This past Saturday, while Ryan and Jim were busy preparing a meal for 60 of our closest friends, I spent the afternoon in the backyard pulling weeds out of the garden along the side fence. Ick. However, I did have some company.The first to visit was this white-crowned sparrow. We only see these in the Spring here in upstate New York. Sometimes in the Fall on their way back South. Check out those racing stripes on his head. Yes, grackles are bothersome, but this one was cute, dancing around, trying not to get too close to me. When the sun hits them in just the right way, grackles really do have some beautiful, iridescent plumage.
It's hard to tell in this photo, but that reddish splotch up there on the right is a male house finch courting his mate (on the left). Those two chased each other around in that tree for several minutes before the finally flew off.
I had other assorted visitors, including the usual suspects of chickadees, goldfinches, a female downy woodpecker and lots of sparrows and squirrels. Nothing out of the ordinary, but living in the city makes it difficult when you're an avid birder.
I headed off to church around 5 p.m. that night for Ladies Night...a fine dining and entertainment experience hosted by the men of the church. As I pulled in the parking lot, lo and behold, I spotted a female merganser lazily swimming around in one of the front retention ponds. Figure that one out! I spooked her when I tried to take her picture. Nuts.I did snap this shot of an eastern bluebird perched on the front sign who was hanging around. Didn't seem at all worried about me being there.
I wish I had a really awesome digi-cam that would actually take decent photos of these birds. My skills just don't do them enough justice. Ryan. Birthday in a month. Hint hint hint.