Best Alarm Clock

First, Non Birding Bill and I went to see Hot Fuzz last night--HILARIOUS and we highly recommend it. We've been fans of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost from watching the British tv show Spaced (if you haven't seen it, put it on your Netflix cue), but we laughed out loud through almost the whole movie. It was also fun to see Timothy Dalton savoring his role--love that guy. It parodies all those cop buddy movies and this crew can really commit to a ridiculous premise.


Monday morning we had a white-throated sparrow singing very loudly outside our bedroom window. It made for a delightful alarm clock. This morning, I heard the warbling tones of a rose-breasted grosbeak right outside the window before our alarm went off.

I slowly rose upright in the bed and saw the male grosbeak lurking in the branches near the bird feeder. I had the camera handy and positioned it at the ready aimed at the feeder. Do you see the black and white blob on the left in the above photo? That's the back of the grosbeak. The screen was down and I figured it wasn't going to be the best shot, but at least blogable. To my surprise the grosbeak flew past the seed feeder and went right to the suet log (which is not visible from the bed). I figured this guy had just arrived during migration and I didn't to disturb his eating and didn't risk scaring him off getting a better shot of the suet feeder. As I was watching, I whispered, "Cool!" to myself. Non Birding Bill rolled over and tossed more blanket one me. "What's that for?" I asked. "You said you were cold." He mumbled in a half awake state.

I didn't bother to clarify what I actually said.

The grosbeak continued his song around the neighborhood and I risked being late getting ready for my shift at The Raptor Center trying to photograph him. There he is. He was in mid song in this photo, you can see his little throat puffing out. It's interesting that his song is so loud and clear even though his bill appears to be closed while he sings.

It's not the best photo, but for digiscoping right out of bed without coffee, it's not that bad.

I was so late getting ready this morning, I could hear new arrivals all over outside: least flycatchers, black-throated green warbler, northern parula, yellow-rumps, and a Harris sparrow. How is a birder supposed to get anything done with such siren songs outside the window?

Well, a white-throated sparrow on Monday, a rose-breasted grosbeak on Tuesday... I wonder what Wednesday's alarm will be? Hopefully and oriole.