Since moving to the coast a couple of years ago, our backyard birding experience has changed dramatically. In Salem, we had several feeders with a variety of birdfood that attracted numerous passerines, scrub jays and doves (along with the Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks).
Here in Nelscott, my daily list is more likely to consist primarily of Surf Scoters and Western Gulls.
We do have a hummingbird feeder that we keep filled year-round for the Anna's Hummingbirds who reside here. It's really fascinating watching them when the wind is blowing - they hover near it, making "test runs" at the rail until they finally can latch on with their feet. Then they ride like bronco-riders, drinking all the while until they finally lose their grip.
We may have to hang up another one now that the Rufous have returned for the season!
The neighboring yard is wild with coastal scrub brush, so we do have passerines - even a pair of WRENTITS who have made our yard home a couple of years in a row.
Other regulars include WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, SONG SPARROWS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, FOX SPARROWS and CHESTNUT BACKED CHICKADEES.
The problem is that we're up so high it's hard to observe them unless you sit right next to a window and stare straight down.
So this week I decided to experiment with hanging feeders on the deck - if you know how windy it is here on the Oregon coast, you'll know how tricky this will be. The first one I tried, a little metal thistle seed feeder, failed miserably as the wind blew all of the seed out in one day. I'm now testing a tray feeder along with a small suet feeder.
A DARK-EYED JUNCO was the first to discover the feeder. This NORTHERN FLICKER braved the breezes for some sunflower seed. A CHESTNUT BACKED CHICKADEE (who won't let me take his picture) was the first visitor to the suet. I have to take them down often due to the wind -- we'll see how long this experiment lasts!
I really can't complain about our variety though - we've seen BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS from our living room window, BALD EAGLES regularly come by, and a variety of WARBLERS migrate through spring and fall.
Here's some pictures of some of our birds:
|Juvenile Gull (no, we don't feed them!)|
|Western Gulls (visiting "Sid")|
And here are some of the sea-ward birds (all photos taken from the house, so they're on my "backyard" list :o).
|Sooty Shearwater (et al)|
|Bald Eagle (juv)|
So, two hours later - the wind is picking up, the Anna's Hummingbird is balancing on the feeder, Northern Flicker is hanging onto the suet for dear life (a wild ride) and the tray feeder is swinging back and forth like crazy. Probably will need to bring them in shortly...