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Spring street sweeping has been postponed...
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Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 2:49am

Post #1 of 50 (254 views)
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Spring street sweeping has been postponed... Can't Post

due to snow! It's been snowing since noon and we probably have 3-4 inches and it's supposed to continue through tomorrow. So they've pulled the street sweepers off the road and replaced them with snow plows.

lol. You gotta laugh or you'll cry. We got our first snowfall in the fall on Oct 26 and it's been snowing ever since so we have just a few days short of six months of snow. The mayor declared Friday: ski to work day.

And here's a photo to amuse you: This way to the Twins Everyone wanted an open air stadium for the Twins (baseball team) and they've had one (or two) games played in snow and cancelled another.

Yesterday was actually a bit mild (although below normal in temps) and when I got home, the backyard was swarming with robins. It actually reminded me of mosquitoes... this constant movement all over. It made the news and into a local nature blog. Apparently we are getting southern robins coming north and merging with flocks that stayed all winter. And they're hanging out here waiting for the north to thaw out. Also, last spring was insanely warm and there's speculation that all bird species may have had a bigger brood than normal. Some even nested twice over the summer.

So, I was sitting in the car just watching the birds for like 20 minutes. I saw easily 30 or more robins, a downy woodpecker, a blue jay across the street high up in a tree, a junco (we haven't had a lot of juncos the past few years), a rosy house finch, a cardinal (I think he dropped by wondering who all these interlopers were) and of course house sparrows.

The robins liked the berries on the vine clinging to the walls of our house. I caught the neighbors cats who can look out their window at our house just fascinatedly watching them.

There was also this sweetest little round, brown bird that looked sparrow-ish... to this amateur birder who knows sparrows but not many other brown songbirds. I can't quite determine what it is. Does anyone here know what it is?
unknown bird. The next image is the same bird and you can enlarge them if it helps any. It was very round. Not all all shaped like a house sparrow which is longer and narrower. I know it's not a house sparrow but I'm not familiar with other sparrow breeds to know if any of them are round. Or if this is a different bird, altogether.

This morning, both rabbits were out and they were out when I got home from work about 1:30. I think they like our backyard because it's dog/cat free and it has lots of cover.

So what's happening in the weather/phenology/garden part of your world. The midsection of the US is getting smacked with way worse weather than 6 inches of snow. The earth is opening up in Chicago.


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Patty
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 3:00am

Post #2 of 50 (133 views)
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It's been raining pretty hard for most of the evening off and on. [In reply to] Can't Post

Tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 48°. I will not have another fire in the fireplace this Spring. I refuse.

Permanent address: Into the West






Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 19 2013, 3:43am

Post #3 of 50 (130 views)
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Would love to ID your mystery bird [In reply to] Can't Post

but the link said it was not valid and I can't view it. Would love to see it, don't know why it isn't working right.

Our downies, redbellies, blue jays, cardinals, white-breasted nuthatches, chickadees and titmice are all paired up. White-throated sparrows seem to be too, though they share territory here. The house sparrows still fighting it out for territory. We still have quite a few juncos about, not sure when they will be leaving this year - I think by this time last year they were gone, but I know Canada had a pine cone crop deficit last year (which is why we got an irruption of red-breasted nuthatches, such fun little birds) so that might be affecting when they return - though juncos ground feed I wonder if there is a link to the berry and insect crop too, because by this time last year I think they had gone already.

Oddly enough we had visitors from England recently - barnacle geese were seen on the South Shore, fifteen minutes from our house.
I grieve greatly over your snow situation Magpie. Will send you more warm wishes and hope it clears soon. Angelic

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 4:00am

Post #4 of 50 (139 views)
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link fix for mystery bird [In reply to] Can't Post

 
here's the correct link...

https://picasaweb.google.com/...#5868375078898715122

it was missing a colon, and had some appended flotsam at the beginning.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 4:01am

Post #5 of 50 (125 views)
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recommendation [In reply to] Can't Post

 
post to audubon.org's facebook page... or check the cornell lab of ornithology site for a forum.

i have general bird knowledge, but that pic is a bit small.

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 4:08am

Post #6 of 50 (137 views)
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my shot in the dark guess... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... is ovenbird. and i suspect that's wrong.

but not being able to see the critter better, and not having a better candidate... this is my write-in candidate. i know he won't win the election.

cheers --
.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 19 2013, 7:06am

Post #7 of 50 (142 views)
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You're going to love this...it's a thrush! [In reply to] Can't Post

 Looks like a Grey-cheeked Thrush, as far as I can tell from the picture. He (or she) is all puffed out to stay warm; they're not always that round. Smile

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 19 2013, 11:00am

Post #8 of 50 (118 views)
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You make me miss the birds! [In reply to] Can't Post

Way down here, "down under and a little bit to the right", bird diversity is very low once you get away from the shore and ocean-going birds (which I've never found as interesting as the passerines!). There's only a handful of natives that you see with any regularity, and only another couple handfuls that you have any chance of seeing; everything else is introduced, and there's only a couple handfuls of those, too. Makes it pretty easy to learn the local birds, but it's incredibly boring! I miss the excitement of spotting unusual birds at a feeder or on a hike somewhere, and getting to ID them with a good field book in hand. I used to get my students excited about going birding; they thought I was nuts, telling them how exciting it was to spot a new bird you'd never seen before and getting to add it to your lifelist, but after a while, many of them would get into it too.

