Friday, January 5, 2007


Fox Sparrow (Sooty)
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
How much do I love my new camera? I love it this much!

This is a life bird for me -- Fox Sparrow (Sooty). I'm 90% sure that this is the bird I caught a fleeting, blurry, hopelessly useless shot of in October and wondered what it was. Look at THIS shot!

I thought -- at first glance -- that it was my Hermit Thrush from last year and I didn't give it much look but I snapped a couple of shots of it. Then I'm looking at it on the computer thinking, "Wait a minute! That's not a Hermit Thrush!" Spent a little time looking and voila! Fox Sparrow (Sooty). How cute is that -- I have a pair of them under my front feeders.

Here are other birds that like my front feeders . . .

Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee with a yummy sunflower seed!

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee -- also with a yummy sunflower seed

California Towhee
California Towhee -- again, with a sunflower seed

Dark-Eyed Junco (Oregon)
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) -- but NO sunflower seed!

And, last, look at this unusual Chestnut-backed Chickadee that I spotted. It took me a long time to get some shots of this flitty bird that showed it's unusual coloration.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

It appears to be a Chestnut-backed Chickadee but it has a LOT of white on it. I have seen a couple that have one or two extra bits of white but this is really noticeable. There are more photos {here}.
edit: I checked it out with my local bird group and one of the experts emailed me back to say that it is a leucistic bird -- partial albino. He said that he gets at least one report a year (he keeps the county records) and about 5 years ago, we had a huge rash of them in the county -- 30 reports in one season. So, there you go. Leucistic Chestnut-backed Chickadee. That probably explains the couple of others I saw with tiny white patches that just seemed like odd bits of feather -- relatives! If you follow the link above to my other pictures, I linked to some other chickadees that are almost completely white -- very beautiful, very otherworldly.
Oh, and to end off my day, I walked out my front door and flushed two birds who were nibbling little somethings from under my lavender bushes. They went into a tree in my front yard and I could see that they were my Hermit Thrushes. I thought it was quite thoughtful of them to show themselves when I was wondering if I'd really seen them or if I was just hopeless at IDing birds and thought Fox Sparrows were them last year. Thank you , Birding Gods!

(Deep dark confession time . . . I shot 359 shots today -- seriously! -- I kept 22 of them. So, how much do I love my new camera? A LOT -- especially since my husband ordered the 2GB card for it!)

*Means "Bloggers who crow about their cameras" -- coined by Julie Zickefoose.


BEG said...

You are having so much fun with that new camera and all the birds around you, it's fun to see :-)

Mary said...

*Kamerageliebterblogunpfaffers* - only Julie could think of that one. You are having a delicious time with your new camera and let me tell you it is SHARP. I love these photos and I learn a lot from you. Keep it up! I probably won't see many of these birds, sadly, being way east. They are beauties.

Susan Gets Native said...

Very cool chickadee.
I thought that I had a leucistic starling the other day, but it was just a mockingbird.

And of course, you have seen our beautiful leucistic red-tailed hawk, Isis, on my blog. We are very proud of her.
*end of RAPTOR promotion*

LauraHinNJ said...

More exotic birds!

Crow away - your pics are great.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I have seen the lovely Isis, Susan, but somehow something that lovely just didn't enter my head when I was looking at a little Chickadee! :) Now I know. :)

I love that my regular old backyard birds are considered exotics to you guys. Of course, that's how I feel when I see your Cardinals, for sure!

Thanks for all the feedback and support! I am totally loving my new camera!