Birds, Some Sweet, Some Bitter

Just as we’re putting in the fence, up pops another predator: a big wild turkey, right in our front yard! I think it was munching the buckwheat, which is succulent right now. So just a few yards away from the vegetable garden (luckily, at that side, the fence was already up).

It’s bittersweet to spot it: a flutter both of fear and joy, because the turkey is of course another element of wildlife, along with the foxes and the deer. And it was very pretty, a shiny russet brown, and graceful too. The way I figure is that I can afford to be ambivalent about it as long as the fence will keep it from the vegetables, as long as that one lone turkey doesn’t bring its flock to decimate the buckwheat.

Speaking of birds, Saturday morning at 6 am I met one of my neighbors who is an avid birder. He took me around the neighborhood and told me all about the birds that live here. He pointed out their songs, then we stood very still (aargh, forgot the mosquito dope!) and he made a funny whistling, swishing sound, and the birds appeared, sometimes only a few feet away. They were curious what that noise was all about. “What kind of birds are those?” and more importantly, “Are they a threat tom nest”.

And so I saw (* indicates for the first time):

  1. 2 Eastern bluebirds*
  2. 1 oriole*
  3. 2 yellow warblers, Mr. and Mrs.*
  4. 1 bobolink*
  5. 1 red-tailed hawk*
  6. flock of cedar waxwings (7?)*
  7. 1 tree swallow*
  8. 1 tree sparrow*
  9. 1 catbird*
  10. flock of cowbirds*
  11. several grackles
  12. 1 wood duck*
  13. Canada geese

And I heard, for the first time consciously:

  1. 1 vireo (forgot which)
  2. 1 scarlet tanager

He showed me where some of them nest, so I can take Amie there and “call them”. And I got to discover another nature reserve, tucked away right in my backyard!

No pictures. We had binoculars, but since the birds came so close, we hardly needed them. I’m happy I didn’t have a camera on me: I really could enjoy them so much better. I think I’ll keep the camera for the birds who come ot the feeder, and those that “pose”, of course.

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