Sunday, January 24, 2010
For much of last week, it rained too much to go out and sketch. I spent a good deal of my time parked at the kitchen table, sketching the birds that came to our feeder. We've had a feeder in this spot for many years but I never really paid attention to what goes on there until I started sketching.
I knew that House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) were our most frequent flyers at the tube feeder, and I'd noticed the stealth feeders, the Oak Titmice (Baeolophus inornatus), formerly known as Plain Titmice. Because we regularly put seed on a tray attached to the tube, a few California Towhees(Pipilo crissalis) and Mourning Doves(Zenaida macroura) also came around. A few weeks ago I put up a dedicated tray feeder which has attracted White- (Zonotrichia leucophrys) and Gold-Crowned (Zonotrichia atricapilla) Sparrows. The other day I looked up to see a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) cock it's head in my directions before bolting. Since I began sketching I've also seen North American Robins (Turdus migratorius), Yellow-rumped warblers (Dendroica coronata auduboni), American(Carduelis tristis) and/or Lesser Goldfinches (Carduelis psaltria), Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).
Watching these birds come and go in driving rain and bitter cold made me think of how easily we humans complain about bad weather, in spite of our ability to wear clothing and use tools (like umbrellas) to protect ourselves, cars and homes that are heated, allowing us to draw while the weather rages on the other side of a piece of glass. I'm really not going to complain about bad weather ever again. Really!
It's still darned difficult for me to look at a bird and retain the image before me. I've begun to be able to get bits and pieces but still find myself failing miserably to get all that I intend to capture. I guess it's a good thing that I so enjoy watching the birds and getting to know them. About time, isn't it?
Next week I'm going to the local bird store and getting a suet feeder. I understand the woodpeckers and nuthatches might come to eat rather than just pass by. I wonder who else will be drawn to suet? Stay tuned!