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SpoonfulOSugar posted a blog entry in Adventures with a Ladybird Herd - and other tales from the NorthYesterday was a busy day in the yard. I haven't really been able to figure out what factors contribute to the number of species/interactions I see, but whatever it is, yesterday was high. I have six bird feeders: syrup for the hummingbirds, thistle for the goldfinches, two with sunflower seeds, and two with a traditional birdseed. Two of the feeders (the "duplicates") are on our east lawn (by the snow trees) so I don't see or photograph them much. The others I can see when I am settled in my chair. So the first thing yesterday was that I harvested from the garden (lots - I was proud) and then went to sit under the crabapple tree. I could hear all sorts of noises - crickets early and then after a bit cicadas, the neighbors doing neighbor things, the traffic on the next street . . . . And then I noticed "tap, tap, tap, tap, tap." I cocked my head and listened: I wasn't really sure if it was in the tree overhead or in a neighbor's yard. "Tap, tap, tap." Some of our species are pretty tolerant of humans, but I didn't want to scare this one off. So I gradually worked my way around the tree, listening and looking. "Tap, tap." And I finally found it! A Downy woodpecker - eating the ants (have at it) that are such a torment. Because I was basically shooting straight up, I got lots of belly and throat shots. We do see the Downy at the feeders occasionally in the winter, but it isn't a regular visitor (even when I've hung suet.) Pretty much every day now I have purple finches, goldfinches, chickadees, a pair of cardinals, song and chipping sparrows, and mourning doves. I also have a couple of these little guys. I'm very fond of nuthatches because of their sort of bouncy movements. They are visiting enough that I'm hopeful of getting good shots this winter. (I know I have at least two - I believe there are actually four.) When I got the photo of the nuthatch - it was actually sharing the feeder. This guy was on the other side looking at me: Mr. Chipmunk has been around a bit more - two problems: 1) big birds and 2) KATZ. I've tried to explain that if he comes to a space with known hazards, I can't guarantee his safety, but #logic. So all the species of mammals were present: big gray squirrel, Mr. Chipmunk, and the little red squirrel (in the midst of the rain): At the hummingbird feeder, we have at least two females and a male. I don't seem to be having much luck getting photos of them these days - I need cooler weather so I'm not shooting through three panes of glass. (But with cooler weather, they'll head south. *sigh*) Late in the afternoon, Mr. Spoon and I watched a sparrow working in my Brassica bed. The plants have been a disaster/crop failure - something is chewing them. I couldn't tell whether the little bird was eating them or an insect, so it shall remain a mystery. I get great pleasure from all the creatures visiting. I'm a little concerned that neighbors will object to us feeding (we also have a horrid flock of grackles and a murder of crows, but they don't get photographed!) but most of them seem to understand. Happy Friday from the busy Spoon yard!