Reub's journey

02 January 2013

First bird



 I don't know anybody who more happily jumps into the dizzying days of December and early January than myself: food, gifts, lights, people I love, the birthday of my youngest child on the first of the year.



 
 This year was especially great because my father-in-law flew out to be with us for two weeks. He'll be 95 years old in a few weeks, and here he is (in yellow) helping us saw down our Christmas tree. (Only $22 for a tree. I wonder what this would cost in Chicago?)



 Eddy, a highly food-motivated creature, managed to stay within inches of grandson little R for nearly two weeks.




We always fit in a day trip to the coast this time of year. Even when the weather is bad: the worse the weather, the better the clam chowder tastes.




My niece has a tradition of noting the first bird of each new year, thoughtfully learning what she can from whatever the feathered harbinger might have to offer. This year I predicted that my first bird would be an Oregon Junco, and sure enough that's what it was, a common sight here in the Northwest. It fits me well, this hardy little soul who has been called the Winter Sparrow. Maybe more so than last year's bird, a feisty fantastic Anna's Hummingbird over-wintering in the yard. What was your first bird?

27 comments:

  1. The shot of the lighthouse is amazing. I guess even though Eddy appears to be smitten with the grandson, he is really hoping for some food! Good prediction and spotting of the junco! Haven't seen one here yet, but I'm hoping. I did spot a loggerhead shrike! First ever. Only wish I'd got a good shot of it.

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    1. It's not hard to spot juncos around here. But a shrike? I think I've only seen those in books!

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  2. I haven't seen any birds yet today, it's cold and overcast and drippy. I could hear the wren earlier though. Yesterday I did see two birds. a pair of turtle doves or more correctly, eurasian collared doves. not native to the US, these are escapees from owners and are creating small populations in several parts of the south and southwest. it's the first time I have seen these birds.

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    1. Those doves have begun showing up in Oregon too, or so I've heard. I think hearing a wren is at least as good as seeing one.

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  3. a sparrow .. tho before the new year i spotted a .. well .. not a sparrow, i know that because i was with someone who told me so ... happy new year

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    1. I love sparrows. You can find them almost everywhere in the world and I love their little songs.

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  4. My first bird(s) were some doves the dogs and I flushed on our walk. I wish it had been the Great Blue Heron who was hanging around here for about a week, but it seems he's moved on.

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    1. Your photos of the Great Blue are beautiful. Lucky to have him for as long as stayed!

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  5. sparrow, two years running. debbie thinks perhaps i shouldn't have the same one, but maybe they're different species? second was probably a starling on the wing. hard to tell. the household, including the madison gang, was holding out for flashier feathered faire: hawks and condors. i'm guessing that once they got on the road it was turkey vultures aplenty. oregon junco! i like it. and i miss you.

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    1. Sparrows are the best little birds, no shame in that. How do you hold out anyway? Shut your eyes for awhile? :) We miss you too, Dan; somehow I still expect to see you this time of year. Look for a job in the Northwest!

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  6. sweet! love your pup and the food magnet. :)

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    1. Ha. Eddy has a strong attraction for food at nose-level, that's for sure.

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  7. This year's bird is a cardinal!! Matches my red shoes!!

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    1. Nice one! Did you have to hold out for it? We don't have cardinals out here, but I did see a puffin at the aquarium aviary in Newport. That would have been a spectacular 1st bird.

      The junco matches my shoes too.

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    2. I purposely didn't look out the kitchen window at the bird feeders while eating breakfast.Last year's bird was a sparrow and I wanted something 'different' like a titmouse or a red bellied woodpecker, but as we drove away from the house, I saw a flash of red and there were a pair of cardinals!

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  8. Love the picture of Eddy and Little R. So cute.

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    1. Oh Eddy thoroughly enjoyed the holidays.:)

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful holiday for you. Very cool.

    And so true - that the worse the weather is, the better the clam chowder tastes. Wow, what a revelation!

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    1. I've been having such a good time. As of tomorrow night, though, it will become quite again. And that's ok too.

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  10. Replies
    1. Me too. Gets me thinking about other possible firsts...1st dog?...1st song?...1st book? Lots of possibilities.

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  11. i remember the year i got to have a junco!! we see them occasionally, but it's like a special treat (actually, i tried - i put seed on the ground in the quiet back yard, but no luck...).

    here is probably too much information about our birds this year!!
    http://plotfiftyfive.blogspot.com/2013/01/birds-of-year.html

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    1. I love the info you shared this year. So cool to have a first-bird totem!

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  12. I want to be just like your father-in-law when I grow old, 95 and still cutting down my own Christmas tree! First bird I saw on the feeder New Year's Day was a purple finch. Tabor (http://taborsyard.blogspot.com/) takes better photos of them than I!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. A purple finch! I get excited when one visits our feeder.

      If only all of us could be as clear-headed, strong, and kind as my father-in-law. At 95, or any age.

      Happy New Year to you too!

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  13. Your blog delights me, Kerry! Grateful to to catch a glimpse of your take on little and big moments in life.

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    1. Thanks Kathleen! I also enjoy your blog. I wish I could mush. (I just really wanted to say that sentence.)

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