Five hummingbirds briefly orbit the feeder before taking off after each other. A gnatcatcher bombs the driveway with a nestling’s fecal sac.
Insects are flying and so are the gnatcatchers. I notice a strand of silk waving from the eaves with a tiny, pale spider at the end of it.
Faint sunlight. A gnatcatcher’s nasal notes against the background noise of field sparrows. My mother calls to come look at a dead mole.
Overcast and cold. I watch a gnatcatcher in action, its chirp after each snap. The wood thrush makes a circuit of the yard trees, singing.
A green haze of invasives: daylily, barberry, garlic mustard. A gnatcatcher hovering and diving between raindrops—the tick tick of its bill.
Overcast. Gun shots from over the ridge. A blue-gray gnatcatcher calls from the edge of the blue-gray woods.
The rain peters out, and the daffodils stop bobbing to its beat like headbangers. A gnatcatcher resumes its sallies from the lilac bush.
Two blue-gray gnatcatchers take turns sallying forth from the lilac, zigzagging, hovering to hoover their namesake prey from the cool air.
A phoebe perches on the edge of the porch, only to get dive-bombed by a gnatcatcher. Relax, my friends! There are enough flies for everyone.
The tulip tree’s leaves have burst their buds—a pale green cloud. A gnatcatcher in the shadbush darts and hovers like a slow hummingbird.
A gnatcatcher crosses the yard. Its flight as erratic as a butterfly’s is punctuated by the briefest of pauses to ingest its eponymous prey.
A gnatcatcher is feeding above the stream, wings back-lit by the mid-morning sun as it twists and dives and pivots like a kung fu master.
Flies and butterflies, gnats and gnatcatchers, blue-headed vireo, paper wasp. The towhee in the lilac bush starts his song with a stutter.
Two catbirds tangle in the air above the stream. A hummingbird dive-bombs a gnatcatcher. The first great-crested flycatcher holds forth.