Northern Parula, Red-eyed Vireo and Green, Green Woods Again

After more than a week of being away – kind of enjoying a last taste of somewhat cold and gray weather in the northeast, though even there, it’s been an unusually mild winter – I’ve come home to a warm, sunny and suddenly green and singing world.

Late this morning, the soft jangling trills of Yellow-rumped Warblers seemed to be everywhere in the new-green leaves. A Northern Parula sang at the edge of the woods, a Red-eyed Vireo further down in the woods, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher called spee in the white oaks close to the house, and three Chimney Swifts chattered as they flew over – all first of the season here, for me at least – arrived while I was away. A Louisiana Waterthrush continues to sing from down by the creek, and other birdsong included Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Phoebe, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Mourning Doves cooed, and Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers rattled. Brown-headed Nuthatches chattered. Many Cedar Waxwings still are around, mewing and perching in the hollies and cedars.

A Tiger Swallowtail fluttered across the yard and up into the trees. Bees and wasps buzzed around. A blue-tailed skink slithered under a planter. On the deck rail, from the wide-open jaws of a green anole, about half of a very fat, pale green caterpillar waved in the air. The anole’s throat bulged. Slowly, gradually, it snapped and swallowed and stuffed the caterpillar in, until it was gone.

Leave a Reply