Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Semi-Silent Spring

Where are the birds? 

On our hill, this slow spring has been curiously bird-free.  I do hear the occasional chickadee and goldfinch.  The bluebird hung around singing for a few days but nobody joined him, so he left.  I've heard an owl or two in the woods, and the woodpeckers are keeping the percussion section going as usual.  But what about the dawn chorus?

I should be waking up to red-winged blackbirds trilling in the field, hawks whistling in the heavens, and the rusty-hinge song of the phoebes.  Instead, I wake up to blue sky, bright sun, and silence.  The phoebes are here and building a nest, but they aren't singing.  And where are the thrushes?  Every morning when I open the door of the shed to let the hens out I listen for that magic flute in the woods, but if the thrushes are there, they too are silent.

It's a weird year for frogs as well.  By now there should be at least a dozen sunning themselves on the patio by the pond, but so far I've only seen one.  He is big and hefty, and lets out an occasional dispirited croak.  I hope some friends join him soon.  Bisou misses the frog parties even more than I do.

While we wait and hope for the real thing to arrive, here is Amy Beach's "Hermit Thrush At Morn," which is almost as mysterious and enchanting as the live bird:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV4H41jDGaQ



2 comments :

  1. The thrushes aren't actually late, I don't think—we just went from cold cold to hot hot so quickly. All of those birds you mention have been loud down here in the valley. This morning was unbelievable—one chickadee was actually annoying. I'm betting the hermit and wood thrushes will begin to sing within the week.

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  2. Oh, I'm so glad about the thrushes. And last evening the blackbirds were all over the place--finally. The phoebes are a mystery, though.

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