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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Comings and Goings

Missing in action are some of my bird feeder's migratory visitors.  In particular I miss the red breasted grosbeak. A regular visitor during spring migration, the red breasted grosbeak usually stops for a couple weeks here in the mid Ohio Valley on its way back to the West Virginia Highlands. 
The male wears his family colors like a shield upon his breast, announcing his presence with confidence. Even the female dressed in her camoflauging colors is striking with her clean white brow and spotted chest. West Virginians have been so taken by the red breasted grosbeak that we have put it on many of our lisence plates even though many of us have never seen the bird. 
I think that the same unusually warm spring that convinced plants to break through the earth a couple weeks early, also lured the red breasted grosbeak back into the mountains of West Virginia without first stopping in more temperate areas such as my front yard. 
I even bought an extra fifty pounds of sunflower seed so that they would not go hungry when they arrived. Much of it is being eaten by cowbirds.

Some guests who stayed all winter are still here though I expect them to fly away any day now.  The white throated sparrow still calls from the sourwood tree in my garden, introducing each call with a few high pitched notes
But even as these winter residents prepare to leave, the summer birds are returning.  A familiar spot in my walk brings to my ears the call off a wood thrush.  When I heard it I knew just where to look and there it was, calling from the same buckeye tree in which I found many times it last summer, watching me between songs. Welcome back friend.
 
Saturday evening I rested  on a newly painted glider in the fern garden watching as sensitive ferns seem to unfurl before my eyes. A familiar song finally moved from my subconcious hearing to the forfront insisting that I look into the trees to find its origin.  I finally found the singer amid the blooming hawthorn, appearing to enjoy the evening as much as I was.

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