Just before dusk yesterday, I found myself on the western end of the Jericho Beach pond. A bunny and a few sparrows were snacking in the grass. The Golden-crowned Sparrows, with their yellow foreheads and two thick black head stripes, were new to me. When the sun disappeared behind the trees, a few more birds appeared in the grass. I was actually on a mission to find a beaver which I had spotted in the pond earlier, swimming west through the open water into a narrow passage between the cattails. So, I didn’t want to tarry too long among the bunnies and sparrows. But I did, and I used up my camera battery.
Breeding golden-crowned sparrow (could be male or female).
Immature golden-crowned sparrow.
I took this one with my iPhone.
The birds seemed less wary of my presence when dusk rolled around. Twice, a red-winged blackbird male flew toward me and hovered briefly in front of my face. I had seen a couple of people feeding blackbirds from their hands earlier, so the third time he flew toward me I held out my hand. He stayed for half a minute or so. He looked at me as I looked at him and flew away when he concluded that I had no food. At some point I sat on the path and he poked at the ground near me for a while. He was close enough for my camera to capture feather details!
A spotted towhee checked me out briefly.
I walked along the edge of the pond, which is bordered by little trees, hoping to get a glimpse of the beaver. Five or six chickadees followed me from tree to tree. I felt like Snow White. A glimpse of a golden-crowned kinglet drew me under the umbrella of a willow tree. As I stood under the spring-green dome, the kinglet flitted from branch to branch, always staying within arms length of my face.
Drunk on kinglet bliss, I followed the path on the south side of the pond. A thin trail on my left led to the water’s edge. I stared and stared at the cattails. And just when I was getting ready to leave, I saw a beaver sliver sliding through the water.