Initially I planned to do a quick post just to show my birding list for the year so far since I spotted my first Brewer's Blackbird at work late this afternoon, but then a new visitor showed up in the backyard this evening as the light was beginning to fade so now I suppose I can write about both.
I had just stepped out onto the back deck to enjoy the cook breeze when I noticed a couple birds in the tree. In and of itself this is no big deal since there are a few that don't automatically take flight, Red polls especially. But the red polls are gone now and this was something new. I figured pretty quickly they were some sort of warbler and I got a decent look in the fading light before I spooked them and they made a beeline for a pine tree a couple yards down.
I found myself wishing I had my binoculars with me and raced up to grab them along with a guidebook. I spent a few minutes looking out the back window but they didn't return. No doubt my excitement and my rushing up and down the stairs provided a few moments of amusement to a couple of my tenants. At any rate, it turns out my two little visitors were Orange-crowned warblers or at least if they weren't I'm not really sure what else they could be. Their yellow colour was much more muted than other similar-looking birds in my guidebook and I did get a pretty good look.
I recently commented on Clare's blog about how I've had my open for King fishers and Red-breasted nut hatches since I love to be able to add them to my life list but just haven't seen them yet despite the fact that they are rather common here. Interesting how the ones you hope to see elude you and then you end up seeing something completely unexpected instead. But this is something birding that appeals to me.
Here then, too is my updated 2012 bird list (in more or less chronological rather than taxonomic order....I am a student of history after all), since it's been about a month since the last update. I'm almost up to 20 on my list, a modest number I know but it's still early so I'm sure it will grow.
1. Common Raven (over-winter)
2. Black-billed Magpie (over-winter)
3. Evening Grosbeak (over-winter)
4. Pine Grosbeak (over-winter)
5. Bohemian Waxwing (over-winter)
6. Black-capped Chickadee (over-winter)
7. Common Red Poll (over-winter)
8. Downy Woodpecker - March 27
9. Slate-Coloured Junco - April 5
10. House Sparrow - April 6-10?
11. Herring Gull - April 10
12. Canada Goose - April 15
13. Chipping Sparrow - April 18
14. Rock Dove - April 20
15. Tree Swallow - April 20
16. Red-Winged Blackbird - April 21
17. American Robin - April 24
18. Brewer's Blackbird - May 9
19. Orange-crowned Warbler - May 9