There is a daylight half moon this evening that will be waxing toward full over the next twelve days or so. It reached its highest point tonight around 7:30, which means that tomorrow evening I’ll see it there around 8:20. This will be the third lunar month I’ve watched since my diagnosis. (Oddly, my chemotherapy drug comes in twenty-eight doses.) This is the third lunar month I’ve been lying beside this window overlooking the river & when I began the robins were just establishing territories & building nests; tonight the juveniles are skittering among the lower branches while up above their elders sing their evening songs.
We’ve had a lot of rain the last couple of days, but this morning sunlight is flooding the maple trees. There are a couple of robins–a mated pair perhaps–singing back & forth from the tops of two nearby maple trees. Not competitive singing, just a duet. Maybe they are teaching their fledglings the basic repertoire of the robin tribe. They do something to intensify the qualities of the morning. The sunlight on green maple leaves is a degree more intense when they are singing; the coolness of the air wafting through an open window is just a little sharper; the bark of the dogs across the river just that much more distinct.
The robins’ dusk chorus ran from about 7:15 to 8:00 this evening. This is what might be called passive territorial singing–the birds take positions in the sunlit tops of trees, no bird nearer than around 250′ from any other. They then run through their repertoire until, presumably, they get tired of hearing their own voices & head off to roost. Not all of them I heard this evening were necessarily males, as has been commonly thought. Recent research shows that females sing this way too.
The moon is waxing gibbous, not quite ¾ full. It looks like it will reach its zenith tonight around 9:30, just after passing over the gap between the two biggest maple trees in the yard.
The spring dawn chorus, robins for sure but some finches too, I think, began in complete darkness at 4:13 am EST. I began to be able to distinguish clouds in a lightening sky at 4:26. It is now 4:30 & the chorus continues, though only robins now & even they are beginning to get on with the day. I think I can detect some males defending territory.
Saw the first goldfinches of spring today. They must have been shocked at the amount of snow, but happy, I presume, at the full bird feeders. The breeding plumage of the males not quite filled out, rough drafts of summer.