Monday, March 19, 2007

A Few New Yard Birds

Well, the northeast took a hit from a lovely snow and ice storm on Friday. It started out as sleet in the morning and quickly began to accumulate into a mushy mess. As the day went on, it got colder and icier. It stayed steady until after midnight and we ended up with 3-4" of hard-as-steel ice with snow packed on top. It's the kind of stuff that you break your back shoveling. Lucky for me, we live in a condo where I pay someone good money to do that for me.

The snow attracted a ton of birds to our feeders including at least a dozen each of White-throated Sparrows and Juncos. Our local Mockingbird, who does a heck of a job chasing away the Starlings, feasted on suet and seed repeatedly. We also had a new yard bird on Saturday - a Carolina Wren who also loved the suet. I had heard one singing in the past in our neighbor's yard, so it was only a matter of time before he/she found our suet.

All weekend long, reports of Fox Sparrows at feeders in NJ were coming across the email list. There must have been a big migration of them that got knocked down by the storm. People were reporting much larger than normal numbers. I looked outside every 20 minutes or so, hoping and praying to see one. No luck. Unfortunately, Beth was very sick at home today. Fortunately, I stopped home to make her some lunch. She was peering out the window when she shouted that something "different" was at the suet feeder. I was "indisposed" at the time (aka, in the bathroom!), so I missed it. When I looked outside a few minutes later, I saw a flash of a rufous tail fly from under the feeder into our neighbor's yard. Jackpot! I grabbed my bins and spied the first Fox Sparrow for our yard list scratching under my neighbor's cedar tree.

Pics to come tomorrow...

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