Back to Spring!

I got home last night in an April shower and found that the house was surrounded by Cedar Waxwings; each tree had a cluster of 4-6 or so Waxwings in it, all “sheee”ing away like anything. They were very obliging, as well, and sat out in plain sight for the most part for clear observation.  Very trim and attractive little birds.  Well, this morning, the showers were still sprinkling, and the Waxwings were still up there, trilling back and forth, but while I was listening with half a mind, I gradually noticed something else was in the mix.  Turns out that we had a Swainson’s Thrush bouncing around the yard this morning as well.  I always have to refresh my memory of some thrush songs, because other than Wood Thrush, I don’t hear them very often any more.  Veery is easy – just a repeated, spirally descending Vee-eer, and Hermit Thrush is a very complicated (for a Thrush) song, so it’s actually easy to tell.  Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked are the ones I can never keep straight; I always have to look up and see who goes up and who goes down.  Swainson’s has the spiralling trill that ends on a sharp upward slide, while the Gray-cheeked does something similar, but goes downwards like the Veery.  I love Thrush songs, and it’s great to have such an overgrown backyard that I can hope to have them pass through in the spring.  That’s the second Swainson’s we’ve had here in the 17 years we’ve lived in the city.  Our weekend Yellowthroat has apparently moved on to more congenial habitat, however; no cheery morning song today.

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