I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed the hawk under the evergreen tree. I sprinkle some seed on the ground there for birds and bunnies.
I could see lots of gray feathers floating around and worried that it might be a junco. But after the hawk flew away and my hounds were out for a bathroom break, I slipped on my snowboots to run out for a closer look. Once again there was enough of the head left to positively ID a House Sparrow (male).
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The great new combination monopod/walking stick that I purchased on eBay last week (my first eBay purchase, by the way) was delivered by UPS late yesterday afternoon. Richard recommended I try one of these to help me with more camera stability for my night-time pictures. I told him I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money and he was kind enough to send me the eBay link he used for the monopod he purchased. The "Buy Now" price was very reasonable and even with shipping, my total cost was less than $25!
It has a cushioned hand grip with a wrist strap, 3 telescoping sections (with locking tabs), and fits into a neat little 22-inch zippered carrying case. It's very lightweight aluminum (under 2 pounds, so that will make it very easy to carry along anywhere.
The other neat thing about it is that I can also use it for my spotting scope. My spotting scope came with this little table-top tripod which limits my viewing opportunities somewhat.
Now I can just attach my spotting scope to the monopod, which is going to give me a lot more flexibility and opportunities for using my spotting scope at home (in fact, I used it this afternoon to watch that Cooper's Hawk out my kitchen window).