Palm Warbler

Later in the morning, the sky still cloudy, the light gray, a small, plump bird flew from a low branch down to the edge of the grass near a hedge of large wax myrtles. I thought it was a sparrow, but took a closer look – and saw a warm yellow throat and yellow breast streaked with reddish brown, a brown back, and a very bright red-brown cap – a Palm Warbler. Because it’s one of very few migrant warblers passing through our neighborhood so far this spring, I was particularly happy to see it, and watched as it moved along the edge of a mulched area, wagging its tail as it went. It flew up into the wax myrtles, where I could see it for a few minutes longer before it disappeared in the leaves.

Meanwhile, a Pine Warbler sang its loose, musical trill from the edge of the woods, while a Chipping Sparrow trilled its long, level song from a small pine in a neighbor’s yard. A flock of Cedar Waxwings flew over, trailing a spray of high, thin mews. A Great-crested Flycatcher called Breeet, a Mourning Dove cooed, a Red-bellied Woodpecker called quuurrrr. A Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, House Finch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Eastern Towhee sang – and yet, somehow it seemed quiet, which doesn’t make sense, except that the songs and calls were scattered all around, maybe cushioned by the low gray clouds and the wind. One White-throated Sparrow whistled its Come-a-way-with-me in the distance.

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