My slow connection won't let me open your unknown bird pic (using the corrected link), so I can't suggest an opinion, but looks like Silverlode's got a good idea.

I'll sing a "snow, snow, go away" song for you, if you sing a "rain, rain, go away" song for me! We've gone from the biggest drought on record (actually, I have to say it made for a pretty nice, properly hot summer!) to what seems like ceaseless rain (haven't seen the sun in days, and no sun in forecast for the next 10 days last I checked) in the space of about two weeks. Instead of scorched and brown and crunchy, everything is now wretchedly soggy mud. I'd much much rather have snow!


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 2:41pm

Post #9 of 50 (112 views)
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Thanks Maciliel [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to hand write the code so I think I got a space at the beginning. But the lack of the colon is odd since I just did a copy and paste.


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Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 19 2013, 3:07pm

Post #10 of 50 (100 views)
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Silverlode is correct, it's definitely a Thrush, but I think it might be a Hermit [In reply to] Can't Post

My vote would be for the Hermit Thrush, more common in Magpie's range, and a bit buffier than the grey-cheeked. Very, very similar birds with their grey flank marks and slim eye ring (which shows nicely in the picture BTW Magpie). The tail looked well-colored so the deciding factor if you see it again is the rufous tint to the top tailfeathers.

Glad to have a look, that's not a common bird here on LI though I have seen them upstate NY when we go birdwatching a few counties North of here. Smile Thanks Magpie for some bird fun!

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 3:09pm

Post #11 of 50 (97 views)
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my pleasure [In reply to] Can't Post

 
my pleasure. magpie. : )

you do this sort of kindness so often for others, it's a pleasure to pay it back.

btw, did you get the article i pm-ed you? you are by no means (no means : ) ) required to like it; i just want to make sure i did the attachment thing correctly.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 3:13pm

Post #12 of 50 (98 views)
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fantastic! [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a search for : grey-cheeked thrush minneapolis and got up some local birder sites.

It seems like it can be heard to distinguish between a veery - a grey cheeked thrush - and a Swainson's thrush.

This page: http://www.birdchick.com/...ery-vs-gray-cheeked/
linked to this photo http://photos1.blogger.com/...43/1024/IMG_0936.jpg
which shows, from left to right, a Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, and a Gray-Cheeked Thrush.

Of those three, I would choose veery because I spent a lot of time trying to note as much as possible about the bird and the speckling on the chest of the veery is most like what I observed. But looking at info (at Cornell's "All About Birds" site) on Veery it shows a distinctly reddish bird and that's not what this is. And, the shape of the the grey-cheeked thrush on the info site is most like the round bird I saw (I know that birds can fluff up in the cold but house sparrows and rosy house finches never get this round). And this description, "shy skulker of the underbrush" is apt. This bird did not want to hang around in the open and kept pretty close to the cover at the edges of the back yard.

So, all in all, I'm comfortable with grey-cheeked thrush! :-)
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/...ay-cheeked_Thrush/id
It is surely migrating. Last year we had a spotted towhee which is in the same Picasa album.
https://picasaweb.google.com/...#5757693191507233570

Thanks. I knew someone here would come through. I could have gone to a birding site but we have such great resources at TORn. :-)

I honestly don't know where all those birds went after this awe-inspiring snow we got yesterday and last night (I'll try to post some pics of those later). Not a bird in site but for two juncos trying to pry niger seed from the surely frozen solid seed sack.

I think we have various non-house sparrow brown birds at times but they are much more flighty than the house sparrows - they don't like being around people and they don't stay in one place for long and hang out in the bushes. But I don't think this is a common bird for my backyard.


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Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 3:15pm

Post #13 of 50 (102 views)
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Well, then.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll take that as the plus side of living in Minneapolis. :-)

Not just Minneapolis in Minnesota, where snow season last 6 months. But Minneapolis the city that tries to promote green space so that birds have a place to live and take cover.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 3:26pm

Post #14 of 50 (93 views)
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another good option [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree about the eye ring (although, I suppose it's not advisable to try to identify using only one or two examples of a species). And the speckling on the breast of the Hermit thrush (at the Cornell site) is closer by far to what I saw than what I see of the grey-cheeked. And I think the shape of the head (above the bill) is more like the Hermit thrush.

