poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘bird watching


leave a comment »

Our copper birdbath includes a silver-coloured metal bird, in case no real birds come to call. In the shade of the maple tree the water shimmers. But the little silver bird never flutters, not even a feather.





embedded in dapple

edge of copper

silver bird never moves

never flutters a feather

never pecks a sparkle

from crystal water


bird with heartbeat

and dusty wing-feathers

lands for a bath

sputters and splashes

chooses to ignore

immobile effigy



All my best,


Written by jane tims

June 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Safe place for a nest

with 3 comments

No surprise to me … a robin has built a nest in the eaves of our house. Eighteen feet above the ground, this is a safe place for a nest. The robin does not think so. When I sit on the deck for my daily cup of tea, the robin sits in a near-by tree and scolds me. He gives a single annoyed chirp. If a robin could scowl, he is certainly scowling.

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

blue jay on a fall day

with 2 comments

Our cabin is a great place for relaxing. Sometimes we have work to do, but sometimes we just sit back, read, watch birds or talk.


DSCN1558 (2).JPG


Often the birds come to us. I have had a hummingbird hover in the open door, just to check out what is inside that peculiar box on the hillside. We often see waxwings in our big pine trees or catch a glimpse of a goldfinch sashaying by.


This past week, a blue jay came to call. It perched on our grape arbour for a while and then examined our ATV trailer thoroughly. I don’t think he had a clue he was being watched and photographed.










dark choke-cherries, scarlet keys of ash

hang, counterweight to summer

blue jays strip the branches, berry by berry

v-beaks and hollow throats

                         (from my up-coming book “in the shelter of the covered bridge”)



Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Bald eagle

with 3 comments

On a drive along the Saint John River south of Oromocto, we were happy to get great views of two Bald Eagles.


an uneasy gathering on the river ice …


watching for dinner …



Copyright Jane Tims 2017 

Written by jane tims

April 12, 2017 at 7:15 am

a pair of Painted Turtles

with 15 comments

We did our usual bird-watching run along the St. John River on Sunday afternoon.   We ordinarily follow the same circuit, from Oromocto, along the north side of the River, to Jemseg, crossing the River via the Gagetown Ferry, and returning on the south side of the St. John River.  This area is in central New Brunswick, east of Fredericton.

The first part of this circuit is along the old Trans Canada Highway, now Route 105.  This section follows the St. John River, through the Grand Lake Meadows, an important wetland area for New Brunswick.  Near the spot marked ‘A’, we saw lots of ducks, an Osprey eating a fish, and three other raptors (a group including hawks or eagles) too distant to identify.  Near ‘B’ is the place we often see various owls, Bald Eagles, and Moose.

From Jemseg, we take Route 715 to Lower Jemseg.  This part of the route travels above the River, through farmland.  We rarely see wildlife along this section, but the area has a rich history and has several interesting buildings, including the old church featured in my post of September 14, 2011.

From Lower Jemseg, we turn towards the Gagetown Ferry and Scovil.  This is a very interesting part of the route, snaking between wetlands and ponds.  Along this section, it is usual to spot other cars of eager birdwatchers.

a wet field near Scovil … there are two American Black Ducks in the grass to the left and two Canada Geese beyond the pond … this is the same pond where we saw a Glossy Ibis on April 23, 1988

The highlight of our trip on Sunday was a group of three Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) on a log along this last section of our route, near the spot marked ‘C’.

The turtles were sunning themselves on a log in the middle of a pond.  They have dark green, smooth shells, with bright orange markings along the edge of the shell.  The inside of the lower shell is bright yellow.  Their heads and tails are also marked with short streaks of orange and yellow.  All winter these turtles have been hibernating at the bottom of the pond.  Now awake, they will live in the pond all summer, laying eggs and feeding on aquatic insects and vegetation.

These Painted Turtles were stretching their necks out of their shells as far as possible.  They made a beautiful sight, their colorful shells mirrored in the pond water.



Painted Turtles


I study the colors

through binoculars

remember these

with my hand, my fingers

rock the fine focus

rotate the brush

pick paint from the palette


the shell, flat olive tiles, grouted

Payne’s Grey

the wrinkled foot and leg, relaxed along the log

Burnt Umber

on the tail, the neck, the head

deft strokes of Cadmium

Yellow and Orange


the head stretches, to soak in sun

and dazzles on the pond

the lower shell


refection on water


and, at the edge of the carapace

bright dabs of Orange

one part Cadmium

two parts Quinacridone

and a touch of some unknown




©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

May 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

at the bird feeder #7 – Pine Siskin

with 11 comments

After our heavy snow last week, the birds were all looking for perches and easy feeding.  A few Chickadees and Pine Siskins were at the feeders early.  Pine Siskins  (Carduelis pinus) are fidgety little birds, staying at the feeder to get their fill, but ever vigilant and looking over their shoulders.  They are heavily striped, sometimes with yellow bars on their wing feathers. They also have sharp beaks.

Because the Pine Siskins are striped, I confused them at first with female Purple Finches.  The female Purple Finch is also striped, but is a slightly bigger, chunkier bird.  Its beak is large and wedge-shaped, and it has no yellow coloration.


Pine Siskin at the feeder


female Purple Finch - wedge-shaped beak and stripes around eye (a male Purple Finch at left)


two Pine Siskins at feeder - sharp beaks and yellow wing bars

 ©  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2012 at 6:54 am

Zoë, watching

with 7 comments

Our feeding of the birds has given our cat, Zoë, a new form of entertainment.  She sits in the chair in front of the glass of the door leading to the deck and watches.  Her head swivels as each new arrival lands and selects its seed.  All evening, the pupils in her eyes are as black as those of the little Flying Squirrels she sees outside the window.

The birds and squirrels know they are being watched but have decided the sphinx behind the window glass cannot harm them.  For her part, Zoe knows she can only observe the antics around the feeder.  She contents herself with the pantomime of predation.



strategic hyphenation


patience nestles into space

between edge-wise foliage

strategic paw-placement where

no dry-leaf crackle, dry-twig snap

disturbs the nothingness downwind

of furred-or-feathered prey

no tattling breeze

can carry scent-anticipation


to be pounced-upon

all muscle-twitch contained

in nervous, horizontal




©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

January 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

%d bloggers like this: