Sunday, November 2, 2014

Leaf-fall and Autumn Birdwatching

We have a large, beautiful maple tree in front of our house, which makes a nice staging point for birds coming to our feeders. In the summer, we may hear the birds in the tree, but we don't see them until they leave the thick leafy cover. In the fall, for a week or two the tree is gloriously golden-pink, and then, of course, the leaves fall. My sadness at losing the color is never long-lived, because as the leaves drop, the birds become visible in the tree once more and I know we have entered one of our most satisfying birdwatching seasons. Our summer birds have departed, the goldfinches have put on their winter plumage, the dark-eyed juncos have arrived for the season, and we are ready to hunker down by the living room window, camera and binoculars at hand, to see what we will see.

Our maple on October 17

Downy Woodpecker with backdrop of golden leaves, October 17

What we lose in leafy loveliness, we'll gain in bird visibility.
October 24

Winter-plumage American Goldfinch

This female Red-bellied Woodpecker has become a regular visitor
to the peanut feeder as the light starts to fade each recent evening. When she
leaves the feeder, I can see her moving higher and higher in the maple tree.

The coiled whole-peanut feeder caught some falling leaves.