Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Welcome Irruption

This weekend brought a great, welcome surprise from the north.  It has been three years since we've seen a Red Breasted Nuthatch here.  But winter 2012-13 will be different, for I have seen one: briefly yesterday, and at greater length this morning.  The bird was working a sunflower seed feeder with great industry, flying in, grabbing a seed, flying to a nearby loblolly pine, and beating the seat open.  And then repeating the process over and over.  It was enough time to study the bird with binoculars and confirm all the field marks.  It was not a big surprise to my naturalist associate who informed me this is a big year for RBNs in the Piedmont.  For whatever reasons the irruption here has been strong.  It will be a thrill to see three nuthatch species for the winter!

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