What a wonderful couple of days. It was so nice that I bit the allergy bullet and just had the windows open most of the day, so that in between yardwork and household chores I could relax sneezily in a cool, breezy living room and listen to the birds outside. A small flock of Cedar Waxwings and a couple of Flickers were the usual highlights I hear most years about this time. We had a Yellowthroat take up temporary residence this weekend, singing away cheerfully and hopping around in plain sight in and out of the brush at the edge of my freshly-cut over backyard. He seemed a little less enthusiastic on Sunday; perhaps it was starting to sink in that there were no female Yellowthroats within 20 miles or so. Meanwhile, our local Mockingbird was showing off a few additions to his repertoire (unless this is a replacement since last week) – I’ve previously heard him do a very good cellphone ring-tone, but Saturday he began trying out his Herring Gull seaside routine and quite a nifty Red-shouldered Hawk. It was easily as good as any Blue Jay imitation I’ve ever heard. Cutting back the overgrown backyard opened it up nicely for our local Catbird and Robins to forage, which they did with great enthusiasm. The Mockingbird prefers to do his hunting in the front yard, which is shorter and tidier. It’s fun to watch him with his herky-jerk wing motions and his wing- and tail-bar flashing prancing around like a little theropod and nabbing insects. I hope he didn’t get the small wolf spider w/ egg sac I saw while admiring the vegetable garden on Saturday. I’ve only seen a Mockingbird attacking a snake (a Brown Snake) once, but it was quite striking to watch it dancing around the snake, flashing its white bars and then suddenly pecking, presumably when the snake was distracted and out of position. It’s going to be interesting for birds when the Walnut seedling gets a bit bigger; I hope it survives longer than the Mimosa did. I miss that tree – we had lots of butterflies and bees when it was alive. Speaking of butterflies, a brush-footed butterfly of some sort flew around in the yard on Saturday. I’m not very good with those, but it was probably a Comma or an Apostrophe or whatever those things are.
Going in to work this morning in the little rain shower, there was a Catbird singing in the walkway of trees, with an Ovenbird yelling in the shrubbery below. Nice start to a Monday.