Yesterday must have been declared All Brown All Day at my feeders; nothing but sparrows, cowbirds, starlings, enlivened only by the grackles and redwing blackbirds. The goldfinches, woodpeckers, nuthatches – everybody else - stayed away as if by command. I was watching from the side window, where the new hopper feeder is hanging, when a puff of yellow caught my eye. After carefully checking all the diagnostic spots (wing bars or no, eye rings or stripes, breast plain or spotted etcetc) I determined it had to be a female Dickcissel. That’s new one for me; better check some range maps. It looked like this area can be part of their extended winter range, but the Pelee Birding site said they are a “provincial rarity.” And it said they often flock with sparrows. That was certainly true for my visitor yesterday. Just goes to show, I said to myself. Even when you think it’s just a bunch of plain brown birds, look closely!
My visitor left before I got a photo, and Google Images doesn’t really have anything that shows female well, so I just scanned and cropped the page from the Golden series, “Birds of North America.” The female is on the left. I’d love to hear anyone else’s Dickcissel stories.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.