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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm back in the backyard

I apologize for my blog silence over the last several days. As sometimes happens, real life intervened on my "virtual" life and kept me away from the keyboard. Not unhappily, I hasten to add. It's just that I have been preoccupied with events which didn't leave me time for writing, or, for that matter, much time for observing the birds.

At this time of the year, if you miss a day of observations, then it seems that the backyard cast of avian characters changes completely. This week I'm hearing vireos calling every time I step outside. Both the White-eyed and the Red-eyed varieties seem to be in the neighborhood. I could have sworn that I heard a Yellow-breasted Chat, too, one of my favorite summer visitors. The bird was calling from among the shrubbery along the back fence, but I only heard a fragment of the call and the bird never came into view, so I couldn't be absolutely sure it was a chat. But it is time for that quirkiest member of the warbler family to be putting in an appearance, so I strongly suspect that's what it was.

In the backyard, the sound of baby birds urging their parents to bring food is heard constantly. There's a family of young Carolina Wrens behind the garden shed that seems almost ready to fly out into the world. There are other baby voices all around the yard, the identity of some of which I'm not sure, but it sounds like we'll be seeing a population explosion of fledglings very soon now.

And in the bluebird box, the Eastern Bluebirds are getting ready to start a new family.

Meanwhile, I keep running into winter birds that I thought were gone. I was sure all my warblers had left but then I saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler a few days ago, and then yesterday, as I was sitting on my patio resting from my labors, a beautiful brightly colored Pine Warbler dropped into the little fountain there to get a drink of water.

The backyard birds can always surprise us, always keep us entertained.

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