Twitchy Twenty Nine
I think Gray Catbirds are one of my very favorite summer birds. They slip in quietly in the spring, arriving with nothing more than occasional glimpses of smoky gray as they disappear into the greenery. But after they settle in and pair off, they start "singing". Members of the mimic thrush family, they have extensive vocabularies and their songs are many phrases and sounds strung together. Not especially melodic, but delightful just the same. And, the noise I hear most often is their distinctive "meow" sound, usually given to communicate irritation at a rival catbird. As seen in this shot, the catbird puffs itself up - I suppose to look more intimidating. And, sometimes, one will pursue another, chasing it off into a shrub somewhere, meowing madly at it the whole time.
You might think I spend far too much time outside observing the summer birds. You may be right. But it feeds my soul, so I think I'll just continue.
I heard two more newly arrived birds in the woods this afternoon - an Ovenbird (a strangely named wood warbler) and a Great Crested Flycatcher. Also saw another Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The first rush of neotropic migrants has definitely arrived.
I am planning to join two friends for an Audubon field trip on Sunday to a place that is a known dropping point for migrating warblers. Weather looks iffy, so we'll see...
Day 4 of 5 at the gym today, just cardio. I'll do another cardio day tomorrow and that will complete my week. I have to say that I am very proud of myself for keeping to this regimen. And, I definitely feel and see the difference.