Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Morning Chorus Grows

The pace of arrivals quickens and the morning chorus of birds becomes more complex. Baltimore orioles arrived in the neighborhood yesterday, their cheery whistling notes and brilliant orange feathers brighten any morning. I heard the raspy wee-eep call of the great crested flycatcher and the slow speaking blue-headed vireo, here I the tree......look at me as I walked with Kodi through oak-pine woods. The songs of two warblers floated out from the thicket of dogwoods, alders, and viburnums bordering the Longmarsh Road wetlands. The secretive common yellowthroat singing witchity, witchity, witchity, and the oh so sweet yellow warbler with its sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet.

The energetic house wren turned up in the neighbor's forsythia bushes this morning, where one lives every year. Their chatter loud and very wren-like. I heard one buzzy phrase from a black-throated-blue warbler singing from the underbrush -- zoo, zoo, zoo, zreee -- and then no more. Two downy woodpeckers drummed, first one then the other. They sounded alike to me, but a female downy surely picks up a difference in their pitch and intensity.

Along with new bird arrivals each day, more woodland flowers open too. The clintonia, or blue-bead lily, is flowering now. The subtle pale yellow flowers could be overlooked on a woodland walk. Look for 2-3 large, basal leaves surrounding the taller, leafless flower stalk. Looking for the blue-bead lily and other woodland flowers gives the neck a rest, after craning your neck toward the treetops in search of small hard to see warblers.

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