The Singing Life of Birds which is about all one can do with the weather we've been having so going back to some of my favorite chapters including The Dawn Chorus. Donald and other savvy birders know the best time to bird by ear which is the hour before sunrise when birds awaken and their hormones rage reminding everyone in their vicinity whose turf is whose so don't even try it! I'd be reminded of my special friend The Black-capped Chickadee who perched in my Mullberry Tree one April morning having his own dawn chorus and how that one little bird would change my life in a way I never would imagine. Looking back on it now, it's no wonder I've always been drawn to the song of birds as that's what got me interested in them in the first place, so off I went to Brierly before sunrise to listen.
By the time I got there bird song would be heavy but was disappointed neither of the Chestnut-sided Warblers were out as it was one of the reasons I went as early as I did in an attempt to record their dawn song.. The Veery's would be out and singing as beautifully as always, but no special tune to start the day so off I went to find one who did. I'd make my way to a spot many warblers are and the place would be alive with bird song from many species. My ears would finally pick up on the lone Scarlet Tanager who'd be singing his dawn song so of course I had to record it!
As you will hear-there were birds singing from all over which made it rather tough to record the tanager with all the other competition! The 1st picture of this post is the full length sonogram of all the birds and the one above is of the first 10 seconds of recording (full audio though). Notice the chickadee singing Phee Bee which is what caused me to catch the birding bug. I like to think it was the one on my tree five years ago letting me he he approves of my passionate hobby and sang that morning for my own good ;-)
I'd leave Brierly just as the sun started to awaken and decided to hit another spot nearby that's pretty birdy but the only caveat being no trails which means straight bush whacking. I'd decide to give it a go and stay near the edge of the nearby field as there's a little trail there and was glad I did as it wouldn't take me too long to pick up my first ever Millbury Louisiana Waterthrush!
The bird is distant but can still be heard. Mystified as this area is near still water with no running water that I know of so will need to investigate further and see if there are other ways to get in the general area without bush whacking for what feels like miles.
You'll vaguely hear the BTBW if you have your volume up high enough. He was way out in the woods and I didn't bush whack as there were Ovenbirds nearby starting to squabble and won't bush whack if I think there may be nesting birds in any of the areas without trails of course.
Swoon...Nature's Prozac here folks. Amazing that such a song can come from such a tiny bird.
Another treat would be the Blue Jay above who'd be very close and doing something I've never seen this bird do before which was almost a form of drumming with his bill (similar to what woodpeckers do and he'd be doing it on this meesly little branch no less (almost like caching)!
You can actually somewhat hear the faint drumming if you listen carefully on the 9 second mark.
I'd finally make my way back to the main trail while doing a mental inventory of all the lovely birds I heard or saw and wonder why I hadn't had any sighting of a flushed Barred Owl as it's almost a ritual at this point. Moments later I'd see one fly past and comment aloud with a thanks! Suddenly the owl would slow down and land on a tree and it would be then I'd finally be eye to eye with one of the Barred's at Brierly. He'd look at me and I at him as I slowly turned on my camera being sure not to make any quick movements in fear he'd fly away. I'd manage a few and then he'd turn around and leave the branch as quietly as he arrived. I find it amazing that a bird this size with wings as large as his never makes a sound as it maneuvers the woods. It wold be the perfect way to end my time at Brierly.
Take care all.