May 01, 2014 – Hummingbirds Are Here!

Day 121 – May 01, 2014 – Thursday

First Hummingbird sighting of the year!

Conditions
• It was very nice in the morning and early afternoon, with a mix of clouds and sunshine, but then it became completely cloudy for the rest of the afternoon, except for a few peeks of sun this evening. It was also cool and breezy.

Ground Conditions
• probably still wet

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 65.4 F (12:03 pm)
• Low : 47.6 F (6:57 am)

Temperature – official from TV, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 58
• Low : 44

Humidity Maximum and Minimum
• 72 % RH
• 42 % RH

Observations
• Things are really growing nicely.

Birds
• robins
• woodpecker – downy, in the cherry trees
• hummingbird(s) – the first one I’ve seen this year, on the hummingbird feeder in the Patio Garden about 11:30 am, this afternoon I saw another one (or the same one?) on the feeder in the Hummingbird Garden, I think both of them were females, and another sighting later
• goldfinch(es)
• european starling
• grackles
• smalls
• cardinal – male
• duck – one flying
• black-capped chickadee

Other Animals
• squirrels – 3, and I’m pretty sure I saw 2 of them mating on the flat part of the big branch at the top of the hill

April 27, 2014 – First Tiger Swallowtail

Day 117 – April 27, 2014 – Sunday

Conditions
• Sunny until late afternoon when it got cloudy. Windy.

Ground Conditions
• moist to wet, but some of the flower beds are getting a bit dry

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 69.8 F (5:20 pm)
• Low : 46.2 F (7:10 am)

Temperature – official from TV, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 69
• Low : 40

Humidity
• High: 63 % RH
• Low : 40 % RH

Gardening and Yard Work
• put out two hummingbird feeders – hung one on the short thin hook (which I moved from under the dogwood tree to replace the straight pipe which I had taken out a while back) in the patio garden where it has always been, and the other one I put on the straight pipe in the Hummingbird Garden (where it was last year)
• mowed the lawn

Observations
• the redbud and cherry trees are not flowering as well this year – they definitely have fewer flowers this year
• I’ve only seen two dandelions in the yard this year; one just inside my butterfly garden and one on the hill just past the grass, and I dug both of them out today

Butterflies
• cabbage white
• Tiger Swallowtail – first one I’ve seen this year
• sulphur

Birds
• robins
• european starling
• black-capped chickadees – 2
• woodpecker – downy
• cardinal – male, female
• ducks – the usual pair – and then another male showed up and there was a fight
• smalls
• dove

Other Animals
• squirrel

April 18, 2014 – First Bumble Bee

Day 108 – April 18, 2014 – Friday

Conditions
• A little warmer, kind of overcast but with sunshine much of the time even if it wasn’t the brightest.

Ground Conditions
• wet

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 71.7 F (3:17 pm)
• Low : 44.9 F (5:50 am)

Temperature – official from TV or Weather Underground, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 70
• Low : 43

Gardening and Yard Work
• worked on the lawn mower – found the air filter and took it apart and cleaned it then turned it upside down and put it back together (that way the air will be mostly going through the cleaner part, also cleared the vents into the air cleaner, looked at the blade and it looks like it has some big dents in it so I think it needs to be replaced instead of sharpened (I tried a little to get it off but will need something to stop the blade from turning)

Observations
• grass needs mowing
• all the day lilies in the back were trampled flat by the tree trimmers yesterday – they didn’t need to do that and it is upsetting
• the tree trimmers trimmed the pear tree in the back so that it is not bothering the wires – we expected and wanted them to do that

Butterflies
• cabbage white

Birds
• robins
• goldfinches
• woodpeckers – downy
• smalls
• black-capped chickadee
• ducks – the usual 2 plus I saw others flying several times
• cardinal – male

Other Animals
• squirrels
• chipmunk
• bumble bee (first I’ve seen this year)

February 26, 2014 – Hawk Photos

Conditions
• A cold day. Sunny at times, cloudy at times. And at least one flurry of tiny snow flakes.

Ground Conditions
• frozen, icy in spots where there was standing water

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)

• High: 28.0 (5:13 pm)
• Low : 13.1 (7:48 am)

Temperature – official from TV or Weather Underground, in degrees Fahrenheit

• High:
• Low :

Gardening and Yard Work
• the birds finished the suet so I put out another block

Birds
• juncos
• goldfinches
• cardinal – female, male
• smalls
• hawk – perched on the cement leaf shaped water bowl under the dogwood tree, photos taken through the kitchen window (used F11 setting recommended in the Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Photography Tips book)
• woodpecker(s) – downy
• black-capped chickadees
• wren(s)

Other Animals
• squirrel

Photos
• hawk

Photo of Hawk Under Dogwood Tree

Hawk Under Dogwood Tree

Photo of Hawk Under Dogwood Tree 2

Hawk Under Dogwood Tree 2

Photo of Hawk Under Dogwood Tree 3

Hawk Under Dogwood Tree 3

January 14, 2014 – Sun, Clouds, And a Trace of Rain

Conditions
Bright sun and blue skies this morning, then becoming cloudy in the afternoon. A little bit of rain this evening.

