A Song Sparrow’s song in a Flicker of the eye

Baldwin's Birds


Well, it looks like the Spring sun is starting to emerge on a more regular basis, as do the sightings of some of our returning birds. Some of them have even started to herald us with their beautifully distinctive songs, such as the Song Sparrow that did just that by a waterside spot that I had stopped at, hoping to see a Heron. I didn’t see one that day, but did see two male Common Mergansers and a female who seemed to be doing some sort of “attraction” ritual, by rushing about and splashing water in the air. They were quite a distance away from me so it was difficult to discern what she was actually doing, but they all made a beautiful sight together, as they skirted the dried up reed bed on the water.

Whilst watching them, a distinctive and persistent song was being sung in a very nearby bush and so my attention was drawn away from the water. It was an easy job to follow the sound, which was that of a Song Sparrow singing its heart out and how beautifully it did it too! The bird’s head was back and its beak opened wide as it serenaded the world. Super!

Following this experience, we once more hit the road for home, with nothing more notable happening until we saw, whilst travelling at 80kmph, ahead of us on the right hand side of the road, what we thought were Turkeys. Wrong! It was a group of three Turkey Vultures, which we flashed past, before realising what we had just missed! Nothing was behind us, but to skid to a halt and then back up to investigate didn’t seem like a very good idea, and the Vultures would have probably thought the same thing too,– so we didn’t! Ah well…next time!

Back home to our own territory and our own backyard we weren’t disappointed early the next morning, to catch sight of a Common Flicker which alighted on the ground as I watched a Robin hop across the grass. The Flicker was very tentative didn’t really settle down, and soon flew to a tree before disappearing out of sight into our neighbours’ garden. It made a very fleeting re-appearance later, and I managed to get a picture of it and then it was gone!

Hopefully, you are seeing some action in your neck of the woods too. Enjoy whatever you see and stay safe and well.

John Baldwin


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