The Eastern Phoebe is normally the first flycatcher to appear in spring and the last to leave in fall. Usually one or two are noted on Christmas bird counts. I could find no records for January but many for early February. The Phoebe has a habit of wagging its tail as if stirring porridge. Ours was doing just that on this 19 degree, overcast morning.
Species list: ring-billed gull, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, eastern phoebe, blue jay, American crow, common raven, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, gray catbird, European starling, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, song sparrow. (16 species)
This mornings group:
Unharvested – Poem by Robert Frost
A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free,
Now breathed as light as a lady’s fan.
For there had been an apple fall
As complete as the apple had given man.
The ground was one circle of solid red.
May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.