This week has been colder than a well-digger's posterior in East Tennessee! To not get above freezing here for over a week is newsworthy. The dusting of snow that we received yesterday hung around and the roads were pretty bad today. So, Kenny and I stayed home (he was off anyway) and I had my camera hanging around my neck much of the day. I kept hoping to have some snow flurries, but the clouds didn't deliver much. The snowflakes I did catch were the size of a pinhead, not much to work with!
I was constantly changing between my macro lens to try to photograph snowflakes and my telephoto lens to take pictures of the birds. I enjoy watching the birds on the tree outside the living room window. They were busy visiting the feeder and gobbling up any scraps that the smaller birds scattered on the ground below. Many of the resting birds were very fluffed up in an attempt to stay warm. This female Cardinal (left) and Blue Jay have puffed up their feathers to help trap warm air.
I was amazed at the number and variety of birds on the ground. The cardinals are too big to grasp the small perches on my new "squirrel-proof" feeder, so they have to be content to scavenge what they can find below. Many of the smaller birds throw out what they don't want from the feeder, so it doesn't go to waste. Along with the cardinals, I saw Towhees, Blue Jays, White-throated Sparrows, and Carolina Wrens.
The woodpeckers were quite busy eating suet at the feeder. I saw Downy (below right), Hairy (below left), Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers. My favorite woodpecker, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ("YeBeSaSu") got a bit feisty today, he decided to claim the suet feeder for himself and chased the other woodpeckers away (except the Pileated, which is much larger). It was funny to watch
him hop up and down the tree following behind the fleeing smaller competitors.