One of our avian friends has not let me down this week, so that I have something to write about once again! A brief glance out of my front window just to survey the general scene became more than that when I spotted a slightly bigger Sparrow-like bird scratching enthusiastically in the grass in front of my garden feeders. I grabbed my trusty camera and focused it on the said bird and could immediately see that it was different. Its feathers had a reddish rufous colour to them, so I knew straight away that it wasn’t one of our usual variety of bird, but which one? Quite a few pictures later I was able to determine more accurately that it was, in fact, a Fox Sparrow. What a treat to see one of these in the garden, even if it was for only a short while.
Its distinguishing features were easily recognizable when consulting my bird books to determine which one it was. The rusty brown in the tail feathers was the first major hint, as it was the colour in the wings. The grey eye markings weren’t so easily explained, but the books put me right and reassured me on that score! The other significant identifying features were the two colours of its beak,- the top being black and the bottom yellow, and its very dark brown spotted belly markings. It was difficult to get a really good complete picture of them all, as the bird, very nervously, was on the move all the time and not always on the ground where it obviously prefers to feed, busily scratching away at the bottom of the grass stems. What a treat to see and be able to write about and, as I do, also get to hear some of the transiting geese outside as they pass by our house. What a wonderful setting to be able to put my thoughts down. I hope that you too are having some lovely experiences as you look out of your own windows. Stay safe and well.
Cheers, John Baldwin