I woke knowing it was a Project FeederWatch day and perhaps immediately wanted to set the stage for my first count day. So while I hung out in bed with the kitty and read a few pages of my new book, I turned on the sound monitor. It wasn't even light yet so I waited for the first sounds of the new day.
The chatter of a red squirrel broke the silence, perking up Lizzie's ears. The squirrel's solo introduction lasted perhaps 3-4 minutes before he was joined by other members of the chorus.
While still too dim to even see them, goldfinches joined in. A trio or perhaps quartet of zweeee-zweeee-zweee calls told me a small flock was passing through the yard. Goldfinches have been sparse lately so I hoped they'd come back later in the day to be amongst the counted.
The next chorus member to join in was the Red-breasted Nuthatch with their yank-yank calls. Just yesterday a group of 3 nuthatches serenaded me from the top of the silver maple; it seems like they were back for an encore. They were soon joined by the dee-dee-dee of the Black-capped Chickadee, who I knew would be included in my count.
Then from afar, I heard the peek! of a Hairy Woodpecker. It crescendoed as the woodpecker approached, peek! Peek! PEEK! PEEK! PEEK! Peek! peek!, then decrescendoed as it most likely flew over the house and into the woods across the road.
Taking in the sounds of nature before dawn arrives is like listening to music with the lights off. You rely on sound only, removing the distractions of the eyes to enhance what you hear. So, with darkness gone, the chapter finished, the kitty content, and carrying bird calls in my head, I was ready for a day of counting the birds. Oh, and maybe a little work in between too.