Birds make us free. In their comings and goings, they vocalize and perform the turning of the year and the seasons. We imagine the journeys of migrants to and from exotic places, and when they come back, we are complete. The ones who stay with us are our constant friends.
A few days ago, Black-headed Grosbeaks were heard. Shortly thereafter Western Tanagers chirped. Today, May 9, 2016 I heard the spiraling song of the Swainson’s Thrush in its usual place in the woods. Aahh, spring can begin.
There are a couple not yet seen or heard – I saw on the Mid-Valley birder’s list that Western Wood Pewees have returned. I think I heard a Pacific Slope Flycatcher, but not the Pewee yet. Still listening for a Wrentit and Chipping Sparrow (probably here but not seen yet). Hermit Thrushs may have stopped off, but they are very low profile.
As one group moves in we hear or see them constantly. Then the chorus changes to another. Such a delight!
The lineup so far:
Evening Grosbeak (one of the first returnees)
Golden-crowned Sparrow (may have moved on to higher altitude or latitude)
Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Downy Woodpecker (?)
Western Scrub hay
Red-Shafted Flicker (finally moved out of the veranda by the shop into the snags in the woods)
Steller’s Jay (not hogging the feeders anymore)
American Robin (always the last to bed, and the first up)
Western Screech Owl
White-Breasted Nuthatch (not seen this year yet)
California quail (have been here in the past, at the neighbors’ this year)
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (moved on)
Golden-Crowned Kinglet (moved on?)
Bushtits (moved on?)
Varied Thrush (moved on)
Cooper’s/Sharp-Shinned Hawk (occasionally hunting at the feeders)
Geese – Cackling, Greater White-Fronted migrated recently northwesterly
Mallard – visited our pond, then left. It never measures up
In the neighborhood, or at the neighbors
Eurasian Collared Dove
Great Blue Heron