Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fowl Meadow Feast of Song

(Above: cottonwood snow in red maple swamp)

Perfect weather for a walk down the Burma Road in Fowl Meadow. I got up very early (I was the only human on the property, it seemed, for my first two hours) to eat up the late May birdsong. Here's an extended taste of what I experienced. Quite a variety of singers, including one of my favorites (veery).

Here's the veery in combination with a blue-winged warbler. (Long distance photos of the blue-wing below). [In most of these recordings the "wickety wickety" of the common yellowthroat is actually the loudest voice.]

Oh, and the great-crested flycatcher. He's in there too, squawking away. He ended up chasing off the blue-wing. Boo!

A very vocal eastern towhee was doing perfect "drink your teas" trailside. I caught him in combination with the veery, and then in combination with a wood thrush and an eastern wood-pewee. (No photo of him, but how about this rose-breasted grosbeak--perfectly posed?)

And if you hear a little high-pitched zee-zee-ing, that's our friends, the cedar waxwings.

When I first heard a veery (in Peterson's Birding By Ear) I was incredulous. How could or why would a bird sing this way. Many real life veery encounters later, I'm still in awe, though they never sing as loud in real life as they seem to in professional recordings. At any rate, the best way to hear veerys is in surround sound, with multiple singers in close proximity. Here is the closest I got this morning.

There is also a mystery singer in there. It sounds like a common yellowthroat singing double-time. Maybe it is.

Another mystery singer--a warbler, no doubt, but I couldn't place it by memory. I'll try to look it up (probably embarrassingly easy). Simple, repetitive, and loud song along with a wood thrush. [I'll go out on a limb--prothonotary (wrong environment) or Kentucky (right environment, slightly wrong song).]

And finally, a recording from a walk I took in Wrentham yesterday (while the family shopped in the outlet mall). Cool upward trill, followed by a choppier upward song--Blackburnian Prairie Warbler. Hear the crackling? That's from the high voltage power lines (I was walking through an easement).

No comments: