Many times, birds come to the feeder as a couple. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal pretty much do this all the time:
You can't see Mr. Cardinal too well--he's on the feeder, near the front edge, hidden by a pine branch. But there's Mrs. Cardinal on the fence wire, watching for danger. It's interesting to me how the male is the more skittish of the pair, preferring to have Mrs. C come and check things out before he finally makes his appearance. And he's always more easily startled than she is.
Or maybe she's just a pig and won't let a little danger keep her from eating her fill?
The house finches also made an appearance, though Mr. Finch's coloring has faded somewhat from its summer brilliance:
When I worked at Domino's Pizza in Fort Worth, I used to spend my time between deliveries hanging out at the back door, feeding and watching a little house finch who liked pizza crust. I'd throw pizza crusts out into the parking lot beneath tree where he'd always perch, and he'd show up eventually to eat. I guess he knew my schedule.
This platform feeder is homemade, and it's at an angle because the top of the fence post was cut at an angle. I get a lot of tufted titmice, black-capped chicadees, cardinals, and sparrows. This morning, I got a very strange bird I'd never seen before--though by the time I turned on my camera he was gone.
He had a cardinal/titmouse shape, though he was about the size of a cardinal. Here's what I remember of his appearance: he had a white breast, a ring around his neck, a dark head with white parts (see the horned lark head and neck for similar example), kind of a crested head, and horizontal white-and-black striping on his back when perched. I don't think it was a woodpecker, but maybe? I don't know any other birds with horizontal stripes on their backs when their wings are folded. I wish my camera had been on!
I tried finding him on whatbird.com, but I couldn't. There's no telling what he was, what with the season, the migration going on, etc. He was only on the feeder for a couple of seconds, then he flew away.
This was a lifebird for me--whatever he was. I had another lifebird yesterday, as I digiscoped (through the binocs) this kingfisher on the heron tree:
Apologies for the blur, but it's over 200 yards away. Shortly after I snapped this pic, he dove for something--a fish? It looked silver and longish, but I don't know whether there are fish in the little ponds on the marsh. At any rate, I missed that shot, getting only an empty branch and green background, which I won't post a photo of. Here are a couple more photos of him:
I also went around to our wildflower bed in the front yard and took some photos of a new flower that's sprung up:
It also comes in a rather ostentatious shade of purple:
I don't know many wildflowers of Central PA--any help on ID would be appreciated--both on the flower and on the mystery bird.