Two new visitors this week:
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (blurry):
I had to rely on the fine folks at the Flickr group Field Guide: Birds of the World group to identify the Pacific Coast Bushtit that I spotted above my feeder on December 2:
[Solved: it was a reflection of a light source inside the house, filtered through the flats of the blinds.]
One of the RSS feeds I follow is Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News blog which mentioned an observation from Tacoma of a North-South meteor sighting around 6pm on December 3. I figured this might be something my WeatherCam might have captured, as the time fit within the capture period of my daylight camera. Though the odds were slim, as my camera only captures a frame every 20 seconds.
While there is a faint contrail (aligned with north-to-south), there was no brilliant of obvious sign of a meteor streak, unfortunately. While some bolides are known for leaving a lingering trail, the contrail that visible falls within the standard YVR (Vancouver) approach, and lasted much too long to be a bolide contrail (which tend to disappate rather quickly). The contrail starts at around 5:45pm and passes overhead and out of view at 6:02pm.
However, while I'm watching my video, I notice a bright object appear, then disappear. I first thought this might be a lens flare from the lamp in front of my house, but it was on at full illumination before and after the object appears and disappears.
Our dose of snow hasn't stopped our local avian denizens from foraging. They succeeded in finding the sunflower seeds and cracked corn under the snow.
Its not surprise that Seattle goes to absolute crap in the snow. The combination of snow, a snow that melts, then a deep freeze (thank you Canada) turns our hills, overpasses and interstate freeways into absolute hell zones. A friend of ours had a 12 HOUR COMMUTE. He got home at 4am. Rear-drive articulated buses don't do well on ice.
After a 24 hours, it became widely evident to most news outlets that the "mystery missile" of November 8, 2010 was caused by an airplane contrail. However, there was always a bit of vagueness as to what flight or what kind of airplane caused the contrail. The Pentagon didn't reveal anything other than the fact that it WAS a contrail of some sort, and the FAA never said anything at all other than it was a normal event.
This week, the week of the "mystery missile" non-event in California, turned out in a way that I could never have imagined. What started out as mild curiousity turned in to a desire to put to rest a "mystery" that was so obviously unmysterious to me.
I'm just getting word that there was another "UFO" cloud sighting over New York last night and from the clips I've seen, it appears to be another sunlit contrail, this time in a horizontal alignment.
CBS 2 coverage: Did You See the Fire in the Sky?
The most notable feature I want to address about the video is this:
One of my commenters below has given me some critical information that has lead me to update my assement of what flight caused the "mystery missile" contrail. Make no mistake, I stand by my assertion that the event was nothing more than a contrail, however, new, solid data has come in that has me changing my theory that the contrail in question was not caused by US Airways flight 808 (AWE808) but rather my second contender, United Parcel Service flight 902 (UPS902). In fact I believe I can definitevely say that UPS 902 was the flight that created the contrail on November 8, 2010.
I rigged up the iphone once more, this time on the ground feeder. I fully expected to capture a Stellars Jay and a Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco, but I did not expect to get the Spotted Towhee so clearly!
At least 10 Dark-eyed ("Oregon") Juncos at the feeder today, feeding on the seed dropped by the Jays. Another visit by a furtive Red-breasted Nuthatch. No rodents today.