Friday, February 26, 2010

A Farewell Symphony

In most respects, I am thoroughly weary of winter. This one has dished out enough crummy weather, illness, and cold temperatures to make me think March 1st will be a holiday. But that will also mean that I am all the closer to saying goodbye to our winter birds. For 2010, that will mean five species for the land of Cary BirdCam. I'm expecting Hermit Thrush to be the first to go. Last year I last saw one on 3/18. The Slate Colored Juncos will surely be next, as I typically see them for the last time in the last week of March. And then within another week or two we lose the Ruby Throated Kinglets and White Throated Sparrows. I'll expect the Yellow Rumped Warblers to go last. In 2008 I recorded one as late as 4/28 but that was exceptional. It will be like Haydn's Symphony 45 (Farewell) when one after another of the performers snuffs out his candle and leaves the stage. In only a matter of days now each of our winter birds will grab a last bite at my feeder stations and make its way to summer grounds. Until then, I'm enjoying my last few (cold) days in their company, even as I yearn for sunny, clement days.

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