Yesterday dawned as the best day we have had in quite awhile. The crazy winds had subsided and the temperature hovered around 1 degree Celsius. It was a perfect morning for a bird count and a good walk to offset the holiday feasts.
I covered quite an area without any real notables, pretty much what I expected. All areas I travelled were relatively "birdy," which certainly held my interest. When I finished checking my assigned areas, I decided to check out a few typically-busy feeders.
The parking area in Caledonia Place was buzzing with birds, as usual. I sat in my car and was attempting to count the House Sparrows that were tucked away in a distant shrub. While looking intently, I was surprised to see a different sparrow pop up on the fence. I knew it was a new one for me, but I didn't get a very good look before it flew into a distant tree. I managed to get out of my car and get the first picture shown above. Pitiful! Nevertheless, I had something to show for what I saw.
I knew it was time to call in the troops while the bird was still in the area. I made a quick call to Bruce Mactavish, Jared Clarke and Ken Knowles. I hoped they would be able to relocate and identify it.
Peering through a tangle of branches, I got my first look at the sparrow. Bruce pointed out the smudge on the breast and the two-toned beak. While I couldn't really see the beak in the field, I was very surprised by how distinct the colors on the beak showed up on the pictures.