May 20 2011
Last night I woke up at 2:30am and could not get back to sleep. I lay there thinking of everything and nothing. At one point I heard sirens in the distance and wondered where they were so I opened the window a crack to listen.
The siren noise was very faint, nowhere near my home, but soon I heard a more interesting sound: a “peep” like the single note of a spring peeper frog. And another and another and another for more than 20 minutes.
Now I was happy to be awake. Swainson’s thrushes were flying over my house at night, on their way to Canada.
The upper sky was clear, the moon was bright and the wind calm. It was a good night for migration.
Today, somewhere north of here, birders will see the Swainson’s thrushes that flew over Pittsburgh last night. I wonder how far north “my” birds will be.
(photo by Matt Reinbold, Bismark, North Dakota, Creative Commons license, Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original.)