Posted by: atowhee | January 16, 2021


Maybe it shows how little our mammalian brains can really grok what birds know, and think, and do. I have recorded just over fifty species in our garden so far. There are some birds I would expect to eventually see that are not yet on the list…Varied and Swainson’s Thrushes, GC Kinglets in the conifers, a Rufous Hummer on migration, some more gull species overhead, Yellow-rump and even Yellow Warblers, maybe a passing Nashville or Black-throated Gray, Golden-crowned Sparrow, maybe even a White-throated some winter. There will eventually be a Bald Eagle and an Osprey passing over while I’m out looking, maybe Barred and Great Horned Owls calling. Some out of place but not impossible birds include Pacific Wren, Lazuli Bunting, Evening Grosbeak, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, migrating harrier, merlin or kestrel, befuddled bluebird, even a stray mocker. With imagination, and knowing I won’t be graded, I could possibly stretch my ” yes-to-maybe” list to include what I’ve seen plus those species that seem at least improbable but not impossible. Still, that list would not have ever included a bird which surprised and taunted me this morning. I had gone in front of the house to put peanuts and sunflower seeds on the drive for corvids and juncos. As I did so a bird noisily exploded from beneath the roses where it had been squatting in water-logged grass. It sped in a zig-zag fashion down the length of the garden and somehow continued to accelerate as it passed amazingly through the hanging branches of our spruce. That was the my first, my unanticipated, nearly unbelievable, but real, first Wilson’s Snipe. With over 7 inches of rain this year perhaps he had been flooded out of his usual abodes and settled into our watery but not entirely submerged garden! I must work harder to attain bird brain.

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