Trips down Blackhead Road these days don't offer up much in the way of birds. There are flocks of Juncos, American Goldfinch, Chickadees and occasional Purple Finch flitting around the trees but closer looks don't yield much else. Look up, waaaay up and you may see flocks of American Robins and White-winged Crossbills flying overhead.
At this time of year, I guess, this is very common so when anything else pops up it is worth chasing down.
While standing on the side of the road in the community of Blackhead looking at a flock of Juncos, a black bird flew by quite low along the street and darted into the woods at about two feet off the ground.
What was it? The mind starts processing: It was too small for a crow and its behaviour was not like a crow. It was about the size of a Robin but it was too dark. What was it?
My friend and I got in the car and drove to the area where it went into the woods and we stopped. I quickly got out and peered into the woods. There was this beautiful Common Grackle. It only stayed long enough to eat a berry or two and then it was gone.
Thank goodness for curiosity or we would have missed seeing this beautifully colored bird. Recently, a flock of about 50 Common Grackles was reported in the heart of St. John's and I have seen a few flying overhead as I travel around the city. It looks like there may be a group planning to spend the Winter here.