October 29, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Juncos, coots arrive

Goldfinches eating I've seen several Dark-eyed juncos in our back yard for the last few days, a bit earlier than usual. I glimpsed one a couple weeks ago while on a field trip with the Augusta Bird Club, but Thursday was the first clear sighting of the season for me. We've had dozens of Goldfinches (not very gold this time of year) in our back yard lately, feasting on nyjer (thistle) seed like it's going out of style. This morning two woodpeckers showed up at the suet feeder: a Downy and a Red-bellied.

The weather today was bright and sunny for a change, so I drove out to Bell's Lane this afternoon. I was hoping to retrieve a few tasty persimmons , but very few were on the ground, and the ones still on the branches refused to be shaken off. Warning: Do NOT eat them unless they are soft and ripe! I did see some American coots (common in winter) and Black ducks (not) for the first time this season, plus many sparrows along the road. No Harriers or Short-eared owls have appeared as of yet, however. Today's highlights:

Very hungry pelican

Here's a weird bird news item: A pelican was seen devouring a pigeon in a park in London. See BBC. (Hat tip to Fred Holt, the Costa Rican bird expert.)