I have moved the bird bath from my front yard so that it now sits (a little askew on a lopsided table) on the back deck with the background of glowing fall trees allowing afternoon light to flicker across the surface of the river and bounce up to make a golden and red backdrop at the bird bath. The bird bath is located with such energy efficiency that I can watch it without moving at all! My head rotates from laptop screen to TV screen to window. Such a fun and lazy way to spend a cold and windy fall afternoon. While birds visit on and off all day in the 44F degree weather they tend to gather more in the late afternoon. I take photos through the window which gives everything a bit of a blurry watery edge.
I have placed the bird bath heater into the water since early this morning I saw titmice skating across the surface of the ice in search of a melted area for their morning drink. They would peck at the hard surface and then tilt their head wondering how hard the ice really was.
The house wren that visits the watering hole often breaks into song, flooding my heart with memories of spring. How can their song be so full and happy at this time of year when they no longer need to attract a mate and their immediate future will be so cold and spare? How can they remain so lyrical and upbeat when the wind pushes against their feathers and almost lifts them off the table?
The bluebirds come in threes. One watches at the railing while two drink. They dip low and then throw their heads back allowing big gulps to flow down their throats. Their little dark eyes glance around for hawks before dipping again for a another long drink.
The cardinals always drink alone and the females frequently argue about their space on the rim of the water dish and chase each other back and forth at the table. There is sometimes a male cardinal waiting patiently until the bitching and moaning is finished.
This year the nuthatch has joined us! He usually would hang out by the feeders and the suet cakes but never came close to the house for water. I have seen him at least twice today.
Then comes the chickadee. And the funniest part today is watching the titmice dip their head in the heated water and spray drops everywhere in the sunshine and then jump into the pool and actually bathe. They sit for a while before flying off to groom in some nearby tree. I am amazed at the insulation of feathers for these little gray ones who do not seem to be cold.
|Hey, do you mind? I am bathing here!|
|Dipping his tail and flicking the water into the air.|