Last week I bought five bags of mulch and put them down around my flower beds. Looks like I was just in time. I want to conserve every precious drop of rain that falls. I would prefer to use normal leaf litter and such as mulch, but I can't convince my gardner to leave the debris alone. He thinks it is unsightly, I guess. I don't live in a fire hazard area, so normal leaf litter is not only cheap, it is what is best for the soil and the birds prefer it to hunt through for seeds and bugs. The Sierra Club suggested putting store-bought mulch over the leaf litter to please the neighbors while still getting the advantages of the natural process of leaf decay. So that's what I did.
Another Orange-crowned Warbler has been by and a possible Yellow Warbler. I wasn't sure of that one. But no White-crowned Sparrows yet. Maybe this storm has held them off. No takers for my feeder either. The squirrel has given up, but the jays keep trying. One jay has found that if he contorts himself on the feeder's perch, he can get one seed. But it must be very uncomfortable for him because all he takes is one before flying off.