Monday, May 05, 2008

A Window Strike in the Hand...

And the hits just keep on comin' -- literally, I'm afraid. On my way to work in Philly late Sunday afternoon, I found the carcasses of seven birds who'd slammed into the plate glass windows on the north side of the Wachovia  headquarters near Independence Hall. There's a pocket park between the building and Old Christ Church Cemetery, both of which make for good birding during migration. The cruel joke is that a fair number of birds never make it out of the migrant trap.  (Several Octobers ago, I went out to get a look at the lunar eclipse, and found a dead woodcock there. That one really hurt.)

Here's what I found Sunday:

4 Ovenbirds
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow

They're bagged and labeled in my freezer, cheek by beak with the ice cream and Niman Ranch bacon, awaiting delivery to the Academy of Natural Sciences. It's a good bet they'll have company before migration's over.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

About Time, Too

It's about time I started this blog. I gave it a name more than a year ago, but was afraid to make the commitment a blog entails.  But fear of making the wrong commitment has been a theme with me for lo, these many years, so why should I let that get in the way?  Ya gotta start somewhere, so here is as good as any place. Sporadic may just be the name of my posting game.  So sue me. (Figuratively, that is.) 

The local bird population is booming, now that some of the spring migrants have arrived. A White-eyed Vireo's been perchicka-wee-oo-ing across the road off and on for about a week. The same dark-vested adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird's been working the window-mounted feeders since Sunday, keeping a close watch on my cats as they recharge their solar batteries on the bay windowsill.  That same day, I also had my first-of-year Catbird, but I haven't seen or heard one since. When I got home from my annual dermatologist visit Tuesday, a male Indigo Bunting was perched on the arm of the deck-mounted tube feeder, from which a Blue Jay was giving it the fish-eye while chowing down on Deluxe mix.  Late in the day, a new voice cut through the drink-your-teeeeea song of the Towhee: a Wood Thrush, whose song most people describe as " ee-o-lay," although my friend Patty hears it differently. Every year, she calls me to report the return of the Tweedle-dee-boing.