I wondered if I'd ever put these sad sliding notes together with a bird. I hear so many bird songs whose birds I don't yet know. I just try to pay attention, knowing that eventually I'll see the bird actually singing, or I'll stumble on the connection - and so gradually, knowledge grows. I have made about a dozen connections so far. So satisfying - so slow though!
On a recent fine morning, I decided to make use of my dad's excellent Canon 4D camera and 400mm zoom lens, finally. I sat in the garden with it, watching some little sparrows quietly congregate in the oak trees next to the pool fence. I enjoyed seeing how their groups form, how one seemed to sit and watch while the others foraged for insects among the leaves. Or was it just that that one was taking a rest? It's fun to speculate - questions are little hooks where knowledge can later catch hold.
I got a couple shots good enough for ID:
|It was only when I looked at the photos that I saw|
|The golden crown!|
Ah! I had heard of a bird called the golden crowned sparrow - and so it was that I came to find out that its sad little call is generally known as "Oh dear me!"
There's a nice article on this bird (aka Zonotrichia atricapilla) in Bay Nature magazine here. They come down from the north west, to winter in California - travelling up to 4,000 miles - and about a quarter of them come to exactly the same spot each year.
And here for your delight and edification is a short Youtube video in which you too can hear its plaintive call.
(Thank you RainyIslandGuy)