Over the winter, I didn’t see many house sparrows on my feeder, which was strange, as I still saw them round the neighbourhood. (I imagine we have some year-round populations, here, and some that prefer to migrate, and it’s a migratory flock that’s laid claim to my balcony.) At any rate, over the last couple of weeks, they’ve been trickling back in, one here, two there; another couple later on, with a finch tagging along. And today, traffic was brisker than ever: at one point, I had five little diners, feasting at once.
There was almost a house sparrow / song sparrow altercation, I think. Both birds spread their wings and puffed out their chests, and I thought they might go for each other, but their interest in food exceeded their interest in fighting, and they abandoned their displays. I hope the food continues to keep the house sparrows busy: last year, they pecked any song sparrow that crept into their midst, and the finches, as well. I suppose I shouldn’t be entirely down on their aggression, though. Since the sparrows have been back, gull visits have been down, though not eliminated. I don’t think the gulls like it, when a flock of sparrows settles around their feet. Perhaps, as spring ripens and sparrows proliferate, the gulls will be chased off, entirely. (One can dream!)
I also have a snippet of exciting and disappointing news, from my morning walk: I saw a new bird! (That’s the exciting bit.) But it scurried across my path and vanished into the underbrush, before I could get a good look. (Disappointing.) It was tiny and blue, or possibly grey, with a sharp beak and a stubby tail. It wasn’t a bushtit, though. It was too light, and the wrong shape, and it had white bits, and…well, I didn’t catch more detail than that, before it was gone. But now, I know it’s out there. I’ll find it, again.
Meanwhile, some balcony bird shots: