Early risers get the benefit of experiencing the best part of a birding day. At this time of the year, bird song is winding down, but those who do choose to sing are singing loud and long in the early-morning hours.
I got up and on the go quite early yesterday with the intent to take a long walk in Cochrane Pond Road to see a Mourning Warbler. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard one singing along Blackhead Road. That meant I had more time to explore new places.
This Mourning was a stunning male singing so loudly by the road I could hear it from my car well before I reached its location. I stayed with it for about 30 minutes, and it sang the whole time.
Another early-morning delight was this Rusty Blackbird. Honestly, when I first saw it, I thought it was a Gray Catbird. This Rusty was gray all over. What happened to its rusty color? I marveled at the huge breakfast it was having. It could not have squeezed one more fly into its beak.
It flew off and was only gone a few moments before it returned with an empty beak. Once it began to call, there was no doubt this was a Rusty Blackbird.
Then, there was this male American Redstart that sang on the same perch for over an hour. I first saw it on my walk in a trail where I spent quite a bit of time. When I returned, it was sitting in the same tree singing the same loud song.
I suppose one of my bigger surprises of the day was finding this Long-tailed Duck in close to shore at Maddox Cove. It looked healthy and was regularly diving for food. What accounts for this? While there is a lot of predictability in birding, every day I encounter something out of the ordinary. That is what ejects me from the comfort of my bed as soon as the early, early morning sun penetrates my room-darkening blinds and curtains.