WHAT A CHRISTMAS GIFT!
CHRISTMAS EVE, 2012 - Today there was a lovely Christmas present, not UNDER our Christmas tree but IN our Serviceberry tree in the back garden: a rare visitor to this continent, a Brambling, which is resident across northern Europe, Siberia and Asia. We make regular reports to the Cornell Institute of Ornithology on their FeederWatch Program so when we saw the Brambling we realized it was a rare bird and we e-mailed a photo to Cornell for confirmation. Upon confirmation and posting the sighting our little 'kitchen computer' lit up and we had many, many happy birdwatchers here who were able to add the Brambling to their lists. It only stayed through Dec. 26 but what a fun time it was, and what a bunch of lovely folks (who braved the freezing cold and rain on our deck for hours) we met. Our rather small garden is in constant view from windows on three sides of the house and we have, over the years, planted a large number of different berry plants and trees and installed a small pond, all of which help to draw birds and many other 'critters' in. The garden is a Certified Backyard Habitat now and is a contant source of enjoyment and brings us many subjects for our photography. (See some of the results in our "In Our Garden" Gallery.)