Birding Notes

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

Friday, April 03, 2009

Six Trusting Pine Siskins – Disappointed

This morning when I stepped onto the back deck – into a sunny, colorful, very windy day – I heard a familiar low chirping, looked around – and there were six little brown-streaked Pine Siskins in the bare branches of the white oak that hang over the deck, in the same area where a feeder hung until about two weeks ago. They chirped in a quiet but insistent way, and one by one came a little closer and closer toward me, as if hoping that I was bringing food again.

I was surprised to see them. I thought they had all gone – though one morning last week I did hear the zhrreeee calls of several in the pines again, so apparently a few are still around. These six chirped and studied me for three or four minutes, then abruptly flew away, disappearing into the wind and the trees.

After a lot of rain the past few days, it felt good to see blue sky and sunshine again. The woods are turning green with new young leaves and white sprays of dogwoods. A Northern Parula continues to sing in the trees around the house, and there are the wheezy spees! of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and the songs of Phoebe, Chipping Sparrow, Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Chickadee, Titmouse, Towhee, White-throated Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Two Louisiana Waterthrushes now sing in different directions along the creek, in their usual territories, though it’s been hard to hear them the past few days through the rain, wind, and the rushing of very high water in the creek.

A Red-tailed Hawk circled and soared in the strong wind. A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, with a pure white throat and crimson crown, tapped on the trunks of the pecans. A Dark-eyed Junco flew up from the grass into a tree, with a high, thin jingle of notes. And a Brown-headed Cowbird perched in the very top of a pecan tree and sang.


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