Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brown Thrasher Morning

Up before sunrise, I looked out the window as I do most mornings and saw crystal clear skies. I quickly threw on some grubby clothes and headed out the door. In haste, I didn’t anticipate that my neighbor had parked his van opposite the end of my driveway and exchanged some bumper paint with it and my car. I left a note on his windshield with an apology. Not a good beginning to my day, but I still wanted to get out there as soon as possible. I wasn’t going to let a little fender-bender ruin it.

Once at Pheasant Branch, the sun was coming up over the horizon and a chorus of birdsong greeted a perfectly calm morning. I settled for a secluded spot along the trail with good cover front and back. Directly in front, a dead tree that looked like an excellent perch for a singing bird. It didn’t take long. Nearby on my right, a Brown Thrasher ascended up the bare branches of another dead tree, pausing to sing its classic song, "plant-a-seed, plant-a-seed, bury-it, bury-it, cover-it-up, cover-it-up, let-it-grow, let-it-grow, pull-it-up, pull-it-up, eat-it, eat-it, yum-yum!" I carefully swung my scope and camera around and took a few shots of the mostly silhouetted bird (top image).

Then to my thrill and astonishment, the beautiful copper-colored bird flew across the trail and perched atop my stakeout tree. Perfect! The accomplished songster seemed unaware of my presence, running against my personal philosophy that birds always know. It was interesting observing the thrasher shifting its body to cast its song in every direction. Perhaps alerted to my presence, the bird gave a quick look back toward me before dropping into the dense thicket.

Brown Thrasher images © 2007 Mike McDowell

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