Life on a family farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Skid Steer Swallow
Or, mayhap Mike the Mechanical Mockingbird. Our skid steer beeps....you know that noise big machines make when they back up? Yeah, that, only it indicates a problem with something about it, not a reverse psychology.
Anyhow, the boss was working with it the other day and it was doing that beeping thing it does, while Alan was working on something else. Suddenly from behind him came another beeping skid steer.
He thought he was going crazy for a minute. Then the mockingbird flew out nearby. We had a good laugh over it later.
What a bird!
I listened to him last night after chores and I darned near never went in for dinner. I don't know if it is the same young bird that was so awful a couple of weeks ago, but I suspect that it is.
However, now he is amazing now. Talk about perfect pitch. If I wasn't actually watching him, perched up there in the wild rose bush, I would never take a second thought...definitely a blue jay. Then a phoebe. Robin. Killdeer. Tufted titmouse, pee-oo, pee-oo. And on and on. Listening to him sing was a chance to brush up on my local bird call identification.....
I suppose I might have caught on when he threw a woodpecker drumming right in between two blue jay shrieks, but this year's mocker is the best mimic I have ever heard. Not a false note anywhere.
Can't wait for more migrants to move in and start singing...and if he gives another concert like he did last night I will try to record it with the video feature on the camera so you can hear him too...wow!
Then this morning an eastern phoebe was calling so close to the house that I could hear every raspy undertone in his call. Almost sounded like a different bird. I peered out all the windows trying to see where he might be perched....looking mostly across the driveway...when I spotted him right next to the big window just inches away. He was sitting at the very tip of the sumac I leave there so I can photograph birds, every feather on end, and dripping with dew, while he screamed out his first song of they day. He looked like a grumpy guy who had just climbed out of the shower and hadn't had his coffee yet.