While we were in China, new neighbors began moving in. We found mud all over our front porch and this up in one corner. Swallows make mud nests, but this nest has grass and twigs too, and swallows usually nest under bridges in large colonies. Finally, one morning I saw the newlyweds scooping gobs of mud from my front flower bed and flying back and forth adding to their home. They were grey with white bellies and darker heads. I had no idea what they were.
After some research, I believe they are Black Phoebes. We've never seen them here before, but aren't they cute? They have a pleasant call and this charming little tail-bobbing thing they do, and they seem quite brave flying close to us and tolerating the door opening and closing.
It seems like we see a new bird species nearly every year. I wonder if it's global warming, cleaner habitats, or just more careful looking on my part. Whatever it is, I like these charming little birds and hope they stay here.