Hopefully this finds you all fit and well, with the expectancy of getting an anti-Covid jab, of some sort, fairly soon, buoying up your spirits, and the anticipation of Spring, as the days, although still cold, get sunnier.

Yesterday I stood for an hour with camera in hand, in the small door alcove of my garage, waiting to see what my bird feeders would attract. My first visitor was the ever faithful Red Breasted Nuthatch, who decided on the peanuts, to which he helped himself, until the large flock of Redpolls disturbed him, as they hustled each other to get at my hanging Nijer seed feeders. These skittish birds kept flitting up and down and round and around, as they do and also when startled by passing cars. Another equally common, but nervous, visitor was “Claudio” our male Cardinal and “Claudia” his female escort, although she didn’t stop for long. She is usually the one that visits more than he, so it was a treat for me to see him, out in the open, on a feeder. He stayed for a short while, along with the Slate Grey Juncos, who skittered about on the ground gathering spilled seed. Once he had gone I had a very nice surprise,- a stranger! At first it could just be cast off as any other Sparrow, but wait, there was something different about it, – it had a reddish hue to it. Yes, it was different, with a pinkish beak and legs and light brown stripes on the head and face, and plain chest. The pictures, that I took of it, also revealed a white ring around the eye, another identifying feature. All these hints helped me, as I scanned through my bird book list of nearly twenty different Sparrows, to identify it as Field Sparrow. Living in a fairly rural area, you might think that we would see them quite often, but we don’t. Our more common sightings are of the Tree Sparrows and the Song Sparrows, not this lighter delicately colored one, which was a really nice surprise.

Stay safe and well,
Cheers,
John Baldwin

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