Thursday, April 23, 2020

#ThrowbackThursday: Spring Birds

This week while Wayne and I are sheltering in place in Bellingham, Washington, I'm sharing some of the birds that I would normally be welcoming to our float cabin home on Powell Lake in Coastal BC. I may not be there this spring, but I'm sure they are.

Follow the links below to learn more about each one.

One of the first to arrive in spring is the American Robin. The weather may still be cold, rainy and cloudy, but they foretell the longer days, warmer weather and blooming flowers to come.

An American Robin sitting on driftwood at the float cabin.

One of the most unusual birds that comes to visit our float cabin is the Great Blue Heron. They are frequently seen in town, especially at the marina, but each year one will come for an extended visit to our log boom to fish. They have such a distinctive prehistoric cry.

A Great Blue Heron visits our log boom to fish for his dinner.

Once we had an unwelcome spring visitor, an American Flicker. It wasn't the American part that made her unwelcome. It was her desire to drill a hole in our wall to build a nest. We chased her away, blocked the hole she started under the eaves and put up "scary" things to deter her return. It worked, but we still have a spot as a reminder.

An American Flicker tried to nest in our cabin wall.

It wouldn't be Canada without Canada Geese. They come to Hole in the Wall where there are shallow beaches to raise their families. Later they bring their goslings by the cabin and try to sneak vegetables from my float garden.

Geese pair for life and arrive in early spring to prepare for nesting.

In 2010, Red Throated Loons arrived at Hole in the Wall. They took over territory from the Common Loons that previously came to visit. They are beautiful birds and when they come into our "front yard" you can hear them coo lovingly to each other. Here a short video.


Towards the end of spring, the Barn Swallows arrive. One pair usually builds a nest under the eaves over our front porch. In the beginning, nests would fall from the narrow ledge. Wayne and I stepped in to install a platform and added a padded cushion below in case any babies fell from their lofty perch.

Mother Barn Swallow sitting on her eggs under the eaves.

I will miss welcoming these annual visitors back home. Hopefully, they'll still be there to welcome me back by early summer at the latest.

Which birds do you like to welcome back each spring to your home? -- Margy

50 comments:

  1. Very nice bird photos!

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    1. Thank you. With digital photography it's easy to go back and find some great ones. - Margy

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  2. Hello, we all hope the sheltering in place ends soon. Your birds are wonderful, the video on the Red-throated Loon is great. They are beautiful. Love the swallows and flicker. It is a shame they are pecking at your cabin! Take care, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. The Red-throated Loon is my absolute favourite to watch. - Margy

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  3. Wonderful spring photos of our feathered friends ~ wish you were able to be there ~ ^_^

    Be Well,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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    1. So do I, and it will be all the sweeter when we can go home. - Margy

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  4. Hello, wonderful photos of the spring birds. My favorites are those cute swallows. The first photo is adorable. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, stay safe! Enjoy your day, happy weekend. PS, thanks for leaving me a comment.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by twice this week and thanks again for hosting Saturday's Crittrs. - Margy

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  5. I love the Barn Swallows so much!
    They make a mess and a lot of noise, but they are also very sweet!
    Thank you for visiting!
    Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

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    1. When ours nest over the porch it isn't so bad. When they nest under the front or side porch it is much messier. I put plastic on the decking to catch some of the droppings and make it easier to wash off. - Margy

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  6. It's nice to bring out those photos to share at this time of year. We have 2 Canada Geese flying by every evening. They must be roosting some place close! Flying over the golf course! heehee! Take care and stay safe!

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    1. For the first time we heard geese down in our small creek behind the condo here in Bellingham. Made us feel connected back to home. - Margy

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  7. Beautiful birds. We saw a red-throated loon on a boating trip and thought it so lovely. Here in our garden are currently house finches, robins, spotted towhees, chickadees, and I saw an Orange-Crowned Warbler in the lavender bushes the other evening. I think there might be a nest there, but I'm going to just leave it be and not investigate.
    Take care.

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    1. I do miss the traditional calls of the Common Loon, but the gentle coos of the Red-throated ones is special. - Margy

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  8. Wonderful birds - great photos. I imagine you are missing your float house this time of the year. We've had a lot of flickers at the suet feeders - but so far they have left our house alone. We have juncos, chickadees, woodpeckers, robins, Stellar's Jays, Bush Tits and Nuthatches.

