. . . among all the birds that have visited my Tacoma backyard. (You thought I meant, WHAT?!) But as I stood at the kitchen sink, looking out the window, there on the edge of the birdbath stood a feathered guest about 20" long, so big that out of the corner of my eye I could have mistaken it for a cat. At first, I didn't recognize this new visitor as a Peregrine Falcon, since he had his back facing me, bent over with his light underside exposed. I grabbed my bird book, and as he moved about I confirmed the identity.
The task of identifying him would prove easier than convincing people that I really did make this rare sighting. If only I'd had my camera. In addition to obtaining photographic evidence, I might have won the WeLoveBirds.org Winter 2011 Photo Contest. I still could, if he returns, and so could you if such a lucky photo op comes your way.
Yesterday I saw a Steller's Jay with a peanut in his beak, deliberately push it down into the dirt to bury it. Then he looked around, picked up a leaf, and put the leaf right over the spot where the peanut was hidden. I'm not making this stuff up. Really. (sigh)
Just wait. I have my camera handy now, ready for anything, no matter how big, in the fascinating world of nature right in my own backyard.