Saturday, July 07, 2012

Elusive Number 51

Sitting here at the kitchen table with the back door open I hear a robin, cardinal, song sparrow and indigo bunting. A grackle just clacked by. If I go out on the front porch there is always a hustle and bustle of yellowthroats, yellow warblers, finches and others of amazing variety. I have counted fifty species of birds since April, just from the house and barnyard.

A few  minutes ago I heard the third wood thrush of the summer, cool, liquid notes of almost haunting sweetness. Three kinds of fly catchers are an everyday occurrence.

But that fifty-first barnyard and backyard bird count of Northview birdy just won't show up. I am sure that bird I have been pursuing for the last five years or so, with the subtle little song that exactly matches Liz's old alarm clock, would make fifty one. But I only hear it and never see it and can't match its call up to anything.

Or that thing that was whistling down in the field last night just at dusk. I whistled back, but no luck in calling it up. It was a new call for me and I am always listening. Hmmmm......

If I added winter birds from the feeder I would have a half a dozen more. If I added the bobolinks, harriers, etc. from up in the field there would be lots...but I am trying just to count down here.....where, oh, where is number 51. I can't even get a gull and normally we see three species.


Terry and Linda said...

I didn't think of a bird. I thought of Cow #51. And boy, could I agree to trying to bring in that cow...the one who really wanted to stay out and eat grass and just wouldn't come in!

You fooled me! Good one! :)


Sandcastle Momma said...

I love that you can hear so many different kinds of birds! We have Mockingbirds here at the house but there are a lot of birds at the beach. Unfortunately the sea gulls are so loud they drown out all of the others. They're kind of pesky like that.
Good luck with #51!

June said...

Wood thrush!
Maybe that's the call I hear sometimes from down where the old old barn burned and fell down, where the old orchard is with its little green apples. It's all young woods now. Sometimes in the evening I hear such a silvery mystical song coming from there. I've never known what it was, but I checked the wood thrush's song and it might be that.
What a beautiful, beautiful sound.

threecollie said...

Linda, I can see where you might expect cows rather than birds on a dairy blog, lol. I imagine I mess up a lot of people's minds.

SCMomma, I am always filled with admiration for the folks who live by the sea and know the shorebirds. I haven't seen the ocean in decades, and try to learn the birds from the field guides. Isn't the same as actually seeing them though.

June, their song is like the forest distilled into crystal liquid and poured forth in joy and beauty. Love them! Glad you ID'd yours or at least maybe. I find the thrushes a challenge. Sometimes I can be sure on wood vs hermit etc, but not always.

Cathy said...

I'm late to this post. Now you've really got me goin'.

OK. First. I have to know what Liz's old alarm clock sounds like! Dang. Wish you could record the sound and put it on Youtube.

Your description of the thrush's magical, mysterious song . . . just lovely . . lovely . .

threecollie said...

Cathy, sadly, the alarm was on a long gone phone. It is sort of a soft boop boop boop beep. Been driving me nuts for years. I would love to have someone more expert than myself sit on my porch and just listen. lol