Sunday, August 14, 2011

In Search of a Summer Song

On Friday the 12th I arrived at Nahanton a little before 7am to find a song that would exemplify the summer at Nahanton. I was also hoping I might catch a night heron or sandpiper in the pond first. As soon as my car door opened, goldfinches flitted overhead, twittering while a Downy's rattle came from the woods followed by the plaintive "pee-a-wee" of the Wood-Pewee floated by. I made my way across the soccer field with a barn swallow for company and a Yellowthroat was sulking in the brush. Though the pond was empty I saw what looked like a small heron flying up into a tree. I circled around to get a better view while a Baltimore Orioles clear song was floating over the trees before I managed to find the heron silhouetted in the trees (picture) I kept circling so the sun wasn't behind it until it dissolved into the Green Heron, while not what I was looking for, a Heron in a tree is always an amusing sight. Just then a high thin "tee-see tee-see tee-see" came from just a few yards to the right of the heron and cued me into the Black-and-White Warbler scouring the tree branches for insects. I headed on my walk to find the river very quiet and just a few robins in woodcock meadow before heading into the woods. For a little while a robin and the mosquitoes were the only songs I heard before a "pee-a-wee" filtered through the woods. I managed to position my self right under one singing Pewee before it dawned on me the the Eastern Wood-Pewee was a perfect summer song! While the visual the Pewee can be a little drab gray bird with two wing-bars but with such a distinctive song where he tells us his own name "pee-a-wee" makes him a stalwart of the deciduous forest. Not to mention as a flycatcher, the Pewee is a superb flier. I continued my walk but it seemed at ever turn there was the Pewee song, or a Pewee sitting on an exposed branch, hawking flying insects by darting out and after some mid-air acrobatics returning to the previous perch. While watching such flying skill was enjoyable, it made taking a picture near impossible, but it was a summer song I wanted most.

Image 1: Green Heron
Image 2: Baltimore Oriole taking a bath
Image 3: Red Admiral butterfly

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