of plenty - lots of ripe seeds and berries and fruits.


False Solomon's Seal

There are still quiet pools of water in the Big Creek.  
They will grow and be refreshed with the coming rains.


A butterfly enjoying the sunshine.


Honeysuckle fruit.

Hawthornes - the Cedar Waxwings swarm the trees when the fruit is ripe. 


There's still lots for everyone - bunnies, chipmunks, deer, and birds to eat!

 And with rain comes rainbows! We recently had a lovely one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Swainson's Thrush and Other Birds

I decided to get busy stitching the next of Beth Twist's Pacific NW birds, and have chose to stitch the Swainson's Thrush on the bottom left of the chart. It looks rather autumnal.  

These birds are looking autumnal too.

This is my youngest and smallest California Quail chick.  He and his father come by every day.

And I now have a new group stopping by.  This is a covey of about 13 young birds in the care of two adult males.  The birds are young enough that I cannot yet tell the males from the females.

I can tell the adult male bird easily enough!

Here's the new group again.

And here are two birds from my older, larger group.
It is easy to distinguish the females from the males.

This looks like an engagement card!
It should be titled The Happy Couple. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Over the Weekend

Over the weekend I spent a fair amount of time working on Mosey 'n Me's "Primitive Cat."  All the pink below the nose is new as is the tail.  Still lots to do, but am feeling like this is something I can get finished in the next couple of months.

I'd also like to thank everyone for their good wishes on the Roseburg Dahlia Show.  My sister got two entries on the Head Table (a BIG deal!).  This triple of 'Embrace" was one of the two Head Table winners.

Over the weekend I saw several groups of around 20 Cedar Waxwings.

This group was mostly young birds.

This group was a mix of juveniles and adults.

I love their high-pitched chatter...

...and their elegant good looks.

Sunday evening at dusk my father happened to notice this
A Great Horned Owl perched in one of the large second growth Douglas fir trees close to the house.

The bird never said a word.

But it did make a nice silhouette for us to enjoy.