October 27th. 2017. RBG Hendrie Valley, Burlington, ON. I have been anticipating the appearance of Fox Sparrows for a week or so and today I was rewarded with the sight of two of them. They popped up from somewhere deep in a thicket of Red Osier Dogwoods, surveyed me disapprovingly for half a minute and then left. Just the sight of them, the fulfillment of an expectation, made them Birds of the Day in a day full of interesting stuff.
Fox Sparrows pass through in spring and fall on their way to and from winter spent in the central southern U.S and summer in subarctic Alaska to Labrador. In spring we look for them picking through spilled seed around bird-feeders where they sometimes take a few minutes off to try out their melodious yet somehow secretive song. Spring or fall it’s their sturdy angular build and rich foxy red plumage that makes you stop and stare. This photo was taken on about this date a couple of years ago.
For a short while later I watched a posse of ten Golden–crowned Kinglets working over a patch of Periwinkle searching for the kind of microscopic food that keeps these engaging little mites alive. They were close enough and bold enough, and I optimistic enough, that I invested perhaps too much time trying to get a good photo of one. Goodness knows I’ve tried and tried but they rarely stay in one place for more than a moment and I always seem to get blurry, out of focus, or just-leaving-you-now shots or, if I’m lucky a well focused back-end portrait. I did no better today, here’s a gallery of today’s shots, just as I described.