I believe the Wood Thrush that was living in the woods near our yard last year, the elusive singer I wrote about then, is back, and this year he has a mate. I’ve been hearing his delightful song, variable flutelike notes with a built-in concert-hall resonance, for over a week now. Today it finally warmed up enough for me to have lunch on our screened porch looking out on the back yard, birdbath and pond, and while there, I saw a Wood Thrush fly in and land by the pond. Then it hopped to the edge, probed in the water, pulled out some soggy young leaves, fallen in the recent storm, and flew off. Could this be a female gathering nest material? Never seen a bird use wet leaves for that, but it certainly looked that way. (By the way, the uncredited photo above that I found online is one I wish I could have taken.)
At dinner time, Ellen and I ate on the porch again, and were entertained by a variety of birds. It’s better than TV out there sometimes. After a while I spotted a Wood Thrush again, and pointed it out to Ellen. It seemed unconcerned about us, though we were talking softly. It went to the birdbath and began to bathe, in that odd way some birds have, acting as if they don’t quite know how, or the water is too cold, hopping in and out. Suddenly there was a second one beside it! In a few minutes they were both in the birdbath together, having a fine splash. No doubt about it, a mated pair! As if to confirm that, the female (I presume) flew over to the pond, fished around for another soggy leaf, and flew off with it.
This is great news, I hope they are successful. There might have been a pair last year, but if so I saw no evidence of it. This time there’s no doubt. The Wood Thrushes have moved in. I won’t try to find the nest. It’s probably too well hidden anyway. If I could find it, so could predators, and I don’t usually look for nests because sometimes human interest will spark predator interest. I’ll just enjoy them when I see them, and especially enjoy my favorite bird song throughout the coming months.