I had one of those Ahhhhhh moments yesterday.
I’d put some bird seed in the large pot plant saucer I’d bought to use as a bird bath (but no bird ever drank or splashed around in it), so occasionally I fill it with bird seed to entice the avian species to my balcony garden.
Of course, they make a terrible mess splitting the seeds from the husk and use the balcony floor and fence rail as a ‘public convenience’ and it takes me a couple of hours to sweep, wash & clean it all up. I have just swept and tidied up awaiting a wash later this afternoon. Regular balcony cleaning is mandatory, as, otherwise, my shoes collect the sticky bird droppings or seed husks and get carted indoors on the pale carpet (despite the door mat to wipe my shoes on).
I’ve always accepted the slight variations in feather patterns of the House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) as a normal avian thing.
But yesterday I realised I had a different Sparrow species visiting – the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).
There are actually 2 different sparrows species found in the south-east of the country, according to my Australian Bird Guide Book.
Now, I’m not going to go back through the old posts to see if I’ve mixed the identification up, but I am going to convey the difference in this post.
The sexes of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow are unlike the House Sparrows in that the male and female have similar plumage. The male and female of the House Sparrows are very different.
The crown and nape of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows are a rich brown, with characteristic white cheek patch with a black central spot. The forehead and bib are black with the rest of the underparts a pale grey-buff. Back and wings are a richly mottled chestnut.
I don’t know how I haven’t noticed before now, or maybe I just never had Eurasian Tree Sparrows visiting before yesterday? Who knows.
The flight feathers and notched tail are dark brown. I tried to get a photo of the tail showing the notch, but the birds wouldn’t pose at the right angle for me.
The image below shows a male House Sparrow feeding 2 females (definitely NOT a Eurasian Tree Sparrow).
The weather is absolutely gorgeous at the moment. Sunny blue skies with a lovely cool breeze over recent days or overcast skies and cool temperatures (today). We’ve even had a bit of decent rainfall.
This is my kind of weather and definitely a favourite season (besides Spring).
The reality is that every season has its merits, but Autumn and Spring always seem to be pretty special here in Melbourne, Australia. The intermittent cloud cover makes for some lovely sunsets in Autumn.