Monday at lunchtime I saw an uncommon winter resident, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, foraging in a small hackberry. Oh my friend, Tina and I have fond memories of watching two males raise their fiery crowns in display among the deep green fronds of our pondcypress tree. To see that sight just hooks you for life on these tiny birds. However, getting images of kinglets is quite another tale.
A bit later, the first Dark-eyed Junco appeared. "Snowbirds" had arrived.
A Brown Creeper came in close to the bubbler, perfectly camouflaged.
Now, Tuesday was a bit warmer. I was hopeful that a few birds might still be here and it did get very birdy around 9:30. The Golden-crowned Kinglet got in the bubbler, but I only managed a few shots through the window. I sensed the little bird hadn't gotten quite enough and it might just return, so I set up outside. Oh joy! It did come back and it was a male!
Wow, it just takes my breath away every time I see that fiery crown! A quick splash and it popped away. An American Goldfinch got in when I realized the kinglet had come in through the 'back door'. Not only that, it had a bit of sun on its head. The kinglet raised and lowered its crown feathers in response to the presence of the goldfinch. "See me? I may be small but I can breathe fire, too!"
I was in bird heaven! It moved back to the northeast corner of the basin for an energetic bath.
Gorgeous, n'est-ce pas? To top it off, a Rufous-sided Towhee came up to the bubbler area. The last time I got a photo of this one was eleven years ago. It was a very good day!