Out to Ridge Hill today in search of pine warblers (rumored to be back in Massachusetts already). Found 'em. Here's a taste of piney goodness. I still cannot consistently ID pine warblers vs. chipping sparrows and juncos (who are still around just to confuse things). But I saw this gorgeous bird singing with my own eyes.
[UPDATE: Caryl Park in Dover. Heard some trilling. Was it a pine warbler or a chipping sparrow. Both!]
I was also looking to see if I could spot any nesting chickadees (I had such good luck two years ago). It's too early. They are still fighting for mates and territory. One tussle I saw went all the way to the ground. The victorious male flew to the top of a tree and sang a victory song.
Another moment--I flushed a flicker from the base of a tree. I noticed a small group of robins crouched at the base of the same tree. That's odd. I peered in for a closer look and they flew off, some making the high pitched distress call. Sure enough, I had flushed these poor birds out into the sight of a sharp-shinned hawk.