The early bird gets the worm, right? I think that must count for grubs too. This young chipping sparrow found a mouthfull this morning before the sun was even over the edge of our hill. It must think it has found a private grocery market for the family. There were several on the same log yesterday afternoon while I was "deadheading" the wildflower patches. This morning this one was alone getting the best pickings.
They both flew around me for a bit, must have been satisfied that I wasn't much of a threat then returned to the higher canopy. I was at the crest of a small hill, looking down into the trees each tanager occupied. The sun was just beginning to touch the trees beyond the birds. Otherwise it would have been to bright for any photo at all. My position put me at a point where I could almost look down on the birds. I also must have been in the middle of a mosquito village, for the tiny pests searched out and found every exposed bit of skin I had.
While I stood watching the scarlet tanagers, a towhee was watching me. I could here the familiar scratching in the forest floor debris until it suddenly stopped, replaced by the towhee's call from the branches in front of me as it repeatedly insisted that I "drink your tea." I would have gladly drunk my tea had I brought a cup with me. This towhee may have been related to the pair that inhabit my garden. The garden couple have little fear of me and work through the debris close by while I quietly weed in the evenings.