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Early Flowers

Crocus Cyclamen coum Hellebore 'Merlin' Snowdrop Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


We get so much pleasure out of watching our bird visitors that we can overlook the mess they make on the deck.

House finch and Goldfinch 

This feeder pictured above is the favorite and I was disappointed when I could not find another one. You can see this one has been repaired. The top portion holds larger seeds and the bottom part holds small seeds like nyjer. The top part simply unscrews. It is so easy to fill and the birds love it. I got this feeder free as a product to review but it is no longer available and I have not seen any similar ones.

The heated bird bath is another favorite and it is a lifesaver in freezing temperatures.

Downy Woodpecker

After having our suet feeders rapidly depleted by starlings and squirrels, I purchased one of these suet feeders that have cages around them. They still get into it but not nearly as much as before. The Downy Woodpecker loves the suet as does...


The Bushtits! I love these guys but I admit this can be a disconcerting sight. They come through several times a day and are only here for a few minutes. 

Western Scrub Jay

Michael says I spoil the Scrub Jays rotten because I feed them peanuts. He hates the sound they make but I actually like it. They are so funny to watch.

Spotted Towhee

I think the Spotted Towhee is my favorite. Very shy and they tend to stay at ground level although I've seen them often lately in the bird box on the patio table and even at the feeders from time to time. So beautiful!

I did not get photos of the nuthatch and warbler which are also frequent visitors. To attract them, be sure and buy the nut and fruit bird mixes.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. You've got all the bases covered for you avian visitors, Phillip. I loved the photo of all those bushtits clustered together.

  2. I love your photos of your birds, Phillip! The bushtits are little balls of feathers...

  3. Good photos! Nice to see what your feeders do for them in the tough winter months. We have the same birds here. A west coast thing? No nuthatches, though. Oak Woodpecker for Woodpeckers. The Bushtits travel in a group and visit each shrub looking for---whatever they look for. Then they move on, just as you say, swiftly. I like the Scrub Jays too. Their scratchy call. They "plant" acorns in all my pots.

  4. I too find it frustrating when good quality, cleverly designed items disappear from the market place (a watering can, in my case).
    Wonderful pictures of all your feathered visitors! The Bushtit photo is hillarious! There is safety in numbers, I know, but this is too funny.

  5. So great to have all that wildlife, I'm jealous. *I don't feed the birds anymore, I was attracting rodents. I really miss it.

  6. One of my favorite morning activities is to have a cup of tea and enjoy watching the birds cluster around the feeder in the back garden. They wait in the trees for me to replenish the supply, then bombard it the moment I walk away. Thank you for sharing these great captures and I do love the one of the Bushtits all congregated together!


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