It's been an amazing fall here in the fair state of Maryland for rarities, most of them visitors from the U.S. West. Since October, we've had a Say's Phoebe, Ash-Throated Flycatcher and Anna's Hummingbird (just the second Maryland record) to name the highlights. Dan Haas has more on the recent birding gold over at Nervous Birds blog.
Then, on Sunday, participants in the Kent County Christmas Bird Count found what may be the first Maryland sighting of Golden-Crowned Sparrow:
Warren went in search of this lovely little bird on Tuesday, and his and other birders' patience was rewarded with quite a show.
Here is an immature White-Crowned Sparrow, with which the Golden-Crowned was foraging, for comparison:
And, of course, it is now no longer fall. Tuesday saw the solstice, marking the onset of winter, as well as a lunar eclipse: