Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Louisiana Waterthrush

This morning a Northern Parula sang from the branches of a large sweet gum tree on the edge of our back yard. A small, round, colorful bird with a blue-gray head, greenish back, and a blurry coral band across a yellow breast and throat, the Parula sings a crisp, buzzy song that rises to a crescendo and quickly drops down.

In this same tree yesterday morning – where new-green leaves are beginning to open – an even smaller, slim and trim Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, with a long, often upturned tail, called its wheezy spee! spee! hello.

Today the weather is gray and cool, with more rain in the forecast. From down near the creek I can hear the brightly slurred song of a Louisiana Waterthrush. I first heard it sing last Friday, March 27, early in the evening during a break in the rain.

With a pale green haze of new leaves spreading through the woods, the lacy white sprays of lots of dogwoods in bloom, and the arrival of these first returning migrants, it’s beginning to really feel like Spring.

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