Saturday, January 31, 2009

We Hit the Road...

Art and I were on the road at 0645 this morning, headed north to Hasty Brook. The thermometer on the car said 27 degrees. I honestly don't think we've seen 27 degrees for several weeks. The sky was quite overcast but was supposed to clear later in the morning. There was hoarfrost on every branch and it was particularly thick in the bog areas that we drive through south of Hasty. When we arrived we had to park on the side of the road at the end of the driveway as the plowed snow was a few feet deep. We climbed over the snow pile and trudged the deep snow down the long 300 foot driveway to get to our campsite. I carried my camera backpack, binoculars and a big bucket of thistle and shelled peanuts for the feeders. Wonderful Art lugged a 50 pound bag of oilers!
Before we even looked around we filled the feeders. A group of 5-6 Black-capped Chickadees saw us coming and followed us from the car to the feeders, talking to each other the whole way. They fluttered around our heads as we filled the feeders. A pair of Downy Woodpeckers watched and scolded. We cleared an area in the three feet deep snow and set up a pair of folding camp chairs and sat to drink a pop and cool off a bit. A pair of ravens flew around the clearing- I think they were checking out the nutty people lounging in camp chairs in the snow. The sun burned through and the sky was blazing blue as the temps crept up into the thirties. I heard first and then saw a flock of White-winged Crossbills fly into the tops of the spruce trees. A new one for my Hasty yard list! Pine Siskins quickly found the thistle and a few Common Redpolls flew in. Another new Hasty yard bird. The Redpolls were pretty hinky and I couldn't get a decent picture.

A neighbor stopped by that we hadn't met before and invited us to come for a cup of coffee. He'd heard that I was a birder and he and his fiance wanted us to see the birds that came to their feeders. There were Redpolls on their deck! It was the best look I'd ever had. While we drank our coffee and chatted I got to watch the Redpolls four feet away through the patio door. The turkeys from last summer have taken up residence in their yard too, eating shelled corn and cleaning up all the fallen bird seed. All too soon we had to head back home. It was a short trip but I was so happy to see our place. It really made me yearn for the day when we can live there year round.

I was pleased to have seen the Redpolls both at Hasty Brook and at the neighbor's. Last winter was the first time I'd ever seen a Redpoll. I loaded my pictures onto my laptop and started to write this post when I heard an unfamiliar bird call out in our New Hope back yard. I grabbed my binoculars and wouldn't you know it- there was a Common Redpoll on my feeder at home!

Today I got to add Common Redpoll to my Hasty Brook list and my yard list at home.
My trip list wasn't huge but it was special. Actually ANY trip to Hasty Brook is special.
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pine Siskin
White-winged Crossbill
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Common Redpoll
Rock Dove
Wild Turkey
American Crow
Common Raven
Goldfinch
Red-tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
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35 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Congratulations onadding new birds to your lists,that is so exciting.Hasty Brook sounds like such a lovely place.
Blessings,Ruth

Red said...

How wonderful you met a new neighbor up there. It'll be great when you're up there in better weather :) You can just take a walk down the road and they'll invite you in for more coffee!

That is too cute about the chickadees... good thing they are so small or they might have attacked :)

Kathleen said...

You sure did have a blessed day! Congratulations on your double Redpoll sightings!

Mel said...

¡Hola Lynne!

What a great list!! One of my to do things in life is for sure visiting Hasty Brook! I'll do it one way or the other ;)

Besos,

Mel

Mary said...

Sounds like a wonderful day...visitng your Eden, feeding the birds, and sharing notes with neighbors. What fun!

And, congratulations on the Redpoll!

I wish you warmer days, Linne.

You drink "pop"? We say "soda" but many in NC call it pop, too.

Shellmo said...

Sounds like a great time at Hasty Brook! I can picture you in the lounging chairs watching the birds! And how fun to meet a new neighbor as well as see the redpolls! Hope the rest of your weekend is just as great!

Ruth said...

A great list of winter birds! I have all of these on my list except for the Raven. I have never seen one and they are not in southern Ontario.

Eve said...

Fantastic Lynne! Redpolls are funny, one year you get them and the next you might not. Last year we had up to 35 all winter. Morgan would sit out with them and they would land on her boots!
Hey did you get your feathers????

Kallen305 said...

Now I can see why Hasty Brook is so special to you. It sounds like my kind of haven!! I can't believe the chickadees followed you back to the feeders knowing you had snacks. I love those birds.

I am envious of your fortune of finding redpolls and cross bills. Those are both on my list for this winter and I can't find either of them.

Vickie said...

Wonderful post, Lynne. I could feel the chickadees fluttering around your head. Enjoyed your lists and the fun of finding new yard visitors. Its great that your fame preceded you with your new neighboring friends.

