Monday, November 22, 2010

sick day with chickadees

It looks very picturesque out there, with temps in the 20s and softly falling light, dry snow. Unfortunately there will be no frolicking for me today because the only reason I'm not shut away in a near-windowless factory is because I am getting over the worst cold I've had in years. My walk to the compost pile earlier is probably all the outdoors time I get today.

So instead I am browsing mukluks online (because I should spend half a week's pay or more on footwear, right?) and watching the birds outside. At first there was just my usual gang of pigeons, but after they dispersed a single chickadee flew in, quickly followed by a second chickadee, then a third, and eventually there were seven of them taking turns at the feeders. One by one they flit out from my lilac or spruce or my neighbor's chokecherry or currant (with sporadic forays into my vegetable garden or the neighbor's woodpile), grab a single seed, and then flit back into shelter again. I feel bad that all their shelter trees are so far-flung from the feeders, but in a few years the viburnum, elderberry and serviceberry I planted last summer with be more than just sticks in the ground and the birds can hang out there, too. It would have been interesting to see if there was a pattern as to which chickadee went to which feeder, or which shelter they prefered, or if they had a pecking order as to who got to eat when, but I am not so sharp-eyed to be able to tell quick chickadees apart, especially when I am still slightly cotton-headed from my sickness.

I was thinking about the Christmas Bird Count today. If my friend does a route, I might see if I can tag along with her, because I don't know how scientifically relevant my chickadees, pigeons and occasional downy woodpecker would be for a yard list. Still, it might be nice to have an excuse to sit at the kitchen window and watch the birds. The cats are certainly happy to have me at home and largely recumbent most of the day.

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