Thanks to climate change there have been a small number of these birds on the West Island for the past decade, mostly in the Arboretum. They are starting to spread out and claim new territory as winters get milder and where there is food available. They love feeders and peanuts. This lady arrived in the garden a few weeks ago and had=s now decided to become a resident with several visits each day.
This species is quite common down in the States but a real local rarity. The gods have smiled on us again.
A raptor overflew the garden and suddenly there were dozens of small birds sheltering in the Viburnum bush near the house, hanging off the branches like Xmas ornaments. While waiting until it was safe to come out, this Junco found a berry to snack on.
There is a growing awareness (still a long way to go) that tidying the garden as we go into winter is a bad thing to do. Leaving our garden “scruffy” until spring means that birds like these American Goldfinches can find something to eat without needing to rely on our feeders.
These birds were eating seeds from a small-flowered form of sunflower.
This is turning into a very interesting birding start to winter – there was the Evening Grosbeak a few days ago in the garden, a recent visit by a Carolina Wren and then a couple of days ago a female Red-bellied Woodpecker put in an appearance. A rare bird this far north -, just a few in the arboretum really, and this is the first in the garden for quite a few years.
(Memory Sunday will be back next week – this was too good to miss sharing though)