I have surely expressed to you over and over again how October literally SINGS in my blood, threads joy through my whirling spirit and sparks with light every time I turn around. Yes? I thought so. Maybe it's the sudden lifting of the heavy burden of heat; I know that's part of it. There is also this part of it: the migratory traffic of birds, the changing of the guard, so to speak. The summer birds have left us now and those who choose this place over, say Canada, have come back for a time.
There has been quite a lot of twittering among the sparrows of late, they're a huge family with lots of cousins coming in from everywhere. Sparrows are talkers, I know you know that, always mixing round with other types of sparrows and welcoming in the Juncos as well. My pair of bluebirds has returned and brought along another couple. I don't know if they'll stay, we have houses up here and there in that hope, but it is exhilarating to even have them here for a few days. I'll not hope for the whole winter.
Day before yesterday my dad came over to spend the afternoon on the porch, doing nothing but watching the birds and having a chat and a cup of tea now and then. Lovely. We had the bird book out and the binoculars. Along with the Bluebirds we spotted a Yellow Rumped Warbler, cute as a button and a Northern Flicker. I had never seen either one before and was beyond delighted to welcome them to the yard.
The Flicker is a type of woodpecker, but larger than our Red-Bellied Woodpecker and twice the size of the little Downey, at least. This one was the Red-Shafted Northern Flicker. He was extravagantly speckled, matching the litter on there ground, with the rusty underwings flashing surprisingly when he came soaring past us, as we sat still on the porch, watching. I feel sure that sudden flash of bright colors is a defense mechanism, the surprise of it buying him some time when under attack.
Unlike the other woodpeckers, this guy eats ants and bugs out of the debris on the ground, digging around with a very long black beak instead of tapping on the tree branches and trunks.
I didn't see a second one but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a buddy hanging around somewhere.
When I wandered into the garage later in the day, I happened upon a pair of petite brown House Wrens having a happy conversation in the rafters. I assured them they did not want to hang around in there since that is where the cats sleep when it is cold. They skeedaddled out the door very quickly after the word CAT.
The Cardinals are here and the Mockingbirds, of course, and lots of other, smaller songbirds but I haven't spent a lot of time sitting long enough for them to let down their guard. Now's the time, I guess. I'm going to try doing the Bird Count again this year. Every year I swear I'm going to really be faithful to it, and every year I don't really do it justice.