A very active week in birdland, indeed! Topping the list of May returnees were ruby-throated hummingbirds. The first to return to the South Fork, perhaps, were the four that showed up at the house of my Noyac neighbor Ellen Stahl on May 6. She called to tell me that they were back, she had her hummingbird feeders up, and they were flying in my direction every once in a while. She thought they might nest in my backyard.
On Monday I took a drive through the hills of Noyac, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, and North Sea that make up the bulk of the so-called terminal moraine left by the glacier that retreated 15,000 or so years ago. When I moved back to Long Island from Oregon and California in 1974, those hills were only sparsely covered with houses. The pitch pine and oaks carpeted the ups and downs of the knob-and-kettle topography, and to the south, the farm fields spread from west to east as far as the eye could see. How things have changed.