Sunshine and mountains, patches of snow, temperatures well above
freezing, no wind ... it was a wonderful week for one's well being.
The past few weeks I began to notice a little visitor outside
my windows. It was unusual enough to send me scurring for
my camera and the 'Birds of Alberta' book.
According to my source, 'there looms the possibility,
however slim, of seeing a Harris's Sparrow.
Wow!! This was a rare sighting and not only that ... the book states
that only a few successfully winter in southern communities.
Here in my yard! I am estatic! Now I am on the lookout.
Almost every day I spy the bird gleaning the bare ground for plant seeds.
The markings on this bird are so distict that it was not hard
to identify even though I have seen only this one. I learned that these
robust Arctic breeders pass through Alberta in isolated trickles,
frequently mixing with other flocks of sparrows.
Which explains a habit of this bird that has made me smile.
This is a white-winged junco and appears in the bird book
under the heading of 'Sparrows and Allies'.
For whatever reason the Harris's sparrow and this junco are
inseparable friends. I never see the one without the other.
One arrives and the other is not far behind. One leaves and
the other follows.
They are allies indeed!
I am so happy the pair comes around to brighten my day.
This magestic bald eagle also stops by now and again to
add to my appreciation of the natural wonders
that still surprise me when most birds have left
and the land is bare and dormant.
Let the beauty of the Lord our God
be upon us.
Psalm 90:17 NIV