No there were no magicians in the garden. When I let Annie outside this afternoon (02/20) I saw a good sized gray bird come up off the ground. I knew right away it was an unusual bird to see in a garden, at least our garden.
I alerted my DB then went outside to try to see if it stayed close. I knew it was carrying its prey.
Sure enough I found him up in our catalpa tree about to have his dinner. It was drizzling rain but my DB got some good shots of this little falcon
We have House Sparrows aplenty. I don't mind a bit if he takes a few this winter.
He wasn't a bit shy about eating with us fairly close watching. This told me that he was very hungry.
To put this sighting in perspective we often don't see this bird every year, any place, let alone in our garden. A fabulous new bird sighting for our garden, number 124 for me. A good omen for the start of this birding year.