Still on the mend from the nasty little bugs I've been fighting, I was able to go outside for a few minutes this morning for the first time in a week. (By the way, thanks to those of you who have expressed concern and good wishes. I am slowly improving.)
The first thing I noticed was how eerily quiet it was. I looked toward the bird feeder system in the back corner of the yard and I could see one reason for the quiet. Most of the feeders were empty. I wasn't up to refilling them today but maybe I will be by tomorrow. Or maybe I can inveigle my non-birding husband to do it for me.
From my seat on the patio, I did see my first Northern Cardinal in a week. She was a beautiful sight. I also saw several House Sparrows, a somewhat less welcome sight. There were a few Blue Jays flying around making a ruckus as Blue Jays do. And their bigger cousins, the American Crows were very active today. As were the squirrels.
I sat there for several minutes without seeing a hummingbird and had just about decided they had all moved on when I caught sight of some movement in the shrubbery along the back fence and looked to see a Rufous there. From my distance, I couldn't be entirely sure if it was a male or female, but it was pretty brightly colored and "rufousy," so I think it was a male.
I sat for a while longer, enjoying the feel of the sun and breeze on my face, and then, not wanting to overdo it, I got up to go back inside and stopped instantly when I heard a new voice coming from the back fence shrubbery. I listened for a minute and a smile spread across my face. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet! It's the first one I've heard this fall and it made my day.
I wonder how many other winter visitors have arrived while I've been lazing about on the sheets all week.