The last week has twice seen my hopes for winter arrival birds raised only to be dashed.
The day after Thanksgiving, Dee and I looked out of our living-room window to see two Chipping Sparrows (below) on the back fence. They then moved down to the birdbath, where they were joined by two Yellow-rumped Warblers.
At last the rest of our winter residents seemed to be arriving to join the Orange-crowned Warbler (below) that has been in our backyard for weeks.
But then the Chipping Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers flew off - and we haven't seen them again since.
A similar thing happened at work. I checked out the college nature trail at 7:15 on Monday morning and it was hopping. Three American Robins and an Eastern Phoebe were at the entrance, and Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere. Several White-throated Sparrows and a Song Sparrow flew off as I walked the trail. Within 5 minutes I'd also come across a Northern Cardinal, a Blue Jay, two White-winged Doves, several Northern Mockingbirds and 8 European Starlings. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me. I was better prepared on Tuesday, when I again got to the nature trail at 7:15. I needn't have bothered. There wasn't a single bird in view, not even a Mockingbird!