A Splendid Time

“Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”–Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite from The Beatles’ recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Another snowy, cold day in Hutchinson Co.  I spent a good part of the last 48 hours at work and so haven’t posted since Thursday.  I filled the feeders when I got home this morning and by the time I had eaten breakfast and showered there were at least 100 birds in the yard and in the trees queuing up for the feeders.  The snow was falling pretty hard by lunch so Sheila and I sat by the window in the bedroom and took pictures of the brawl.

The usual suspects showed up–our American Goldfinches and House Finches, and the House Sparrows from Mrs. E’s yard turned out in record numbers.  So did the Spotted Towhee that has been foraging around under the shrubs in front of her house for the past week.  We heard the Blue Jay queedling but never spotted him.  It was the first time he’d been around since the Sharp-shinned Hawk scared us all last week.  Dark-eyed Juncos were well represented also.

The first Northern Cardinal I’ve seen since late last fall stopped by for a few minutes.  She was very charming, but had other things to accomplish evidently, and so couldn’t stay long.

There were some newcomers this afternoon.  Several Brewer’s Blackbirds joined us for a late lunch.  I thought at first they were Common Grackles.  We have a lot of  them and the Great-tailed Grackles around here, but these birds were smaller, with shorter beaks and tails.  I’m not 100% on this ID, so if anyone can confirm that it is, or explain why it’s not, a Brewer’s Blackbird I would love to hear from you.

Then, around tea-time, a party of Pine Siskins (The small birds with yellow on their wings and edges of their tails in the 3rd pic above) dropped in.  These are also new to my feeders.  They kind of blended in with the Goldfinches and so I didn’t notice them at first.  They seemed quite sociable and enjoyed the thistle immensely.

Rounding out the guest list were a rather boisterous party of Red-winged Blackbirds and their dates, a couple of Field Sparrows, and a White-crowned Sparrow.

A splendid time, indeed.

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