Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The mystery sparrow

Spent a lot of time outdoors yesterday. It was just too nice not to. 

Dark-eyed Junco

The sun dogs flickered on and off, not too strong, not so bright, so maybe they didn't have much to say about the future.

Pine Siskin

But the Pine Siskins on the feeder? The flock of a dozen of them mixed with winter sparrows and house finches? 

Now that may have meaning, although I surely hope not.

And then there were the oddly marked Woolly Bears. One had a little black on its butt, a reasonable amount of it on the front, and the widest orange band we had ever seen. What's up with that?

House Finch

Went out to watch that rocket launch last night, only to find after I stood outside for a good long while, watching a distant plane, that it had been scrubbed.

Of course it was. The sky was clear here for a change for a nighttime sky event. Normally, all eclipses, comets, meteor showers and launches that are visible on the East Coast are obscured by clouds.....and here is our Tuesday night forecast: 

Cloudy this evening with showers after midnight. Low 56F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Oh, well, we should be used to it by now. 

If the little sparrow I caught, sitting in the Mt. Ash tree is a Swamp Sparrow, which I believe it is, I picked up two year birds for the farm count in one day. Also got news that our Christmas Bird Count, unless something changes, will be after Christmas rather than before. If you have ever tried to cover a territory that takes in malls and shopping centers the weekend before the holiday, while driving slowly scanning for birds, you will understand why this was great news.

Is this a portent of a good winter's birding? One can only hope.


Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Pine Siskins?! Haven't seen them in Saratoga for several years. We had a big irruption in 2009, so big that they drove all the Goldfinches from our backyard feeders. But then, many fell ill with some kind of infection and we would find them dead on the ground, causing us to bring in our feeders so as not to provide a vector for spreading the illness. It would be great to see the Siskins again.

threecollie said...

Jacqueline, some years we have them, some years we don't. Last winter after I started counting in January I didn't see any. I was really surprised to see these! There are quite a few too.

Cathy said...

Oh my. I hadn't heard that business about the Pine Siskin die-off.

You are so lucky in the number of species you get there at Northview.