Friday, May 17, 2019

The past week, abbreviated

It has been a busy week with my work projects ramping up again, and lots of hours spent at my desk.  Here's a quick synopsis of the past week though, mostly from last weekend.

I did some new raccoon proofing of my bird feeders, because I was tired of this (my picture from 2017, we don't have leaves out here, yet!):

The seeds were disappearing at a great rate and the poles I had in place were often bent, which was getting very frustrating. I had a regular raccoon problem with several visitors - caught groups of up to 6 of them feasting some nights. I determined that my baffles on the shorter feeder poles weren't working in some cases because the raccoons could grab the undersides of hanging feeders.

So, I bought a metal ground spike for a 4x4 post, and a 7-foot long 4x4 post. I installed the post using the spike, and then slid 3 lengths of stove pipe over it. I used the 7 inch circumference pipe in 2-foot lengths. I read that some raccoons have successfully climbed 6 inch circumference pipe, so I decided 7 inch would be best. After the pipe was in place, I had a foot of the post exposed at the top, to which I added cross-pieces to hang the feeders, with little grooves for the hangers to keep them in place in the wind.

It's been a week and no more raccoons. My seed is lasting much longer, my feeders aren't getting dragged into the woods, and the birds are happy. I do still have one pole with my original baffle that has my tray feeder. I think it doesn't hang low enough for the raccoon to grab it, so the stove-pipe baffle is still effective on that post.

Speaking of bird feeders, the number of birds over the past week has been incredible. I've routinely had at least 15 American goldfinches at the feeders, with several purple finches, juncos, pine siskins, blue jays, grackles, mourning doves, and white throated sparrows as well. It's been very busy for them. I also have a pair of robins who started to build a nest under my eaves but the bits blew down in the wind so they may choose somewhere else.

Here are some synchronized goldfinch feeding team tryouts.

The female goldfinch is impressed, I think.

A whole lot of pine siskins with goldfinches in the background.

My running class took place on Tuesday and Thursday. I didn't go on Tuesday because it was snowing. Sometimes I really dislike our climate! More spring already! I went on the elliptical machine in the basement instead.

I did go on Thursday, even though it was raining. Marginally better than snow.

Our running takes place in the Sackville Waterfowl Park, but I can't take my camera for the runs, so I made another visit to the park with the camera last weekend. I was pretty excited to see a common gallinule, which is not at all common for this area. Here he is peeking out of the rushes.

All the way out!  Look at the colour of his legs - so vivid!

A lovely treat to see this unusual visitor.

This coming weekend is a long weekend here in Canada, but it looks like it will be raining for most of it. I'd like to get out in the garden soon but it's been really cold, and we had a frost warning yesterday, so it's too soon for most things. Fingers crossed it will warm up soon.


Millie said...

Glad you figured out the raccoon problem. They are not my favorites (mostly because of the chickens). Love all the bird pictures. We've been really cool; now we are we--possible flooding this week. Crazy weather all over the place. Don't work too hard!

Michelle said...

After a month of late-summer-like weather (HOT & DRY), I am enjoying our current cool, damp trend – but am glad I don't have to deal with frost and snow! Beautiful bird photos as always. Our feeder has been busy with goldfinches as well, along with Oregon-race juncos, black-headed grosbeaks, occasional Steller's jays and spotted towhees. Migratory hummingbirds have joined our overwintering ones so the nectar feeder is busy, too. Violet-green swallows are in our nesting boxes; the western bluebirds visited but nested elsewhere.

Lin said...

Yeah...I'm done with raccoons. We have had some serious issues with them in the past--even to the point of having to trap them years ago. It was not pleasant...for any of us. It scarred me. I get an electric fence to put around the pond so that they don't destroy the liner, eat my fish and just wreck havoc. It doesn't kill them...just give them a little warning that they are not welcome. Works well.

Your photos of the birds are lovely!