Mid-morning and the yard is seething with birds—chickadees, sparrows, juncos, nuthatches, titmice—foraging and singing despite the sleet.
Hard to pin-point the emotions evoked by familiar bird calls, beyond just “blue jay feeling,” “nuthatch feeling,” “goldfinch feeling.”
Sunny and cold. Wind hissing in the tops of the pines. The scattered calls of chickadees and nuthatches foraging at the edge of the woods.
Cold and overcast with a lighter gray patch where the sun might be. The nasal calls of a nuthatch. A distant mob of crows.
The birds seem strangely cheerful on this dull, overcast day. A nuthatch even goes up a tree trunk rather than the usual head-first descent.
A warm morning, and all I hear are the birds of winter: chickadee, nuthatch, pileated woodpecker. A dead cranefly dangles from a spiderweb.
Humid and cool. A nuthatch spirals up rather than down a walnut tree trunk, turning upside-down only when it finds something to eat.
A blue jay skulks through the trees at the woods’ edge but still a nuthatch spots him, and within seconds a mob of small birds assembles.
Warm and windy. Nuthatch and woodpecker calls intermingle with the creaks and rattles of trees, most of which have now burst their buds.
Between bitter gusts of wind, I hear the calls of juncos and nuthatches, chickadees and titmice, a song sparrow singing in the ditch.