Birding Notes

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

Sunday, September 06, 2009

September Songs – Few Migrants

At sunrise this morning, a Pine Warbler sang its warm, sensual trill from somewhere among the foliage of the white oaks outside our bedroom windows. This is the first time I’ve heard its song in many weeks. During the hottest part of the summer, the Pine Warblers retreated somewhere into the deep foliage and became quiet.

The day has been warm and sunny, with light breezes that stir the wind chimes on the back deck and keep the air pleasant. Although many warblers, thrushes and other migrants are being reported in this area now, here around our neighborhood the only migrants I’ve spotted so far are the Eastern Wood-Pewees that continue to sing in the woods and around the edges of the yard. Today, two sang – one toward the east and the other toward the west – both giving their full pee-di-a-WEEE – WHEEE-oo songs.

Late in the morning I listened as one of them made its way closer and closer. Three or four Carolina Wrens sang and fussed, Chickadees and Titmice chattered, a Downy Woodpecker worked on the trunk of a pine, a Red-bellied Woodpecker rattled, a Summer Tanager called pik-a-tuk and one Robin flew into the top of a dead pine, paused for a few minutes, then flew away. Then there it was – an Eastern Wood-Pewee – lower in the same tall dead pine, perched on a stub and singing. All I could really see of it was a silhouette against the bright eastern sky, but the Pewee sang as it hunted, flying up from a branch, catching an insect, landing on another branch, and flying up again, then – too soon – moving further back into the woods.

In its wake, a Hairy Woodpecker called out an emphatic peenk! and was answered by another Hairy Woodpecker nearby. Like the Pine Warblers, they’ve been quiet or not even around much for several weeks, but the past few days we’ve heard their calls and the sounds of their working often.


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