The past few days have been generally gray and cold, but the avian activity in our yard just keeps speeding up. The chickadees and titmouses make traffic jams when two or three of them try to come to our small window feeder at once (we definitely need to get another one of these things soon). When the process goes smoothly we can stand for minutes and see visits from bird after bird after bird.... It's basically non-stop action around here!
Usually the chickadees and titmouses just fly in, take one seed, and fly off. A few of these birds, though, are kind of picky, and they'll toss away three or four seeds before they find one they actually want. (The sound of sunflower seeds pinging off our window is pretty common by now.) So now there are seeds on the rooftop below the feeder, but the birds don't let these seeds go to waste! This past Thursday, I discovered that I could sit with my camera sticking through the open window and get right at eye-level with these rooftop birds.
Hello, Black-capped Chickadee, finding anything good?
It's a novelty to be close to Dark-eyed Juncos, because these birds don't want to sit on our feeder. They're happy to clean up dropped seeds on the roof, though!
I love the hints of chocolate in this bird's feathers, as well as its utter roundness. (Where's your neck, bird?)
This last bird was here for the Red Cedar berries rather than the sunflower seeds, but she was also especially close. Is this not one of the prettiest female Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers ever?
We've been getting a bunch of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in our yard this fall -- more than in previous years, I think -- but they've mostly been juveniles. This adult female is definitely gorgeous, with her sleek black bib and full red head (I took this next picture a couple days later, but I'm pretty sure it's the same bird):
I wish there was a way to know for sure whether this is the same female who stayed here last winter and made sapsicles in our maple tree. Even if it's not, I'm hoping she'll stay around. Sapsuckers aren't as common in Connecticut as some of our other woodpeckers, and I feel really lucky to get to see these creatures so often in our yard.
So go ahead, weather, stay cold and gray! There are plenty of things to see right here.