Friday, May 2, 2008

Blink And Miss It

We returned from our annual trip to Arizona on Monday. I was gone most of the last half of April and was not happy about missing the transition into full-blown Spring. I returned to find flowers in bloom and leaves busting their buds. Work and weather have conspired to keep me from spending any significant time on Moose Hill, but I did get to drive over a couple of times, taking the scenic route while running errands. This morning, I parked in the visitor center lot long enough to take a short walk down the Vernal Pool Trail beyond the old home site, through the old wall and into the white pine forest. The weather was cool and drizmy and the light was bad, but I wanted to see just one bird of the forest.

I was a little surprised at how quiet the forest was on the second of May and I heard and saw little for the first five minutes. Finally a blue jay broke the ice and a hairy woodpecker joined in with a healthy tapping high in the trees. Then, off through the oaks, a movement near the forest floor caught my eye and a hermit thrush, complete with rufous tail, was moving through the undergrowth. The bird was silent but I hope to hear its song soon so I can contrast it with the well-known wood thrush ee-o-lay flute-like call. Seeing a hermit thrush after only a few minutes in the woods was enough to brighten even a dreary morning so I headed back to the car.

Back at the little field by the parking lot I got a good look at a few chipping sparrows. It looks like it may be a good year for them. I've been seeing and hearing them everywhere since I've been home.

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