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    1. Yes, we miss the cabin and being closer to nature, but Bellingham is a better place right now. - Margy

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  9. Nice. We get most of these but no loons so far.

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    1. We also get hummingbirds, but I didn't include them. - Margy

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  10. Hello. Wonderful serie of birds. Stay safe!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. - Margy

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  11. I have some birds visiting and nesting in my garden but they are too fast for me to snap photos of them. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. That's the way with birds isn't it. - Margy

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  12. The GBH is one of my favorite birds! Beautiful photos!

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    1. They are a favourite with me too. I think their cry is so prehistoric. - Margy

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  13. ...wow, that Red Throated Loon is special, I've seen the Common Loon in the Adirondacks. Take car and stay safe.

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    1. The call of the Common Loon always makes me think of Canada. It was that way even before it became my home. - Margy

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  14. Great photos of the different birds.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

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    1. It was hard to pick just a few to share. - Margy

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  15. Loved the photo of the barn swallow's nest! So very spring-like. Have a grand week!

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    1. They are such a fun bird. Even when they nest close to our doors our presence doesn't seem to bother them. - Margy

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  16. Lovely Birds! I enjoyed reading.

    Stay healthy. Happy MosaicMonday

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    1. Thanks Erica. You stay healthy too. No matter where we are, we are all in the same boat. In a sad way it has brought the world together. - Margy

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  17. Great post, and I would worry about little ones falling out of that nest.

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    1. We did too. If you follow the link in the post you can see what I call the bird trampoline in the picture on the porch roof. I've read if a chick survives a fall that parents will continue to feed it. - Margy

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  18. What fun memories ... and ones I’m sure you’ll be able to re-live next Spring. Your quiet cabin and beautiful “front yard” provide perfect habitat for a lot of wonderful birds. Had to laugh about the American Flicker and also about the Canada Geese trying to steal from your garden! When we lived on the lake, I had a love-hate relationship with those birds...I liked watching their sweet goslings grow ... and how well both mom and pop cared for them, but I hated the goose poop everywhere!

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    1. My relationship with some birds and critters is also sometimes love/hate. I live in their territory so I could be content that they tolerate me. - Margy

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  19. Margy - what a coincidence that you mention the Flicker as a nuisance. We've had exactly the same problem this spring and finally found a solution to discourage it's incessant hole-making.

    On a more positive note, we have seen tree swallows visiting our nesting boxes, and we hope they will settle in. Other spring arrivals include sandhill cranes, Canada geese, goldfinches, house finches, and just today, a rufous hummingbird. I put food out right away! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

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    1. Those Flickers can be very persistent. Glad you found a solution on your end. - Margy

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  20. Luv your birds. Happy Monday

    Muchđź’™love

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    1. Thanks Gillena for stopping by and taking the time to comment. - Margy

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  21. Love to see the barn swallows, in the nest. 2 days ago I spotted the first barn swallow to arrive to my town. So happy to see them. Loved the video of the Loons. They are gorgeous birds but I rarely see them.

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    1. Where we live the Tree Swallows return first, usually by early April. It usually takes until early May for the Barn Swallows to make it to us up the lake. - Margy

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  22. Margy, I had never heard of red throat loons. Loved the video. I am sure you miss your summer place and I hope soon you can be there. I love the sound of Robins in the spring. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

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    1. It may be because of global warming. We didn't used to be in their breeding territory, but have been now for quite a few years. - Margy

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  23. It's the best time of year. So sorry you are missing it.

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    1. Watching spring arrive in Washington State has been different and something to enjoy while we are here. - Margy

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  24. The birds are probably wondering where are the Humans who greet them back to the lake. You and the Hubs made a lot of brownie points with the swallows. :-)

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    1. I'm sure the forest gives them plenty to eat now. We didn't used to feed them when we could only be there part-time so they didn't start to depend on us. Starting out on their own this year I'm sure they'll be okay without a handout. - Margy

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  25. Love your photos and I enjoyed the video of the deep-throated loons. These certainly are birds you don't see in my corner of the world!

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    1. They are a special bird. I love to hear them up the lake. - Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy