Sunday, July 5, 2015

H is for Hawk, C is for Catbird

On Friday, after reading another set of glowing reviews, I purchased H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald hoping to begin reading it this long 4th of July weekend.  Sunday morning arrived and I still had not started reading.  This is thanks to other worthy distractions like a long, but completely disturbing, New Yorker article that I started reading before the book purchase.

I needed to do some gardening this morning, mostly pruning and weed pulling - baby maple trees everywhere - when around 9:30 am I heard a Carolina Wren calling from across the street and then, very shortly, calling in my yard - meaning that it was moving. I heard it again a couple of houses further in.  This was the first Carolina Wren in the neighborhood for me (but then I'm probably the only one left who pays attention anymore; all of the other birders have left) all spring and made a note of the time to enter in eBird later.  Its sudden appearance may also signal the early start of fall migration.  I called it quits on the gardening, different than finishing, to finally sit in the shade and begin reading H is for Hawk.

House sparrows flitted in and out of the pond and then a male robin with still bright plumage came to bath.  Then it was quiet.  Back to reading.  Movement around the pond caught my attention again.  It was obscured behind the blazing star and I thought the robin was back. But then a catbird jumped into view and hopped down on a rock and began drinking.  A couple of weeks earlier I heard a catbird in the neighbor's thick hedge across the street.  But this is the first time I have actually seen a catbird in my small backyard.  I wanted to get my camera but I knew that as soon as I moved the bird would be gone and the moment would be lost.  The catbird stayed for at least five minutes and then flew off to perch in my dogwood tree beyond the pond.

I went in for my camera and was rewarded with a brief appearance by a goldfinch.  This my third summer having the waterfall.  I have both regretted and enjoyed having it.  I payed way too much to have it installed (should have known better) and it's a lot of work (I had been warned).  Mostly I have enjoyed it and today was one of those days. Back to reading H is for Hawk.

Women's World Cup soccer at 40 minutes:  USA 4, Japan 2.

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