Jubilate!

I am having the best birding of my life! I love winter, when the trees are bare and the birds are so readily visible. I have been amazed at how many different varieties of wild songbirds there are visiting Willowcreek, the riparian woodlands nearby, and I have felt delighted to identify so many new birds.

Today, at the head of the path (on my right), I saw more than a half dozen lesser goldfinches at a backyard feeder.

I have been seeing many new thrushes and sparrows. I’ve been really delighted to see this one varied thrush. Yesterday, he sat in low, brilliant green bush that offset his amazing orange coloring, and we just watched each other. He has gotten used to me, I think, and doesn’t fly away immediately. I saw him again today.

I thought I saw a fox sparrow yesterday, too, and today I was able to confirm that there are several in this bushy thicket near a grassy, open field. They are migrating in winter. There were two Nuttall’s Woodpeckers in the same trees, being raucous and noisy  …

As I went on my walk this morning, I also saw the black phoebe that I love, blue jays, mockingbirds, robins, and a hummingbird — who followed me. The yellow-rumped warblers are everywhere. There is a group of finches — I think purple finches — that congregate on a tree on the road on my way back home. I will have to wait for better light to identify them for sure. (Backlighting on overcast days gives silhouettes, which doesn’t help me pick out distinctive or distinguishing marks — alas!) The dark-eyed juncos are plentiful in the front yards that meet the street, too.

There are more types of passerines out there that I haven’t been able to get a close enough look at in order to identify yet. But I am amazed, because it seems like every day this month, I see a new bird! It makes me very happy.

(p.s. “Jubilate” means “rejoice!” in Latin, and it is the first word of Psalm 100, which I read this morning before walking.)

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