Tuesday I rushed home for a quick lunch. It was very cold and the feeders (and seed on the fence) in our backyard were really drawing a lot of birds.
It was no surprise to see a couple of Blue Jays, because these beautiful birds have returned to being regular visitors over the past few months.
This Northern Mockingbird is also one of our most regular visitors.
I was a little surprised to see a Red-bellied Woodpecker at the peanut feeder in our backyard because she normally uses only the feeders in front of our house.
The real surprise, though, was to see this small bird snacking on safflower seeds on our fence.
At first glance I thought it was a Chipping Sparrow, a species we usually get in our area from November onward. Then I took a proper look. Streaky breast with a central dark spot. So certainly not a Chipping. Striped head. Song Sparrow? No. There is yellow in front of the eye - which makes it a Savannah Sparrow. That's a very common winter bird in our area but this is the first one I've ever seen in our yards.
By the time you read this, we'll be on our way down to the Rio Grande Valley for three days of birding. The big excitement in that area recently has been the presence of an Amazon Kingfisher, only the second ever seen in the USA. It would be a cool bird to see, if it's still there, but my real targets are two resident Kingfishers (Green and Ringed) plus the Common Pauraque. All three would be new birds for me and the Green Kingfisher has been at the top of my must-see list for several years. Wish me luck!