Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Old Field in Late Summer – Blue Grosbeak Still Singing

The song of a Blue Grosbeak, the mews of Gray Catbirds, and a Black Vulture sunning itself on a pole were highlights from a rather quiet late morning walk. It was cloudy, warm and humid, with very little bird activity. The Blue Grosbeak sang from a scraggly pecan tree on the edge of a vacant lot, across the road from the Old Field.

Big white and purple morning glories spill across the weeds in a roadside ditch now, and vines of tiny, deep red-orange morning glories twist through the ditch and up into thickets of ragweed, blackberries, kudzu, privet, poke weed, dead thistles, and grasses. Sleepy Orange and Cloudless Sulphur butterflies fly in and out of the weeds, purple stiff verbena blooms along the roadside, along with a few ragged dandelions, and there’s the too-sweet, grape-like scent of kudzu blooms in the air.

Mourning Doves and Mockingbirds sat on the wires this morning, the Mockingbirds quietly chasing each other in and out of the shrubs. Two Gray Catbirds mewed, but stayed hidden. Brown Thrashers called harsh thwacks. Chimney Swifts swooped overhead. Two Black Vultures perched on separate poles, one spreading its wings out and turning in the direction of the cloud-covered sun.


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