But your comments have really energized me, and, coincidentally, the number of visitors is up. I'm working to answer comments and then to finish the post I'd originally intended, the one about what I did on our anniversary, the grappling with what felt a bit selfish (my partly solo cycle), and I even have another outfit post for you.
Meanwhile, though, I'm sitting on the deck, the horrendous concrete-drilling noise and dust subsiding as the workers begin to pack up. It's 28 degrees Celsius, our (non-air-conditioned) condo faces West, through an expanse of windows, and we've had to keep the doors and windows closed most of the day to keep the dirt and high-decibel cacophony at bay. That doesn't please me at all! Downright cranky, Pater might tell you I've been . . .
But the other morning, before the power tools started up at 7, I caught a flicker of movement, noticed a bouncing branch on the Japanese maple, and spotted this little fellow tucking himself into the interstices of several twigs. That brilliant red -- was it a berry? No, a beak! And then the white-speckled russet patches bordering his creamy chest, the orange, white, and black adornment on his face. . . No small bird I'd ever seen here in the Pacific Northwest before.
I stayed as still as I could, just observing for the first ten minutes we spent together; then, seeing no objections made, I crept closer for a few photos of this rare spotting. After all, what if I, a not-even-neophyte birder had just sighted a rare visitor that would draw binoculared keeners from all over to add this one to their Life Lists. . . .
Yes, it's quite true. I may have read one too many of Steve Burrows' "Birder Murder" mysteries. Not long after I sent off an email (with accompanying photo) to an experienced birder friend, my little buddy flew off into the urban wild, and I did some quick online research. Turns out that entering "small bird red beak" quickly reveals my morning guest as a Zebra Finch, native to Australia. Which might have been an exciting find -- wow! little guy flew such a long way!! -- if not for the accompanying revelation that these birds are commonly sold here as pets. Someone flew the coop! Poor little escapee -- I hope whatever freedom you're able to enjoy is (was? I wonder how long he could last on his own) worth it. . .