It would be great to see it again. The spotted towhee we got last year lingered for a day or two.

But we got at least 6 inches of snow yesterday/last night and the birds are not to be seen. It may have really disrupted this little thrush's behavior.

I want to make sure I'm understanding the term 'buff' for birding. Is it a color? or a pattern?

anyway... what I said to Silverlode goes here. I'm thrilled to get this close to an identification and I knew TORn would come through. :-D


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 3:27pm

Post #15 of 50 (98 views)
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yes, I got it... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's been a bit of a crazy week and I'm saving it for the weekend. :-)


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Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 19 2013, 3:59pm

Post #16 of 50 (83 views)
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"Buff" as a color in birding [In reply to] Can't Post

Refers to the relative warmth of the shades of yellow/browns. The Grey Cheeked is less 'buff' for example than a Hermit because (as the name hints!) it has a cooler wash of color - the next step in the color grade is 'rufous' which gets into the red-browns.

So sad the snow is putting them off! This late cold is probably messing with their spring behaviors too, and it makes feeding harder of course. I saw my first Towhee (Eastern) when we were in Disneyworld in December, there was a whole family happily flitting through the hedges in front of the resort. (They are quite common upstate but in the marsh areas where we go they don't seem too frequent). I spent hours watching them. I added a total of 17 new species to my life list when we went; we will be going back in October and hope to see a few more!

Thanks for sending in the pic Magpie! And I hope you see him/her again, and that the snow goes AWAY at last.

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 19 2013, 4:47pm

Post #17 of 50 (95 views)
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photos of the snow [In reply to] Can't Post

https://picasaweb.google.com/...&feat=directlink

I looked out the window last night and gasped. The snow was stuck to the trees and was stunningly beautiful. My husband had fallen asleep (in his clothes) early and I badgered him to get up and LOOK. We tried taking photos last night and although some turned out, the photos taken this morning were better so I only uploaded them.

This is sticky, sticky snow. It isn't blowing or falling off. The branches of the rhododendron bushes were laying on the ground so he went out last night and tried to get some of the snow off of them and he had to work hard at knocking it off.

The birds that were teeming in the backyard two days ago (as I mentioned elsewhere) are no where to be seen except for a few juncos. It is still snowing at this moment and the low tonight is supposed to be in the teens. But the high on Sunday is predicted at 48-50 so I'm hoping this will be gone quickly.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 19 2013, 7:42pm

Post #18 of 50 (72 views)
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I would miss my birds too! [In reply to] Can't Post


Awww! Sorry to hear that Ro! Here's a happy "ank ank" hello from our white breasted nuthatch! Angelic

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


Starling
Half-elven


Apr 20 2013, 12:48am

Post #19 of 50 (74 views)
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Oh, come on! [In reply to] Can't Post

Ro, you can't be looking properly.
Why, only this morning, I took this photo as I looked out my kitchen window whilst making a cup of tea:




Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 20 2013, 1:14am

Post #20 of 50 (67 views)
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lolololol!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 20 2013, 5:40am

Post #21 of 50 (59 views)
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not only did I see it tonight... [In reply to] Can't Post

there are two! They were both perched at the same time in the neighbors small tree that sits next to the fence between our yards.

We also saw one of them digging around on the other side of the house in the other neighbors yard.

Hopefully we'll see them tomorrow but I know they won't linger long.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 20 2013, 5:46am

Post #22 of 50 (57 views)
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Is it wrong [In reply to] Can't Post

that I think that would make a fabulous coat?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 20 2013, 9:12am

Post #23 of 50 (79 views)
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*pfffffffffft* [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I didn't say the birds here aren't bizarre! Wink

So I trust you've added your moawithasquirreltail to your lifelist now?

Actually, I took *this* picture out our living room window a couple of weeks ago, during the height of the drought. We are nowhere near any water, and up high on a hill, so this was a very unusual sight! We have a tiny ornamental pond out front (maybe holds 10 litres tops, not even deep enough to get your ankles wet), and that's the only thing I could think of that might have attracted him up here. Unless he was trying to go make friends with all my chickens!




Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 20 2013, 9:43am

Post #24 of 50 (74 views)
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Oooh, I see it now! [In reply to] Can't Post

I managed to get the picture to upload...dratted dial-up connection...

Great picture! My US bird book is sadly packed away at the moment, so I'll just have to concur that a hermit or a grey-cheeked thrush looks like a good ID.

Better yet, one ID that's always right: It's an LBJ!*




*Little Brown Jobbie


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 20 2013, 3:13pm

Post #25 of 50 (45 views)
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That makes me smile Magpie! [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you saw a pair - I like knowing they have company! Smile

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