The sun has not appeared since the switch to daylight savings time and we have had plenty of rain since the end of last week. It has been dark and dreary on workday mornings and I don't think that I have been the only person feeling tired and somewhat out of sorts with the time change.
Today one of my friends at the hospital invited me to go birding with her after work. It was pouring rain and the temperature was just above freezing when Deb called to make sure I still wanted to go out. Why not? Looking out at the rain through a car window could not be worse than looking out at the rain from indoors. I saw my first spring robins and took a picture of one of them against the grey sky. (the blue sky was photoshopped in)
We saw Red-winged Blackbirds, Purple Grackles, and a large mixed flock of Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. Horned Larks are still plentiful along road sides but it is hard to get a good picture of them as there is little contrast between the birds and the gravel. Deb is an expert "car birder" and spotted this Horned Lark in a parking lot. She approached slowly and started pishing through the open window. (Here is a post about pishing from Monarch's Nature Blog)
The lark turned to pay attention to the sound and gave this inquisitive look. Along another road, she stopped as we listened to the sounds of a Horned Lark's song. She described the singing as "tinkling or breaking glass". Here is a sample from the Cornell's online birding guide. This lark is a beautiful songster!
I had tried to get a decent picture of Horned Larks on a sunny afternoon a couple of weeks ago and my efforts were less than pleasing. It was easier to get a clear picture on this dull day without the glare of sunshine.
On the weekend I went looking for Red-winged Blackbirds in the rain and took this short video of a House Finch singing. Kim from The Kitchen Window Birder had posted this video of a different House Finch song. The song in the video below is far longer and more complex and continued until someone came along with a big dog and scared the bird away. The finch was truly "singing in the rain".
And if it can do that, then so should I!