Ground Conditions
• very soggy and wet

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
• 40 about 10:45 or so (my observations, mercury thermometer)
• 46 and 27 (official from TV)

Precipitation
• just a trace of rain (not enough to measure)

Gardening and Yard Work
• put out a new block of suet and propped up the one plant hook that was leaning over (pulled over by the wire I hang the suet on)

Observations
• the suet is gone – time to put more out

Birds
• goldfinch
• smalls
• dove
• geese – a flock flying
• cardinal – female, male

January 8, 2014 : Temps Returning to Normal

Conditions
– Cloudy, cold, a few tiny snowflakes and a few tiny peeks of sunshine.

Ground Conditions
– snow covered and frozen

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
– 25 or 26 at noon, I think I saw 29 in mid-afternoon (my observations)
– 26 and 10 (official from TV and Weather Underground)

Observations
– didn’t do much observing

Birds
– downy woodpecker – or is/are it/they hairy woodpeckers?
– juncos
– smalls
– european starlings
– goldfinches
– cardinal – male, female
– red-bellied woodpecker – on the ground (with the 2 cardinals) under the thistle feeder – eating thistle?, later on the suet

Other Animals
– squirrel – it was drinking at the spring in the hillside in the neighbors back yard, it is also being a pest on the bird feeder so I put a bunch of hot pepper powder on the feeder – it still came but it may have left sooner

January 7, 2014 : Extreme Cold, Below Zero Start, Warming Up

Conditions
– Extreme cold last night, but warming through the day. Sunny with a few clouds, but becoming overcast in late afternoon.

Ground Conditions
– snow covered and frozen

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
– 12 about 1:45 pm (my observations, mercury thermometer)
– 11 and minus 9 (official from TV as of the 11 pm news)
– the official airport temperature was up to zero about noon
– the high temperature was tonight as temps continued to rise

Observations
– didn’t do much observing
– after some more research I now think the hairy woodpeckers I’ve been seeing are actually Downy and not Hairy like I thought before (but it is hard to be absolutely certain)

Birds
– juncos
– cardinal – female, male
– smalls
– goldfinches
– hairy woodpecker or downy woodpecker – after some research I now think the ones I’ve been seeing are actually Downy and not Hairy like I thought before (but it is hard to be absolutely certain)

Other Animals
– looks like rabbit tracks

January 6, 2014 : Very Cold! And Getting Colder! Record Low!

Conditions
– Very Cold! Windy. Sunny, but through some cloudiness, so it wasn’t very bright much of the time. Temperatures dropping.

Ground Conditions
– snow covered and frozen

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
– 4 about 11:15 am, about 3 at 3 pm, below zero at 5:15 pm (maybe 2 below – see note below), I estimate minus 5 about 10:15 pm (see note below) (my observations)
Note: my mercury thermometer isn’t marked below zero and I don’t know if it is accurate that low
– wind chills were around minus 30 at noon (TV news)
– 23 and minus 10 (official from TV as of 10 pm news)
– 23 and -10 (official from Weather Underground)
minus 10 was a RECORD LOW for this date and occurred tonight

Precipitation
– maybe another 0.5 inch of snow last night after midnight (hard to tell if there was any snow or not today)

Observations
– I put out extra bird seed
– the cardinal male was not as skittish as usual today – the cold makes him braver I guess, but the female is never as skittish and she was about the same as usual
– I saw the red-bellied woodpecker eating snow on the trunk of the red bud tree (photos)

Birds
– juncos – photos
– cardinals – male, female, photos
– hairy woodpecker – male, female, photos
– red-bellied woodpecker, photos
– goldfinches
– smalls

Other Animals
– I think there had been a squirrel on the bird feeder – the snow had been pushed off and there were what could be squirrel tracks

Photos
– woodpeckers, juncos, cardinal

Photo of Cardinal Female

Cardinal Female

 

Photo of Cardinal Female

Cardinal Female

January 3, 2014 : Cold!

Conditions
– Bright sunshine, blue sky, sparkling white snow and cold.

Ground Conditions
– about 5 inches of snow

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
– 16 at noon (my observations)
– minus 5 and 14 (official from TV)
– minus 5º F = -20.556º C (conversion by metric-conversions.org)

Birds
– juncos
– smalls
– goldfinch
– black-capped chickadee
– wren – on suet feeder
– hairy woodpecker(s)
– cardinal – female, male
– dove

Other Animals
– squirrel

Happy New Year!

Conditions
– Sunny in the morning then cloudy

Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)

– 41 about 1:45 pm, about 42 later (my observations)
– 41 and 22 (official from Weather Underground)

Observations

– didn’t do much observing

Birds
– woodpecker – hairy woodpecker (I’m still not absolutely sure they are not downy woodpeckers but I’m all but certain)
– juncos
– goldfinches – more than one today
– smalls
– cardinal male

Other Animals
– dog – a loose dog in the yard – same one as the other day