A Sunset Walk and a Barred Owl’s Call

Late afternoon on the last day of the year was cool, gray, cloudy and quiet. A pair of Bluebirds perched in a young red maple in our front yard. A Chipping Sparrow flew up from the edge of the road into another small tree. American Robins foraged in the grass. I heard the tsup calls of an Eastern Phoebe, the pink of a Downy Woodpecker, a Red-bellied Woodpecker’s chuck-chuck, an Eastern Towhee’s rich chur-wheee, a White-throated Sparrow’s sibilant tseet, and the chatter of Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Brown-headed Nuthatch and House Finch, the fussing and trill of a Carolina Wren. The usual suspects – and not even all of those – on a calm and peaceful evening.

Much later, around ten o’clock at night, a Barred Owl called, HOOO-owww. Just that, again and again, several times, from somewhere around the woods in our back yard. HOOO-owww. Much better than fireworks, I think – a very fine way to end the year.

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