Today I happened to see a small bird of prey--hadn't ID'd him yet--sitting on a utility line, and I even had my camera and binocs with me so I bino-scoped him. These are the best shots I got--cloudy day, handshake, and all:
I checked my Stokes field guide and it's an American Kestrel--SCORE! A lifer! A falcon, small and beautiful. I believe it was a female, but I'm not sure; Stokes says that the female is more red, so I'm guessing female. She was rather skittish about my driving slowly on the shoulder, trying to get closer to her, and took off and alit in several different places before I was finally able to photograph her. Cool!
When I got home, it was rush hour at the tamarack tree--where I have the suet and a hanging feeder (just put the hanger up there). I got some poor shots through the car's windshield (I didn't dare get out of the car yet), using the max optical and then digital zooms on the Coolpix 4800:
A white-breasted nuthatch:
the downy (smallish head and beak) woodpecker:
and a really puffed up mourning dove:
There were white-throated sparrows, house sparrows, a house finch and a purple finch, black-capped chickadees, a tufted titmouse, and Mrs. Cardinal as well, but I didn't get photos of them. The day's just too gray and dark. Still--it was a busy day at the feeders. I haven't seen any bluebirds on the grubworm tray yet, but I'm still hopeful. Of course, yesterday morning the grubs were frozen solid, but I guess they'll thaw. I hope the bluebirds don't mind a little freezer burn. Should I maybe dump those guys and replace them with fresh ones?