Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Golden-crowned Kinglet says goodbye…a Carolina Chickadee says hello!

On New Year’s Eve I slunk out of the house around 3:00 p.m. to go to the Little Miami River for a little birding. I should have stayed home to continue getting things ready for our party that evening, but I wanted to end the year the same way I began it—birding. So I grabbed my coat, my camera, and my journal and high-tailed it out of there! I was on the trail by 3:10 and found two Carolina Chickadees right away. They were calling back and forth as they flew from branch to branch in that cheerful way only chickadees can muster. Damp and gray, it was 42 degrees F, so not too cold, but the temperature was dropping quickly, and I was glad I had my hat and gloves. About a half mile down the trail, I stopped short and listened. The tiny, tiny call of a Golden-crowned Kinglet was floating through the branches, hanging there high and sweet, taking forever to drift down to me so I could find the source. Soon enough, though, the tiny imps popped into view—a male and a female with very bright crests. The male’s crest was a gorgeous orange from behind and the female’s a bright yellow. They were very busy gleaning insects and spiders from the twigs and branches over my head, and I really enjoyed listening to them and watching their wispy, fairy-like movements. So tiny and round, they looked like olive and gray cotton balls with eyes (and a mask).


The last bird of the day, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, helped me say goodbye to 2009.

As they started to move off towards another tree, I “pished” at them. This was something new for me. I had never pished before, and I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it did. They came back! If their little birdy body language was accurately describing their little birdy thoughts, they were giving me a “…you pishing at me?” look, and then they “tsee, tsee, tseeed” back. So I pished a little more, and they stuck around. I spent about 40 minutes with these two birds pishing, photographing, and studying them—a perfect way to end my birding year. I’m glad I snuck out on New Year’s Eve to do what I resolved to do last New Year’s Day—spend more time with the birds, work to conserve their habitat, learn more about them and pass on everything I learned. This past year of blogging about birds and nature has been outrageously fabulous. I’ve met so many birders and nature lovers…people who love the same things I love…and I’ve learned so much along the way. I can’t wait to see what 2010 brings…


The first bird of the morning, my beloved Carolina Chickadee, helped me say hello to 2010!


Thank you for following my blog and helping me learn more about birds! I have loved every minute of this past year (except for maybe the week or two I had The Swine Flu). I'm so excited to see what will happen in 2010!!

p.s. Do you like the new header? Rick helped me! I painted a watercolor of Red, found the perfect font, and drew out what I wanted on a scrap of paper (complete with a coffee ring). Then I handed it over to Rick, who went to town using Photoshop to create Red's new look.

42 comments:

HBFG said...

Hi Kelly, I am glad you had such a nice transition from Old to New!
I love your header, it's very inviting!
:))
Happy Birding 2010 und
Ein Gutes Neues Jahr!

:)

Roy said...

Hi Kelly, fabulous new header and I love the two watercolours.

Jayne said...

What a great way to start your New Year Kelly! The header is stunning! Can't wait to see what 2010 brings with your camera and brush. Happy New Year. :c)

Chris Petrak said...

GCKI is a favorite bird, but haven't seen one is quite a while - what a treat for rounding out the year. New header is very attractive.

JKoenig said...

If the rest of your year of blogging is as beautiful as your beginning, we are all in for a good year!

Love the new header and the watercolors, and as usual your narative made me feel like I was right there with you. I hope my life settles down a little sometime soon so I can get back to taking some pictures of our lovely, lively, little feathered friends.

Diane said...

Kelly! Great new header - beautiful work. All I did for the sweet birds on New Year's Eve was put out more bird seed! Lazy me! Good for you heading out on the last day of 2009. Can't wait to see all the artwork, photos and stories you give to us in 2010.

Vickie said...

Gorgeous new banner. And love your chickadee and kinglet.
Happy New Year, Kelly!

Roy said...

Great paintings! So when are you publishing your own version of Audubon?

I woke up to 4 inches of fresh, fluffy, light snow, and a promise of that much and maybe a little more over the next 36 hours. I'm in heaven!

T and S said...

Lovely post. Happy new year to you...Thomas

Steve Borichevsky said...

The new header is wonderful!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kel, The new header is amazing... That may be your best one yet!!!!!

Glad you got some birding in on the last day of 2009.... Hope you get LOTS of birding in in 2010... Can't wait to see your photos and your paintings...

Keep on pishing.... I need to learn to do that also...

Great shots of your two birdies today.
Hugs in 2010,
Betsy

Laure Ferlita said...

What a wonderful close to 2009 and a fabulous start to 2010! I think you're in for a fantastic year if this header is any indication!

Here's to more growth, learning, health, and happiness throughout the year!!

iva yaneva said...

These are so cute! Happy new year! xoxo

Dave Lewis said...

