A Year’s End Celebration

The sunrise over Saylorville Lake at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

The sunrise over Saylorville Lake at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

Pink and golden light slid across the ice and gathered around the old trees peeking up from the surface of the lake at sunrise on the last day of 2016. The opening in the clouds closed. The wind picked up.

I looked for the birds in the woods. Silence.

Chirp. Chirp,” a cardinal called out as he searched for seeds in the leaves on the hill behind the bird blind. Sheltered from the wind by the building, a flock of over a dozen birds bounced between the bird feeders and the trees. Black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, and tufted titmouses were joined by a red-breasted woodpecker and a goldfinch. I saw a female cardinal disappear into the trees as I walked up. I didn’t stay long. The birds were hungry and I was a distraction.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A northern cardinal in the woods at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

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A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A bird feeder behind the bird blind at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016. A red-bellied woodpecker arrived as a tufted titmouse left.

A bird feeder behind the bird blind at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016. A red-bellied woodpecker arrived as a tufted titmouse left.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A red-bellied woodpecker at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A black-capped chickadee watching from a tree near the bird feeders at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2017.

A black-capped chickadee watching from a tree near the bird feeders at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2017.

A black-capped chickadee watching from a tree near the bird feeders at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2017.

A black-capped chickadee watching from a tree near the bird feeders at Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2017.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A male white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A female white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A female white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A female white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A female white-breasted nuthatch at a bird feeder in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse near the bird feeders in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

A tufted titmouse near the bird feeders in Jester Park, Iowa, December 31, 2016.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and runner
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6 Responses to A Year’s End Celebration

  1. zirah1 says:

    Because of the extreme weather we’ve been having where I am I’ve been putting out extra nuts and seeds for the birds (the squirrels get more than their share, regardless of how I try to gerry-rig things :-)) and have had such fun watching and feeling like I made their lives easier in some way. We have all the birds you mentioned here, too, plus some others. Got to love a bird w/ the name tufted titmouse. And they are such rowdy little devils. 🙂 Thanks for the great pictures. A nice way to close out 2016.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and the kind thoughts! I am sure the birds appreciate your thinking of them and helping with their meals. 🙂 This was only the second time I have seen tufted titmouses. The first time was at Allerton Park in the spring. There was one poking about in the needles under a grove of pine trees. I know they are around here all year, but they seem to be shy when not at the bird feeder or very fast. 🙂 All of the birds were fun to watch. They were busy eating, but still keeping an eye on me. 🙂

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    I like the cardinal pics.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂
      Thanks for visiting! There were a few cardinals on the hill hiding from the wind. Most of them were too far away for a photo. This one hopped down to look for food and came a little closer.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! The birds were more cold and hungry than shy that day. 🙂 I was taking unfair advantage of them interrupting their holiday meal. I did thank them for their patience. 🙂

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