One of my favorite pastimes is sitting, either in the dining room or on the patio, and watching the birds go about their business in our garden (that's English for back yard).
While we have lots of the usual visitors - Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, House Sparrows, Northern Cardinals and Mourning Doves, I've also spotted some seasonal visitors.
At first I mistook these goldfinches in winter plumage for sparrows. It wasn't until I zoomed in with my camera I realized what they were.
This one seems to be pointing out the fact that there's no birdseed on the wall.
This isn't a great photo, but I think this is a House Finch. I've only ever seen one a couple of times before, so I may be mistaken.
We had four male Northern Cardinals in the back yard at one time yesterday, but I didn't have my camera handy. I was able to snap a photo of this female on the wall though. They are year round residents in the hedgerow behind us. Unfortunately, that land has been rezoned, so I fear the days are numbered for the hedgerow. Perhaps the birds will come and take up residence in our back yard.
Another year round resident in the area is "Woody", the Red-bellied Woodpecker. He likes to perch on the electric poles behind the house and has been heard hammering on the neighbors' Hardi-Plank siding (that must have given him a headache!)
Two birds I saw but just couldn't get a photo of were the Carolina Chickadee and the Tufted Titmouse. The Chickadees are year round residents but I've only seen the Tufted Titmouse once or twice, usually in winter, so I'm presuming it's just a winter visitor. I just wish I could have got a photo of him.
I just realized I also don't have any photos of the Blue Jays. Oh well, I'll just have to get out and take some and do another post in the New Year.
Speaking of which, I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year celebration and a wonderful 2016.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.