Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Finchy Kind of Day

At least April ends with some sunshine after a long month of snow and cold. Today's sunshine, however, doesn't mean that winter is done.

It was a pleasure this morning to sit in the sunshine and shoot photos of the finches that descended to the backyard feeders. First there were the Cassin's finches, about 12 individuals and a mix of males and females. Their male's brilliant wine red coloration was a welcomed sight. While these finches were working over the sunflower seeds, I could hear a flock of evening grosbeaks calling and getting closer.

Once the grosbeaks descended, the finches had to shift from one feeder to another one. The larger grosbeaks were defending their food source from the finches and other grosbeak arrivals.

In addition to these birds there were white-crowned sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, American goldfinches, house finches, house sparrows, ruby-crowned kinglets, and pygmy nuthatches getting into the fray. A lone robin showed up with nest material in its bill and proceeded to dunk the plant material in the shallow water dish.

When the western scrub-jay appeared, everyone scattered to nearby branches. A nice way to spend a nice day.

The Deschutes County Big Year continues. Though I've missed a few entries, today's total stands at 127.

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