Two new birds this afternoon for my yard list, both in the neighbor’s elm tree (denuded of leaves, much easier to see the birds): a Red-naped sapsucker and a Ruby-crowned kinglet. The kinglet was an especially fun find, because I kept seeing it over the last few weeks, but never got a good enough look to be sure of what it was. It’s a bug-eater, hopping around the trunk like a hyperactive nuthatch, but smaller.
But the real treasure this afternoon is a pair of goldfinches that are, as we speak, making their way methodically through the seed pods on the trumpet vine right outside my window. They look for a perch close enough to get to the pod, extricating the seeds and working them over until they can eat them. But if they can’t find a perch, they alight on the seed pod itself, like little acrobats in the birdy circus. The sparrows try, but can only look on in awe, far too big to execute the goldfinch gymnastics.
(picture courtesy National Park Service)