Great new header!
Wow, 42 degrees, that would be like a heatwave here.
I went out for about 15 minutes, 15 degrees is not my idea of good birding weather...
happy Bird year!

Gaina said...

Beautiful watercolours :). We call those birds a Goldcrest and a Coal Tit in England :)

Cherrie said...

I am so glad I found your blog! I love birds and I look forward to following your blog in 2010!
Happy New Year!

Warren Baker said...

I like ALL your paintings Kelly, I wish I could do it!

Your description of the Kinglets is bang on, just like our Goldcrests.

Cicero Sings said...

Hi Kelly,

Love the header ... I wish I could draw/paint ... D can but hasn't in ages ... maybe I can give him a project ... a new header for me!!

I'll have to learn that pishing ... I've read about it but never tried it.

Happy New Year to you too! I'm glad 2009 was so good to you and hope that 2010 is even better!

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
I love your paintings a lot, they are so real! The header is fantastic... To answer you, I've pished a lot common wrens and goldcrest and it works very well. This bird are really curious and if you hide and pished, they will come back to see what it is!! Just like your two birds ;-)

ShySongbird said...

What a great header and the paintings are beautiful! The Kinglet is so much like our Goldcrest and having looked it up I see they are indeed related.

Carol Mattingly said...

Oh my God. I'd never seen a golden crowned Kinglet. I didn't know what that was until you showed me. They're beautiful. You lucky gal. You have to know how fantastic this new blog header is. I really mean it Kelly. You and Rick are gifted in so many ways. Congrats on this beautiful header and Happy New Year to you. Carol

Cindy said...

Happy New Year! Loved the post and the new header is gorgeous. The new blog look is great.

Cindy

Gabrielle said...

You're off to a great start, Kelly! The new header rocks and the two watercolor paintings are terrific. Keep it up!

Penny said...

Love the new header.
Have a great year.

Marsha said...

I love the new header. You are a very talented water colorist!

I just wish I could attract a "red" to my yard :)

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

You must be using one of the painting programs. The results are nice to see. I have never tried them.

I did manage to work a bit on my birds blog today. When I was not coughing.

Wanda said...

I love your new header very much Kelly! You are very talented. I had 8 Reds at the feeder erlier. Now that the holidays are over and things slowing down, I need too read your blog from start to finish! I think it would be very meaningful for me,since we have the Little Miami in common! I need to learn to phish too.
Have a wonderful year Kelly!
Wanda

Uncommon Depth said...

I really like the new blog design & especially the header. Your paintings are so gorgeous and inspiring. Best wishes for the new year!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I love the new header--it's lovely. Hope 2010 brings you many new birding and artistic adventures.

Kerri said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the New header. Perfect for the New year! You have such amazing talent.....WOW! It has been great getting to "know" you this year - and look forward to blogging with you in 2010. Happy New Year!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I adore the new header, Kelly! I have enjoyed following your blog this year, and I eagerly await more of your stories. I hope you will grace us with more paintings, too. You are so incredibly talented!

Elaine said...

The header is beautiful! The paintings of the Kinglet and Chickadee are lovely too. Good for you for taking the time for yourself to do a little birding. There's always things that need to be done, but I think everyone needs to make a little time in every day to do the things they love to do.

Montanagirl said...

Your header is fabulous! You are sooo talented. I have enjoyed your blog so much this past year. Can't wait to see what you share with us in 2010!

Caroline said...

What a splendid new header! Happy New Year - looking forward to 2010 in your company!

holdingmoments said...

Perfect header, and perfect start to the new year Kelly.
And your artwork? Perfect!

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, I love your new header and I love the watercolors of the kinglet and the chickadee!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
Your Kinglet is a great little bird. It is very much like our Firecrest
Hope your party went ok

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Hi Kelly! My best wishes to you in this new year, which I hope to continue enjoying your blog and your contagious passion for birds!Your new banner is beautiful, congratulations, it's a sensational start!

Mary said...

Your art is so stunningly beautiful and accurate. Two very adorable birds perfectly rendered. I was in Ohio on New Year's Day(Springfield) but didn't get any birding done while there. Thought about you as we drove through Cincy :-)

RuthieJ said...

Oh Kelly, I love your watercolor of the little kinglet! What do you do with them? Are they just for your own enjoyment? Or do you sell them? Maybe you be willing to trade for something like a hand-knitted hat or mitts?
P.S. I really like your new header too!

Allison said...

Hoping against hope that you'll find this comment, buried in the sea of them, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!! Your new header is GORGEOUS! And you painted that cardinal? Oh now we really need to talk--I need a gorgeous little painting of a female!

Heather said...

As you can tell, I'm getting caught up with your posts. LOVE these paintings. Aren't the Kinglets so funny? The cotton ball comparison is dead-on... except cotton balls don't have that much personality. Your new header is fantastic! You and Rick did a lovely job with it.