It was late afternoon at Wishewurra Farm.
I looked out the window too look at the bird feeder.
WHAT was that bird??
I’d noticed because it was not a bird I’d seen before.
It was sitting in the chinese redbud next to the feeder.
I didn’t know what it was, and went straightaway to the bird books.
Look at this creature!
It’s a Blue Grosbeak.
We’d had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak visit the day before, which had been notable enough in itself. I don’t see those very often. I didn’t get a picture of the rose-breasted, but I did get the camera out in time for the Blue. I posted the photo on a local birding page, and got a more excited response than I’d been expecting. It turns out that the Blue Grosbeak is not your usual bird in these parts. They may be expected in mid-New Jersey and parts to the south, but here they are “overshoots”.
The next morning, a couple of the Vineyard’s finest birders came up to try to see this bird, but unfortunately, did not. They did see a Worm-eating Warbler, a rarish find here, which eased their pain at not seeing the Blue. There were also some nifty little gnatcatchers up in the oak trees. They’re tiny little things. So much life in such a wee package. I often think that the smallest birds are more amazing than the great eagles or the wide-winged condor.
Later that afternoon, Christine said, “I think it’s back!”
He was in a bittersweet-tangled alder bush in the front yard. This photo doesn’t show his face, but does give some better detail of the sides. The rufous accents in the wings are a nice touch.
For more on this creature, see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Grosbeak/
He hopped about in the tangle,, and then sat atop long enough for quick portrait.
Then off he flew. We hope he comes back again.
A woman farther up-island has seen a female.
Perhaps somehow they’ll find each other, these two birds, and raise a “far-northern” brood. In my lifetime, formerly southern birds have been moving north and settling in and raising families.
Maybe these blue beauties will do the same.