Thursday, April 17, 2008

Phlox and Finches

Frost was on everything for the last two nights but the days have been warm (60 degrees). Today, it will be well above 70 degrees, prompting everything to grow fast.

All day, I hear the finches. I tried to count how many there were at the feeder--about 30 American Goldfinches and 25 Purple Finches. Besides the finches, there are Cardinals, Woodpeckers (Downy, Hairy, Red-Bellied), Carolina Chickadees and Wrens, Tufted Titmouses, Chipping Sparrows, and White-Breasted Nuthatches. On the ground, we still have Fox and White-Throated Sparrows and Dark-Eyed Juncoes. I never know which day these winter visitors will disappear. The Eastern Towhee made its first appearance about a week ago--yesterday there were 3 males but no females. Not at the feeders, I have seen the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker at a hickory tree and Pileated Woodpecker in black cherry and oak trees.

Last week, I was sitting on our back deck not far from the feeders when I heard a Tufted Titmouse sound an alarm call. I looked around for my cat, thinking she was near but instead, a Sharp-shinned Hawk came flying by, no more than 5 feet off the ground. He was not successful, the birds having fled because of the alarm call. Who said living in the country is not exciting?

Photo: April 18, 2008

The bright yellow of the American Goldfinch is striking.

Photo: April 16, 2008

The Red Maple trees have already borne fruit. It seems pretty obvious now why they are named Red Maple--red leaves in the fall, red flowers, red fruit, red twigs.

Photo: April 14, 2008

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) was blooming at the edge of the woods along several old logging roads.


  1. Beautiful photos! Your bird count list is mighty impressive as well, that's a lot of birdies!

  2. We are a little ahead of you down here in Charlotte. But not by much! The Dark-eyed Juncoes left last week but we still have White Throated Sparrows, plenty of them. I saw my first Chipping Sparrow yesterday! And yes, the Goldfinches are in abundance, maybe 10 at a time here - bright as can be. Still waiting to hear the Towhees...

    Lovely photos!


  3. Love the photos of the Am Goldfinch and the Phlox! Those blues are great in those flowers!

  4. Oh these are beautiful wildflowers. I have not visited Wildwood Park yet, but plan on doing so SOON! It is amazing to me how much the trees and flowers have "come out" this past week!

  5. Chris--yes, we have a lot of birds so I buy a lot of sunflower seeds and suet cakes (in bulk at the farmer's coop where it's much cheaper than Walmart!)

  6. mon@arch--the phlox seems to vary in colors too--from light blue to violet. I am not sure why--maybe the soil?

  7. Kerri--It does seem everything happens too fast during spring. Wildwood Park will probably look different from my pictures when you get there.

  8. Mary--I think our juncoes left too, maybe in the last few days. We still have only male Towhees. I wonder where the females are?