Chilly Day at the Buffet

Yesterday I arrived home from a business trip. I was a cold and dreary day. When I got home I loved on my pups, refilled the bird feeders, and read the mail from the last few days. I built a fire and settled in for a cozy afternoon watching movies with a lap full of happy dogs.

I have a crepe myrtle right next to the house and I can see a glimpse of it through a window right next to the TV. I was distracted from my movie by moving branches and a flash of red…

20130113-191459.jpg I don’t typically shoot through a window, but he was so stinking close, I had to give it a shot. I was less than six feet away. I had to focus manually because of the branches in front of him. He looked over and spotted me in the living room and took off.

I decided to gear up and give the feeder a shot. Overcast skies make for nice detail with no glare. It was only 25 degrees so I put on some long johns and Carharts and took my place on the mud porch and waited to see who might show up.

I was delighted to capture a bird fight dominated by a tough little fellow, you can read about him by clicking goldfinch. Happily, there were many more visitors to the buffet, most of them with better manners than a goldfinch.

The female red-bellied woodpecker came by for lunch when the light was absolutely perfect.







Despite the rowdy behavior of one male goldfinch, most of the boys were well behaved at their fillet feeder on the buffet line.


The male downy woodpecker stopped by for a bite. These guys are always just a bit overdressed for brunch.



The buffet has been honored to welcome some winter visitors!
Dark Headed Juncos – they mostly eat off the floor, but occasionally they show up on the mezzanine.


20130113-200348.jpgAnd although I wish he would have sat for a better shot, this White Throated Sparrow has been foraging in the lower levels with the other newcomers. He seems to be alone so far, his peeps seem to be a bit late for their reservation at the buffet – rest assured we will hold their table.


I was inspired to check in with my guests at the buffet because of the appearance of one of my snobbier and more elusive guests. It turns out he was not alone – he had friends looking over the joint. From top…


20130113-201819.jpgTo bottom…




Even with the welcoming atmosphere of the buffet, some of the cards preferred to keep watch from above. One stood lookout from the west…



20130113-202214.jpgWhile the other kept watch from the east…


20130113-202305.jpgAs snobby as these cards are, you’d think that they’d be better tippers.

All-in-all not bad for a chilly Saturday service.

36 thoughts on “Chilly Day at the Buffet

  1. I am so glad the movie outside distracted you from the one inside…. we at least got to share the marvels of nature outside with you… wonderful photos loved every one… have often had to take photos thru the window, just for record purposes of what is happening… mine never come out as good as yours did… what do you use to clean you windows..??? just joking… if you hadn’t have said I don’t think we would have picked it up…

    • Thanks. I simply lucked out – I have never washed that window – it did look a bit hazier than normal. The activity level was so high that day, they must need more energy when it’s cold.

    • Thanks so much Adam. I have lived here for a decade and only recently discovered how many birds lived in my woods. I really enjoy them. Thanks for the kind words. I can understand why people like your grandma become enthusiasts.

  2. Such a great variety of birds to photograph – that’s the great advantage of living in the country and having bird feeders – they come to you.

    (Another sore ankle & neck/shoulder pain is keeping me home, so I’m trying to search the internet for a new printer – wish I was out looking for birds. Your photos are just beautiful and remind me of what I’m missing).

    • Some days they come in flurries – I just stop shooting and watch the show, so amazing. I love living out here.

      Sorry you are stuck home in pain – that stinks. What kind of printer are you looking for? I have a small Canon at home, but have access to a 24″ Epson at work, it makes wonderful prints.

    • I love the color of the cards, but my favorite are the red-bellied woodpeckers, they are such sweet birds, they cry to each other and they are so funny in their movements.

  3. Your window is very clean! I always try to capture the action on the feeder next to my “tree of rebellion” (story for another day) but alas, my windows are too dirty to get a “clear shot”.
    Yours truly,
    bad housekeeper in TX

    • LOL – Honie, I am a fellow bad housekeeper. I lucked out with that one pane. These windows are that wavy glass from a hundred years ago and I have never washed them (don’t tell). I bought that windex stuff you put on the hose, but it’s been sitting under the sink for a year. I’m intrigued by the “tree of rebellion”.

  4. The cardinals are certainly the prima donnas of winter – that flash of red always draws me to the window. We have a pair of cardinals that stay around all year long and last year, they had 2 sets of youngsters – I wish I’d taken a picture of the teenagers at the feeder. Great pictures and funny captions – especially the “overdressed for brunch” woodpecker!

    • Yesterday there were 6 males and 2 females hanging around. I know they are here all year but have never seen young ones – how lucky. They are becoming less flighty around me, but they are still a bit standoffish.

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