Crows are about the only bird that Dog and I see on our morning walks anymore. That’s because crows are feel their job is to awaken early and report back to the rest of the forest on anything that’s changed since dusk. They take their job very seriously, and there’s always some crime or change that needs to be broadcast to the rest of the forest. These two were very suspicious of Dog and me. You can just see their displeasure.
August is not a good month for birding at the cabin. January and February are the only other months where I see fewer species of birds. This August I saw exactly the same number of species (34) that I did in 2006. Okay, so there’s a slight chance I might see a new species tonight or tomorrow before the month ends, but I’m not banking on it.
Some of the summer residents are still in residence. I saw one of the local pewees out of the forest and sitting on a wire at the bottom of my lane last night. This bird was singing outside of its summer breeding territory, if only by some yards. As pewees are nearly found inside the forest canopy, I had to wonder if this one’s unusual singing location was somehow a precursor of its trip south, as though it was checking with the other local pewees to see if it was time to pack the bags yet. Or perhaps once breeding is over, pewee territories simply don’t matter anymore. I don’t know the answer.
Swallows are in short supply, and I think the kingbirds have left the mountain already. I’m starting to think the towhees are gone or going, too, as it’s now been three days since I’ve heard them call or sing. I have heard them every day since their arrival in April, and three days of silence is unprecedented.
Note: I am going to participate in the first International Rock-Flipping Day on September 2, though my results aren't going to be posted until the next day. IR-FD was thought up by Dave Bonta of Via Negativa. The idea is to flip over one or more rocks on September 2 and draw, photograph and/or write about what you find underneath. Please remember to replace your rocks and return them to their natural state when you are done.