There comes a time when it is necessary to work in the garden, do minor maintenance and just routine chores at home. It is at these times that I most appreciate my backyard birds. Finches, including American Goldfinch, Purple Finch and Pine Siskins, have been regulars at my feeders for months. Other than Juncos that has been about it.
Over the last couple of days of rain, my feeder has become more active. I had my first Sharp-shinned Hawk appearance this summer as he whizzed through the yard and sat in a distant tree watching all of the activity.
On Saturday, a Black-capped Chickadee returned to the yard after a long absence, and then, out of nowhere, came my first Fox Sparrow (a young one at that) of the summer.
There has been no song from this bird but watching it clumsily move around the yard and study the other birds has been totally entertaining.
I, like the Barrett's in Goulds, maintain my feeders all year long for the sheer joy of watching the activity and hearing the song.
I don't get much of anything unusual, but that doesn't dampen my enthusiasm for the common visitors. I certainly haven't seen any Pine Warblers, Cape May Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, Hoary Redpolls or Yellow-breasted Chats like some of the feeders in and around town, but who knows? Something unusual may show up. The flurry of bird activity in the yard is an attraction for other birds.
Oh, I should mention the Tree Swallows never did move into the nesting box in my yard. They seemed to have made a claim on it by putting some nesting materials in the box. They returned several times after that and then, I never saw them again. I will really clean the box out this year in the hopes that a pair will nest there next year.