Given that the only birds of note that I saw today were 7 trumpeter swans flying over the office, my sightings contributions will be exceedingly short. And indeed, there it is.
So, here's a curious thing. Quite a good idea if you live in rural Italy, or southern California perhaps...
Bird boxes with a difference. They'd be great for encouraging house sparrows in places where they're declining at a serious rate, or indeed any other social nesters.
Mystery Bird revealed
OK - eventually, I'm revealing the mystery bird.
Nobody went for varied thrush. Quite right too, it looks nothing like one.
10% of participants went in favour of western meadowlark. Fair enough, right sort of shape, essentially brown with black markings, even what appears to be a pale supercillium. But what about that white rump? Hm - rules out meadowlark.
I was surprised to see that more people went for American kestrel than they did the meadowlark. The mystery bird seems pretty short tailed, and not nearly rufous enough on the mantle in my opinion. And that plainish head pattern really rules this species out too, as does, once again, the white rump.
So, that leaves us with northern flicker. 70% of the voters chose this species. The shape, white rump, the mantle pattern and colour all suggest this bird. This individual was a juv, explaining the lack of obvious grey tones on the head.
So well done - the majority rule! Although far from being a clear cut image, it was obviously easier than the last one (when very few took part. Cowards!).
And, just for a bit of extra fun - you have FIVE answers to choose from with the new mystery bird... Good luck!