Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 51: Deck-Street Corner Sandwich

my street corner and 3rd-floor deck, Jamaica Plain, MA, 6:40am-7:10am
cold and breezy, streaky clouds

Woke up this morning feeling like my body was on the verge of sickness, and that I should keep sleeping. A good day to invoke the deck option!

However, my attempt to stay partially asleep whilst I ventured a few yards from my bed to capture my bird and sunrise was not very successful. Something about brisk air, being upright, and the fascinating details of dawn are not conducive to semi-consciousness.

I'd like to report that the sun just fully rose, 7:17am, from my window/deck perspective. It's highly delayed by the hill it has to cover to reach me, as well as a rather dense little block of clouds right above the hill.

Today was a sandwich because, after watching pre-dawn for a few minutes from my deck, with only one cheeping bird in earshot, I decided to go downstairs and try my street. After a short hang at the street corner with sparrows, I came back to my deck and watched the rest of the sunrise from my deck again. Deck-Street Corner Sandwich!

The sparrows are always hanging at this corner. In fact, I hear this chorus in every city I go to, rain or shine: a bush or tree full of cheepy birds. It's the one fail-safe. But today was the first time I hung out properly, and scrutinized.

It's hard to get close, as they will take off, but I noted very youthful birds (super-downy and cute!) as well as at least two kinds (one chubby with yellow beak, the other slender).

My Bird of the Day was a fluffy little sparrow who looked newish to the world. It's hard to isolate his sound, though, and I was interested in capturing the whole flock of them, since they create such a composite sound, with such variety: including the innocent cheep, more anxious alarm chirps (contagious), and trills of flight.

Here is an example of mild concern. You can hear the gentler cheeps (like my BOTD) in between:

Here is more full-fledged alarm:

A new bird, the slender one, joining the bush (I sensed annoyance/protest here):

In several minutes of observation, I was unable to suss out what exactly they are doing. They appear to perch, look around, fluff their feathers, and then follow someone's lead to get riled up, or fly quickly to the next location (for the same procedure). Hmmm.

I guess much of human behavior could be reduced to the same??


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