Monday, January 03, 2011

A New Year at Hasty Brook

Minnesota weather kept us from our first weekend of the New Year up at Hasty Brook. Severe weather warnings of freezing rain turning to snow as the temperatures dropped to near zero, added to strong winds, kept us home doing house chores on Saturday. Sunday was supposed to be clear and cold so we set the alarm for early and hit the road by 8 am. The temperature was just below zero but we needed a Hasty fix! I bought Art and I snowshoes for Christmas and while I ran upstairs to fill the feeders and check on the birds, Art strapped his on and went for a walk. He said he could hear water gurgling downstream by the old beaver dam and when he punched the ice with his ski pole it broke through! He crossed back over the creek upstream of the dam and decided to walk the creek back to our cabin.
Upstairs at the feeders on the balcony, it looked like all the regulars were there. Chickadees, White and Red-breasted Nuthatches and a sprinkling of Goldfinches. I shoveled off the deck and set to work filling feeders. Even with a hat on I could hear birds coming through the woods. I looked up in time to see a good sized flock flying in from across the creek: REDPOLLS!
I love these tiny winter finches. I had heard that this isn't being a good winter for northern finches but sure was wishing hard to see a few at Hasty. I kept my movements slow and deliberate and eventually one Redpoll flew up from the hazelnut brush. Seconds later I was surrounded! If I stood very still they would land on my head and shoulders. What a thrill!

I cleared most of the snow and ice from the railing, spread some thistle and soon they were lined up eating.

The sun stays low in the sky during January in northern Minnesota so by early afternoon the sun was already shining weakly in the southwest. Even the weak sun made their red caps shine.

On such a cold day, the Redpolls were really gobbling up the thistle.

A big shadow overhead sent the birds scrambling for cover. It was this handsome Hairy Woodpecker coming to check out the suet feeder.

This little Downy Woodpecker either needs a comb or is having a devilish thought...

I have a few feeders down below on shepard's hooks. This one has been bear chewed and repaired many times. I had to use copper electrical wire to make a new handle and the lid won't lay flat. Red squirrel likes it fine that way.

On the drive up I mentioned to Art that neighbors had Pine Grosbeaks at their feeders and that I'd really like to add them to my Hasty yard list. While I was counting Redpolls in the birch I noticed two larger birds. Even with binoculars it was hard to tell, they were so back-lit. One flew down to the ground under the balcony. It was a beautiful male Pine Grosbeak! After a few minutes the female flew down to the maple to check out the feeder action. Isn't she beautiful?

The male wouldn't come any closer but the female finally landed on the railing.

A new yard bird at Hasty!
Good Neighbor Mark dropped by and mentioned that there are Evening Grosbeaks at a neighboring farm.
Maybe next trip!

19 comments:

Ruth said...

WOW! I wish I had that many birds around.This would be a photographers dream come true.I enjoyed each picture.
Blessings,Ruth

littleorangeguy said...

Gorgeous photos, Lynne!

Richard said...

Keep twisting my arm with all those pictures.

Anonymous said...

Your little piece of Heaven
indeed! Thank you for taking
us along with you. Excellent
photos--Hap in New Hope

KaHolly said...

Oh, Lynne,what an exciting post today! The Redpoll experience must have been one of those 'time stands still' moments. Be sure to check each and every one for a Hoary! And that Pine Grosbeak. What a beautiful bird and such awesome captures of her at your feeder. WOW! The squirrel in the feeder cracks me up. Yay to a New Year at Hasty Brook! ~karen

Eve said...

What wonderful yard birds! Lucky you with the Pine Grosbeak!!

Mary said...

That Pine Grosbeak is beautiful! First one I've seen!

All of your birds are special Linne and I love how you built that little feeding shelf in a perfect location for good looks!

Amy said...

Great birds and fantastic photos, Lynne! I always enjoy reading about your time at Hasty Brook. :) Happy New Year!

Montanagirl said...

So nice to have you back, and that female Pine Grosbeak is just gorgeous. Great photo line-up.

Beth said...

Great pictures Lynnie. I love the redpolls and evening grosbeak. Both would be lifers for me so color me jealous. And Art looks quite handsome in his new snowshoes. Happy New Year!

RuthieJ said...

Your photos are beautiful (as usual!) Lynne. Glad you braved the weather and made the trip up to Hasty. Hope those Evening Grosbeaks find your place too.

JKoenig said...

What a fun post! Having "new" visitors is always such a treat, and you were able to get such great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Jayne said...

So magical Lynne! Man, I'd loved to have seen the Redpolls landing on you. :c)

Kathiesbirds said...

Wow! After a blogging drought you are back on track! Excellent! So glad to see you posting again! Love the pictures and the updates and so thrilled to see what you are seeing!

Cindy said...

Great Pictures. Love the closeups of the pine grosbeaks.

NettieYork said...

they are all so beautiful! I would love to see those grosbeaks, but no such luck so. of the Cities.. super liking your blog here :)
i would like to add it to my blogroll...

Cathy said...

Just can't get over your wonderful birds. And the sharp pictures.
And this cracked me up:
" . . .either needs a comb or is having a devilish thought.."

:-D

Cathy said...

Lynne,
Your wonderful gallery rewards another stroll.

This caption got my attention:

"This one has been bear chewed . "

What a great pix with the little red squirrel.

white azalea wedding dresses said...

They soooo cute and lovable!