Yup, we went here again. And once again, it turned out to be the right call.
My primary interest was whether or not there were many sparrows left in the "garden." Well, there were not, just about 8 SONG SPARROWS and about 10 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. The presence of a COOPER'S HAWK upon our arrival likely did not help matters. However, closer to the barn, we found another 15+ Song Sparrows, another 10+ goldfinches, and among them, a slightly tardy SWAMP SPARROW. That little hot corner also hosted a tarrying female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, which chose not to join the flock of 16 that passed through.
While checking the weedy area, a spiffy adult RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, the bird of the day, passed overhead offering prolonged views of it soaring in perfect light. A short while later, the local pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS took to the sky, offering a good lesson in shape and size.
Earlier, we enjoyed a stately PILEATED WOODPECKER at the woodland edge, with a NORTHERN CARDINAL nearby, BLUE JAYS passing back and forth overhead, and a smattering of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES.
The bay was a little quieter than I hoped for, but not surprisingly so considering the mild season (until the last two mornings, anyway!), and a cruising 1st cycle BALD EAGLE did not keep things comfortable. BUFFLEHEADS are in though (60), joined now by a handful of COMMON GOLDENEYES. There were scattered small groups of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS as well, but a half dozen or so SURF SCOTERS were way too far to be enjoyed. All three of our large GULL species, RING-BILLED, HERRING, and GREAT BLACK-BACKED (2) were present and accounted for.