February 26th, 2012

caillebotte_man at his window

New Song

Some bird I've never heard before sang this evening. It made a rising whistle that turned to a trill and then to a falling whistle. There were two birds in fact, sitting on a wire, but only one of them sang, or only one sang at a time. They were small birds, and too far away for me to see them clearly, and they were back-lit by the late light which the thin overcast diffused into an ethereal glare.

After a few minutes, they left the wire and flew straight toward the end of the house where I was standing. When they got close I could see no discernible markings on them. They were just plain, small, brownish-gray birds. They alighted briefly on the rain gutter, then took off again, passing over the house toward the back yard. I heard no more from them after that, and didn't see them when I went to the back yard to feed the cats a bit later.

Whatever species they were, they must have been just passing through, but I have no idea how long their journey might have been, where they were from, or where they were bound. Once the strangers were gone, the only birds I heard were the acorn woodpeckers doing their usual chuckle. Their familiar call suddenly seemed so prosaic, ringing through the fading evening light.

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