Hot Tub Time

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Puffnstuff’s Dugout

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The “Hot Tub”

It’s been snowing all the livelong day here and there’s been no respite for the birds. I cleared the deck this morning and put out fresh food, but it was quickly covered with a fresh blanket of snow and the birds have had to work very hard to dig it out from underneath.

I cleaned out the heated birdbath as well and put fresh water in this morning, also chopping off the rim of ice that typically forms around its edge. The deck is now full of the white stuff again and as you can see from the photo, a “hot tub” is the result. It’s actually like an infinity pool the more I look at it. My birds are living the swanky life here at the Junco Junkie’s house.

I saw the rabbit last night before we went to bed. My cat, Prudie was the one who drew it to my attention. She was hanging around the sliding glass doors with very keen interest. You can tell when they are fixed on something; they are dead still and the tail flicks almost imperceptibly. We both looked out and there was the rabbit burrowing its nose in the shallow snow, scavenging for seeds. We startled him when I moved the drape, so he ran off. Despite this, I threw out some shelled peanuts and sunflower seeds and a clump of timothy hay. He didn’t come back, but this is probably because he got himself hunkered down against the storm that was to come. At least I hope that’s what he did.

It sure is nasty out there! The winds are blowing and the snow is coming down at a slant. My husband still has to drive home from the city, so I’ll be saying a few prayers for his trip.

I’ve been outside twice to try and clear some spots for the birds to feed, and I’ve cast out fresh seed periodically, but it’s a losing battle. Within minutes, everything is covered again. There’s a bushel-load of seed on my deck somewhere!

I’ll be back again soon with more from our little house.

Kat

Newcomers

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It’s been an interesting few days in the winter garden. We’ve had some respite from the falling snow, and even  some lovely sunshine which made the snow sparkle and put a smile on my face.

Over the weekend we picked up some fresh finch food and a bag of pre-shelled sunflower and peanut mix. I had to dig a tunnel with my little red shovel to reach the hanging feeder (see “Snow on Snow” for image). It was partially filled with as yet untouched black oil sunflower seed. I dumped this out onto the icy birdbath that sits in the middle of my deck. The red feeder is now holding about 2 cups of the new mix, but nobody has shown any interest.

Conversely, the black oil seed on the birdbath has been a big hit. So much is this the case, that we now have some new regulars who have been giving the juncos a bit of competition. Mind you, the juncos know how to handle them. In fact, they’re not even that gracious with their own when it comes to getting food down their tiny gullets. It’s a bit like a bumper-car ride out there most of the time. They collide with each other in an effort to get the choice seeds and within seconds the bumped one hops back into the fray! The newcomers, who are a pair of lively little chipping sparrows, do not seem too disconcerted by this. Rather, they have adapted to the game almost instantly, often winning out.

Never a dull moment on deck!

The Calm After The Storm

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The Junco Bunker

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Weather-wise, yesterday was a brutal day. Winds were high, snow was blowing, but my junco buddies were undaunted. These tough little birds just kept coming back, to dig furiously with their little back feet until the snow gave way beneath them to reveal the tiny specks of seed.

I donned my parka, hat, scarf, gloves and winter boots, to slip out the sliding doors with my cup of bird-food, not once, but three times. I had shoveled the deck as much as I could first thing in the morning, but the storm forced me to keep clearing space for the juncos, so they could land and dig.

Today, I cleared the deck at 7:00 a.m. The whole time, I could hear the peeps from a neighbour’s tree where a bundle of them were patiently waiting for me to finish.  As soon as I grabbed my shovel and went back inside, six or seven of them landed in the bare willows off the deck and began to alight on the snow to feed.

The sun has been out sporadically today which has been a delight and my friends have been coming and going on and off.  I am gratified.