Red-eyed Vireo and Summer Tanager – Grace Notes on a Hot Summer Day

Early morning on a very warm, humid, brightly sunny day, two, maybe three, maybe four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds zipped and hummed and dueled around the porch, flying between two feeders, whizzing past the screens, perching in nearby oak branches. One twittered for several minutes as it hovered, visiting pink impatiens blossoms on the deck. 

A Mississippi Kite called a sweet pee-tooopee-too, nearby but not in sight, maybe perched in a tree, or circling low.

And this morning’s special gift – a Red-eyed Vireo sang its bright refrain in trees all around the edge of the back yard, traveling from one side to another and on, passing through.

Later in the morning, as I walked up a wooded hill, a rather long, sturdy songbird, in shades of mellow-yellow and brown, flew out of the trees and paused on a low branch of a pine. A Summer Tanager, a female or an immature male, reminding me that fall migration has begun. Birds still seem quiet and scarce, and hot summer days will linger here for another month or more, but it’s late August, and changes have begun. Lots of brown, crumpled leaves of pecan trees litter the ground, and sprinkles of red-orange leaves dot some of the water oaks. Two Common Grackles flew over, calling harsh checks, and American Robins are gathering in small groups in shady yards.

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