A lone house finch, red head almost matching my red feeder, is first to arrive, joined by a bachelor gold finch, somber in his dark, dirty yellow winter mantle. They nibble on the black oil sunflower seeds methodically and philosophically, until the dopey sparrows drive them off with their constant nattering and frantic moments of group panic.
A pair of sturdy juncos roll their eyes as they popcorn around the base of the feeder picking up dropped seed. "Dopey sparrows," they seem to say.
And finally the chickadees arrive. They dive bomb the feeders, grabbing one sunflower seed at a time, rapidly retreating to the safe haven of our backyard hedge to savor their winter bounty. As the afternoon goes on, I can see they're the culprits, the ones who have my bird feeders swinging to and fro.
Before dark, I take the trash out. The dopey sparrows are nested for the night, the finches well hidden in the cedar straight back from the house. But from the hedge I hear one last wistful chick-a-dee-dee-chick-a-dee-dee-dee.
About small stones. . . a little writing exercise I've happily copped from Euphenia over at Little Dogs on Long Leashes!