Cloudy and damp. The catbird is touring his latest improvisations all around the yard. I’m hearing strong towhee and wren influences.
Silver-spotted skippers chase over dame’s-rocket. A catbird balancing on a dead weed stalk plucks a green bug from a blade of grass.
Cold rain getting harder. The Carolina wren’s “tea kettle” call never seemed more appropriate. The catbird lisps and buzzes like a warbler.
Rain. A gray catbird on the gray road pecking at things that are not gray. In the trees above, a blue-headed vireo sings possession.
Two catbirds are carrying dead grass into a barberry bush. A grackle emerges from a hole in the yard with his yellow thief’s eye.
Out too late to hear the wood thrush, I’m stuck with a catbird’s Muzak version. The bridal wreath’s skinny bloom-fingers shake in the wind.
The catbird is back. After mewing loudly several times, he disappears into a barberry bush and starts going through his songs sotto voce.
The catbird is back, improvising lines of its spring-long solo in a cold drizzle. The edge of the woods is an impressionist’s soft blur.
Off to the northeast, a thin band of clear sky for the dawn to tint. A squirrel drops a walnut from the treetops. The catbird starts to mew.
The all-night rain has eased into drizzle. A drenched squirrel plods through the yard. A catbird appears on a branch and sings half a note.