Date: 6/5/20 5:43 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] June 5, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:13 a.m. 60 degrees, wind breathless, again, out of the N 0 mph. Sky: subtly overcast, blue-gray to white, some clouds edged in pale rose; some ruffled, others skin-tight; a portal into the ionosphere, an excellent glimpse of infinity. A sky made for the Hudson River School. Intermittent streams: disappear beneath archways of fern. Permanent streams: shrink, almost silent, channel bottoms drying, mud flats extending. Main aquatic thread of the wetlands: a crease in green reeds that push up everywhere. Bittern still on the north end, *ga-lunking*.
Chestnut-sided warbler, ovenbird, and, of course, red-eyed vireo rule the air waves. Singing, singing, singing. A lone redstart chimes in. Two robins, unbraided, chase each other along a stonewall, wings akimbo slap ferns. Seems serious. Sapsucker, a month into tapping a sugar maple, prospecting for sap, harvesting bugs drawn to it. Pileated jack-hammers a distant tree, excellent echos.
Pond empty of ducks. Thetford's version of *Make Way for Ducklings.* Although more secretive than the mallard chicks that wandered around Boston Public Garden, mersangers follow their mother back and forth between the wetland and the pond, crossing the road once the curtain drops on day . . . otherwise, they'd be contending with the red-shouldered hawk that sits mid-marsh in the pine snag, scanning the world. Yesterday, the hawk appeared above the reeds, circling and calling, the original version; much sharper, much louder, much longer than the blue jay's cover, which tumbles out of treetops or from just above the canopy, not from a thousand feet in the sky. A second hawk appeared. The two flew in tandem, rose and fell on a whim, their voices like lances pierced the valley.
Mosquitos out in force. The late George Craig, a biology professor at Notre Dame University, predicted that the bites from 1,120,000 mosquitoes would be enough to exsanguinate an average human. I won't stand still long enough to find out.