KGMom said...

Lynne--wow. You guys are really dedicated--hauling in bird seed.
And I love your account of the birds anticipating--chattering among themselves.
They were saying--they're coming!

Deb said...

What a great day, Lynne! I am so glad you got to see the crossbills; I saw a couple flocks flying over as I was driving, and I'm pretty sure they were crossbills, but I could not stop to take a look.

Because my son had a basketball game within a half hours' drive, I took a sneak peek drive up to Sax Zim today! I didn't see much though, but the bog is an amazing landscape in itself.

NCmountainwoman said...

You guys are great! I loved the description of the birds as you approached as well as the vision of the two of you sitting in the snow drinking pop. (We lived in WI long enough that we still call it pop too.) A beautiful drive, fun with the birds and coffee with the neighbors. What a great trip.

Mike and Lizette's Travels and Thoughts said...

Lynne,

Wow, both of you had a beautiful day, a good day to go birding.

Our day was a little bit more busy, but we were also visited by a hungry bunch of Common Redpolls today, the cameras were snappin' away.

dAwN said...

Howdee...
first of all i have to say I am lucky that your post loaded up..i have very slow internet connection for three days...
but cool...i can see your post...
how exciting about the redpolls...I have never seen one...they look adorable with their little red cap.

Tina said...

So glad you got to visit your favorite place, saw some of your favorite birds and met some new neighbors! Sounds like you had a fun time.

troutbirder said...

I'd take that list anytime as we are in the birding doldrums here.

Linda in Erie said...

Excellent! You got to meet your neighbors up there and see that beautiful frost and blue skies. I don't know, sitting in the snow without a campfire is only for you tough Minnesotans! Though there was a whole city of ice fishermen camped on the ice in our bay on Lake Erie. I shiver just looking at them, I think they are nuts. I don't think I've ever seen a Redpoll. If I have, I've forgotten. They are really pretty with that red spot on their head and the blush on their chests. Pretty photos!

Jayne said...

I can feel the joy in your words every time you write about being at Hasty Brook Lynne. I can't wait for the day when you are there and get to have this every single day. :c)

Bird Girl said...

I'll say you had a good and special day, Lynne! How lucky for you to see the white-winged crossbills! I would love to see them - never have! And to get that sweet little redpoll - another bird that just won't come to my feeder! So glad you got out from under winter and got a good birding day in!!!

mon@rch said...

Congrats on the Redpolls! :)

ivars krafts said...

thank you for sharing your wonderful trip -- thank you too for the pictures!

Sandy said...

I had never even seen a photo of one. I came here from Shelly's blog and you have some great photos.

Mary C said...

Way to go, Lynne! Meeting the birds and the neighbors. It's so nice to get to know the neighbors "before you move in!" ;o) And it sounds like they will be good friends, too, since they like to feed and watch the birds.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: You had crossbills! Crossbills!! (major jealousy kicks in).

Carolyn H.

dguzman said...

That's an amazing list! I could go to Hasty Brook and pick up three great lifers right off the bat! (red-breasted nuthatch, ww crossbill, and redpoll)

Pretty impressive to me!

gardenpath said...

I am going to look up the white winged cross bill. Don't recognize that. We have the red cross bill here, but I have only seen one a couple of times.

I have been seeing redpolls this year, the first ones in a long while. Also, we have been seeing robins everywhere. They usually are gone in the winter.

Marsha said...

What an impressive list! Lucky you to get to see the white winged crossbills too. You are a real Minnesotan relaxing outside in long chairs in January's snow :-)

Laurie said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip! I can see why you are looking forward to living there year around.

Hugs,
Laurie

RuthieJ said...

Oh Lynne, I'm so happy you've got redpolls in your backyard now too.
I'm glad you had such a great day up at Hasty Brook and it's good to know you've got some nice neighbors too.

Diane said...

Wonderful, Lynn! I'm thrilled about your adventure :) Happy day!

Kathiesbirds said...

How wonderful that you got to take that trip to Hasty Brook. Nice neighbor to invite you in for coffee! I can't wait 'till you can live there full time either. Redpolls are showing up on all the northern blogs right now! So glad you got to add it to your list.

nina said...

I bet you can't wait!
And so nice you can visit until the day you can stay!

I would be always in a daydream!

Owlman said...

Hi Lynne,

Glad to see you got White-winged Crossbills - I was going to send you an invite to come to NJ ;-). The Common Redpoll are very cool and I haven't had any luck with them around here this winter. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

Leedra said...

Feed for the birds first. Sounds like good priorities to me. That way the birds came while you did the rest of what had to be done. I cannot see me sitting out in the lawnchairs, guess that is why I live south of you.

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