Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Barbecuing Little Grey Birds

Yesterday, while my living room was full of wonderful family folk watching bowl game after bowl game, I was outside.

It's understood that I will be outside during these end of the year football marathons. I'm happy, the football fans are happy ... it works.

Besides, there were 3 racks of ribs to barbecue, freeze prepwork to do, and a gorgeous blue winter sky ... and I do mean gorgeous.

The nice thing about slow barbecuing ribs is you don't have to stand over them, so after I had the fire, smoke, and meat combination where I wanted it, I had time to do a little LGB stalking.



The oaks near the BBQ pit were busy with flitty bits o'bird.



I saw a lot of this view as I crept around beneath the oaks.



"Mr. Attitude"



So birders, what were these guys eating in the Laurel Oaks? They were getting something along the twigs. You could see them pecking at something, but what? Unseen bugs or tiny oak buds?


When I was a kid, climbing in the huge mimosa tree across the street, and I hung upside down like this bird, the other kids would say, "That's long enough! The blood will rush to your head!"

Our mothers had told each of us that if we hung upside down, "the blood would rush to our heads"

They kind of left it at that and we weren't sure what happened after the blood rushed to your head, but we were pretty sure it was somewhere between fainting and having your head explode.

So we always reminded each other if it looked like an upside down, legs crooked over a branch, dangle seemed to be going a little long.

It doesn't seem to be a problem for this little flitful of feathers.

These LGB's do present a challenge as they are almost always overhead against a bright sky or worse, in shadow where their camo makes them disappear.



Wrens on the other hand are low altitude birds. Still challenging in the woods as they alway seem to be in or under some bush.



I was really glad to see this one and it's twin flitting in and out of a brush pile I had constructed earlier this year. This morning at 1130 hours, the actual temp is 39 and a 16 mile per hour wind is giving us a 30 degree windchill factor. I feel good knowing my wrens are probably snuggled down in the center of this pile, safe from an energy sapping wind.

You might wonder, after reading this post, and looking at these bird shots ... did I burn the ribs while I was galivanting around from tree to tree?

Is it possible to do challenging bird photography and barbecue at the same time?

I'll show you a picture on Friday's Food Fest and you can judge for yourself.


27 comments:

debbie said...

Get ready because it's about to get colder. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Tallahassee and even with the sun out full blast the temp is 37. We've been warned by the weather people that we may have 10-12 hours of 18-20 degree weather tonight. BRRRRR COLD. The rumor is that it may not get above freezing all day tomorrow. I'm moving to Florida where it's warm.

SophieMae said...

Nice shots! I definitely have to start searching (again) for a new camera. The Fuji I was so excited about turned out to be a dud... according to accounts.

Let's see if I can ID these guys... I'm a bit rusty... in order of appearance, Palm Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-and-white Warbler, same as before, Carolina Wren.

It's WAY cold up here. We always have to deduct around 3-5 degrees from the Tally forecast. I love it when the intense killer wet heat abates, but you can have this stuff.

Deb said...

Mr. Attitude? I thought that name was taken. ;)

It's nice to see that my black and white warblers are well fed there. Being that warblers and vireos are insectivorous types, I would say they are finding some kind of bugs.

Ol' Lurker said...

I ain't no professional photo-grapher, FC, but yore pics is consistently great as far as I'm concerned. I enjoy 'em emens ... emenc ... iminc ... a whole lot. Please keep 'em comin".

Hurricane Teen said...

I was looking at a NWS windchill map just a minute ago, and I saw a wind chill of 3 degrees forecasted around your neck of the woods...
WOW
Talking about possible snow flurries here early tomorrow morning, but I don't imagine it will come through.
Exciting weather.
Nice bird pics, too, and I can smell the barbecue...Seriously, there's a Crackers barbecue restaurant about a mile west of here, and the wind's blowing it toward us!

jojo said...

mimosa trees? really?... with champagne and orange juice growing in them? i want one of those in my yard...

can't help you on the birds...
whatbird.com could though. i love that site.

I would go there and look up some of those gorgeous shots, but my fingers aren't working right today. i think its the cold. i can't feel my ears. and my nose is all sloppy... and i'm in South Florida...

Cathy S. said...

It was the same temperature when I went to feed horses at 7 this morning as it was when I went back out for the evening feed at 4:30. 47 degrees, but it has gone down to 42 and the wind is howling. The horses have tarps over their stall gates and are wearing their blankets, but darn if they aren't standing out in the middle of the pasture with the wind whistling through their manes. I may join them. We menopausal women love this weather. I am currently guarding the thermostat telling anyone who tries to touch it to go put some socks and a jacket on! Nice bird pics. Trade you some homemade soup and cornbread for some ribs!

Cathy S. said...

PS. Did you have black eyes peas with your ribs?

Floridacracker said...

Debbie,
33 degrees and it's only 8 pm! Gonna be a cold one.

Sophie,
Check out the Sony line. I sure like mine.
Waaayy cold here too. I was out in it all day at Cedar Key. Just a bit nippy in the open marsh.

Deb,
I had you guys in mind when I labeled it!
Your black and whites may think they are back in Minnesotarctica tonight.
Floridarctica maybe.

Ol Lurker,
Thank you for those kind words. I will keep them coming.

HTeen,
I heard that report about possible snow flurries. Too cold and clear here for that I guess.
I've eaten at Crackers, not bad.

Jojo,
Yes, Mimosa Trees ... that's why we were usualy topsy turvy when we climbed them.
Thanks for the bird link! Hope you recover soon!

