tufted titmouse

Warm sun and an inversion layer bringing traffic noise from over the ridge. Cardinals and titmice compete with the whine of truck tires.

Bitter wind. A small privet bush bends under the weight of six juncos, then two titmice, then three waxwings, each feasting on its berries.

‪The usual bird calls—cardinal, titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker—but something seems off. It’s the clouds, coming from the wrong direction.‬

Under low, gray clouds, the sound of traffic from the valley. A titmouse at the woods’ edge keeps whistling his one, querulous note.

A few degrees above freezing. Three titmice drop out of the sunlit oaks to investigate the dead elm, en route to a quick bath in the stream.

A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm with a rattle of wings, the elm swaying. Below in the lilac a titmouse hammers away at an acorn.

A new bloom of gnats—I saw them swarming by the back door—and the yard is full of fall warblers, foraging with the chickadees and titmice.