We have two pairs of sparrows this spring, the white crowned sparrow and golden crowned sparrow, who come visiting the juniper bush when the squirrels retreat from their breakfast feast. We have been throwing out a bit of Russian Thistle seed that was getting stale, and this seems to be attracting them, which is a surprise.
At left is a very small portion of the feeding frenzy that happens when a flock of Pine Siskins arrive. They are the noisest of birds, shouting "here I am" to their preditors, with their only protection being the very large numbers in the flocks they travel with. All other sounds are drowned out by these birds; traffic, rushing water of flooding creeks, other birds, everything fades into the background.
Last year we had the yard dug up for drainage, and also had a load of sand dumped next to this area for use in making cement. The picture at right is not the clearest as any disturbance to find another lens would have caused the birds to all fly off, which they did, after the photo was taken. It was a reminder to me that birds need sand in their crops to digest food, and we have the ideal location, particularly whey it is raining. Most of the little grey lumps in the photo, (right), are Pine Siskins hunting a digestive aid between battles at getting to the perches on the feeders.