Date: 5/8/17 5:39 pm
From: Herschel Raney <herschel.raney...>
Subject: Several things...
First of all I thank Karen and Terence for the information on Brooke
Meanley. The man who saw the first Connecticut Warbler in 1953 in
Arkansas. He lived to be 92 years old loving birds. Took care of his
wife as she died. He was an impressive man overall. Wish I had met him.

And both people also mentioned the Ole Coot, Jeff Wilson (I can still
see his hat) who apparently had most of the MS records for Connecticut
Warbler in an area along the Mississippi river he checked every year.
Some brushy area that is now gone. I miss Jeff’s commentary.

I forgot to mention anything else from Bell Slough on Sunday morning.
The shale pit entrance was active before I was mesmerized by the rare
warbler had droves of Catbirds still, singing and zinging across the
path. And skulking. Indigos in their distinct singing and chasing
madness. Common Yellowthroats in their yellow exuberances.

When I shifted to the northside of Bell I did find the calling Blackpoll
Warblers there. Maybe the only ones I will see and hear this year. They
were way up like Blackpolls love to be.

I had walked down to where the levee road went under water earlier and
besides the Green Herons talking and feeding everywhere, I found six
more Golden-winged Warblers. This certainly pushes my 2017 season
Golden-wings number up above 25+. Definitely a new high. I saw another
this morning at home before work. And let us have a moment of silence
for the Canadian highlands that are pumping out more Golden-wings than
ever for the world’s pleasure. (Well, maybe not forever. But for now

I did see a pair of male Yellowthroats chasing and chasing each other in
circles there as well. And eventually I watched as a Ruby-throated
Hummingbird started following them, inserting himself in the middle,
slowing himself for these helplessly slow passerines. I don’t know the
purpose of the chase otherwise but I appreciate the effect. The
Goldenwings nearby were making a slightly anomalous call from normal:
one that was rolling and elongate. The odd thing was that two of them
were doing it. Either imitating each other on the fly like cardinals or
else born in the same zone of song attainment. Somewhere up there above
us in the cold wilder evergreens. A mystery that is worth pondering.

There are still Philadelphia Warblers coming through at my house. And a
seemingly endless supply of Black-throated Green Warblers. Warbler of
the year, in my ears, at my house.

And not to carry on the snake link (apologies to Kim) but I had to meet
some guys on my land this week for a delivery of a new washer and dryer
(first in 15 years). And the younger guy looked horrified after he
unhooked the old dryer. He pointed pointedly at the wall. In the dryer
vent was god knows how many years of Wren nests, broken wren eggshells,
sticks, leaves, dryer lint all plugging up my dryer vent. It was not in
his purview to clean this out, so I kneeled and vanquished some history
in large handfuls.

The other older delivery man was outside looking out into my hickories
and oaks. I was hoping me might tell me what warblers he was hearing.
(Stop it. We all still here, in this actual world.) He said, instead,
when I arrived out on the driveway “Do you have a snake problem out
here?” Still inexplicably looking up into the trees.

“Indeed” I said, “I don’t have near enough of them.”

He snapped me the truest of looks with his hand over his brow, squinting
at me, with a glare that said “this is one crazy white guy.”


Herschel Raney

Conway AR

Join us on Facebook!