We birders are always looking for the odd bird, not the familiar one. Yet it’s the familiar ones that provide us with the most information, the ones that quiet us down when things go awry, and at this point in civilization, they often do. On Friday, it was the sweet song of the Baltimore oriole heralding his return that set my mind at ease; on Sunday it was the wheezy nonsensical notes of the catbird, gone from my brain since August 2011, that did the same.
We are in the midst of a deep drought. Yes, we had almost three inches of rain locally two Sundays ago, but a drive by Chatfield’s Hole on Two Holes of Water Road showed that it hardly made a difference. The pond level was so low, that there were two ponds, a largish one to the north, a small one to the south. The small one had a tiny island in its center covered with the northern shrub of the heath family, leatherleaf.