Cathy S,
We made a command decision to have baked beans instead of the traditional good luck blackeyed peas.
The wind has been pretty strong all day here, although it's down to only 3 mph now.
The temp has dropped 2 degrees since I started typing this batch of recomments about 15 minutes ago.
Glad it's chilly enough for even real women.
:)

Rurality said...

It's 20 degrees here right now. Going down to 14 tonight. Eek!

It didn't get much over freezing all day. I had to keep busting ice on the ducks' wading pools. Not what we're used to, for sure.

Floridacracker said...

Gee Whiz Rurality, it's now supposed to get to 15 here! You're way up north in Alabama and we're only a degree apart on our forecast lows?
We've been holding at 29 for a few hours now.

Sharon said...

The only one I got is Palm Warbler, because I just shot one yesterday and had to look it up! http://www.flickr.com/photos/skp2412/2157157964/ :) Great shots though, really nice. Ribs sound good, too!

threecollie said...

Fantastic photos! Sorry about the cold, hope Anna comes through

Meems said...

It isn't the easiest thing to capture all those teeny feathered friends. I love trying but they move fairly quickly and hide among all the thick brush.You got some nice photos.

When I read your post I thought, "if Sophiemae sees this she will be the one to nail the ID's" and sure enough!

Too cold down here for my garden which I have to grumble about... way too much work to save it for my liking.

Hope yours survives- looks like you all are in the teens overnight... brrrrrrr!

Meems said...

It isn't the easiest thing to capture all those teeny feathered friends. I love trying but they move fairly quickly and hide among all the thick brush.You got some nice photos.

When I read your post I thought, "if Sophiemae sees this she will be the one to nail the ID's" and sure enough!

Too cold down here for my garden which I have to grumble about... way too much work to save it for my liking.

Hope yours survives- looks like you all are in the teens overnight... brrrrrrr!

Doug Taron said...

Nice bird pics. Your temperatures sound livke a veritable heat wave compated with what we have right now. Air temp: -2°F, wind chill: -23°F.

Suze said...

Mr Attitude looks like an American Goldfinch in winter colors - great shots!!

Rurality said...

OK how cold did it get there? We woke up to 7.9°! It's almost 8:00 now, and the sun's up, but it's still only 10°. Brr.

Deb said...

Rurality- I woke up to 10 degrees (above) here in Minnesota!

Laura said...

I have ribs in the fridge right now, and our barbque bit the dust. Sure wish I could drop them off at your place for grillin!
Instead, I'm going to try out this recipe I have for honey BBQ slow cooker ribs. I really hope they come out ok! Maybe we should both do a BBQ food post? Your readers could all join in with their recipes, LOL.

I saw one of those little grey birds the day before yesterday, while Brittany was practicing her driving lessons.
There are a lot of young oaks around the parking lot, and on one of the branches was, what appeared to be, a small finch with a yellow belly. First thing I did is say "brake!"
And she looked at me incredulously and said, "You wanted me to brake for a BIRD???"

Well geez, what better reason is there to brake? She was not impressed.
But someday, maybe she'll do the same thing. I have high hopes. (g)

robin andrea said...

What gorgeous bird photos, fc. I'll add my voice to the chorus that says those birds are eating insects. They sure are cute. Sorry to hear about that wind chill. I am always surprised when Florida and Alabama report temps so cold. We're expecting a fairly huge rain storm here in southern California. I've read that the mountains could get 8-10 inches. The valleys up to 4. Yikes.

I'm with you on the football watching marathon. I like what you got to watch instead.

dani813 said...

We had a couple Palm Warblers playing in our pond the other day. So cute. I miss the little guys when they fly away in the spring.

Floridacracker said...

Sharon,
I would have had to look all but the wren and black and white up.

3C,
At least the cold is now and not when my blue berries are blooming. Those late freezes are devastating.

Meems,
Sophie knows her stuff! I hope your very beautiful garden survives this harsh weather.

Doug,
Brrrr dude. That IS crisp!

Suze,
Thanks! I had a great day with slightly bigger birds today! A post to come.

Rurality,
You beat us which is as it should be in my opinion. I don't think we got past the mid 20's.

Deb,
You know you live in a cold place when you have to add (above) to a temperature.

Laura,
Give her time and she'll be braking for critters too. Our apples don't fall too far from their trees. :)
A BlogBBQ sounds good!

Robin,
I bet that means serious flashflooding if you get rainfalls like that in a place like CA.
Stay dry!
Thanks for the bird kudos. It's been a very birdy week here at PF.

Dani,
Brrr, the very idea of playing in a pond right now is making me feel cold. It is nice having this type of snowbird around tho.

Kimberlee said...

I watched Arctic Warblers all last summer and they look extremely similar to your pix. I thought maybe some of our little guys had made it down to your stomping ground, but it sounds like the general consensus is Palm Warbler. Probably makes more sense. GREAT photos!!! And I am completely envious of that BBQ! Good BBQ is an unknown entity up here.

Floridacracker said...

Kimberlee,
Glad you liked the photos. How can Alaskans survive without real BBQ?

Kimberlee said...

Well, all of Alaska isn't without BBQ...just my corner of it. Oh, we can throw some specially ordered cost-an-arm-and-a-leg ribs into the oven with some sauce splashed on top, but you and I know that's just not the same! My grandfather had one of those big brick BBQ pits that he designed and built himself. After eating his ribs, sausage, and steaks throughout childhood...the stuff from the oven just doesn't cut it.

Floridacracker said...

Kimberlee,
I agree, it's gotta be cooked in a pit of some kind with some smoke.