No, not the House Sparrow. Perhaps you'll recognize the Common Redpoll on the right. This bird showed up last week on the Bolivar Penninsula, just northeast of Galveston, TX. Last week, as in "the middle of the summer." This is the eighth documented record of C. Redpoll for Texas, and the second (or third) for the TX coast (both in the summer). One of the first things we're tempted to do when an accidental shows up is to speculate on why it's there. Usually one can speculate that the bird overshot migration, or is just a wanderer (whatever that means). But what could cause a Redpoll to wander to the Texas coast in the middle of summer, while others are breeding in northern Canada? Redpolls are known to experience irruptive cycles in response to food availability (but not this far south!). I'm not sure if a cycle happened this past winter. Other northern finches show up in Texas, but rarely on the coast, and never in the summer. At any rate, this bird should have flown the opposite direction last spring. One might wonder if this bird (and the other summer record(s)) might have had some sort of illness or injury that messed up its compass. Any other ideas out there?